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1954: a personal connection and a success story

How a personal connection led to the start of the HELICOIL® success story at Böllhoff in 1954.

HELICOIL® sales documents from the 1950s

Of friendships and thread inserts

The very beginning of our company's history in 1877 was already based on a personal connection. Connections between people also played an important role in another decisive milestone of our company history. In 1953, Josef Böllhoff, second generation manager of our company, first heard about “new types of resilient thread inserts to reinforce threads” (referred to as HELI-COIL at the time) from a family friend in the USA. This was how the first contact with the HELI-COIL licensor in the United States came about. It was the starting point of a success story that continues to this day.

Acquiring the HELICOIL® licence: a groundbreaking step for our company

Only one year later, in 1954, Josef Böllhoff acquired a licence for the production and sale of HELICOIL® thread inserts - a groundbreaking step for our company. Up to that point we had traded exclusively in DIN and standard parts but with HELICOIL®, we entered the production of fasteners ourselves for the first time. We opened our first own production facility for thread inserts in Bielefeld in 1958.

HELICOIL® production workstations in Bielefeld, 1958
HELICOIL® production in Bielefeld 1958

In the following decades, the thread insert shaped the development of our company like no other product. Since 1954, we have continuously expanded the range of HELICOIL® variants and tailored them to demanding applications.

Further development stages of the thread insert followed, as well as a multitude of assembly tools - from hand-held devices to automated assembly systems. Today, the HELICOIL® product brand is well-known worldwide and is the market leader for thread inserts in the USA, Latin America and Europe.

Countless HELICOIL® Smart thread inserts from Böllhoff
HELICOIL® Smart The latest development stage of the thread insert from Böllhoff

In 1977, on our company’s 100th anniversary, Josef Böllhoff recalled his beginnings with HELICOIL®:

“The step into production was significant for what had until then been a pure trading company. We now focused on the expansion of production and sales at home and abroad.

It was particularly important to follow the technological developments in the automotive industry, the high quality demands of the aircraft industry, the light metal and plastics industry. This not only in the Federal Republic of Germany, but also in Europe and later especially in a sales region that is very important for us today: Latin America.”

Josef Böllhoff, member of the second family generation and company manager from 1923 to 1962
Josef Böllhoff, member of the second family generation As company manager, he brought the HELICOIL® thread insert to Böllhoff in the 1950s