Four generations, one common vision: enabling successful connections.
Wilhelm Böllhoff from Herdecke (Germany), travelling ironmongery salesman and youngest son of master tailor Friedrich Böllhoff, sets up shop on Epiphany Day 1877. He establishes an ironmongery wholesale business focusing on metalwork, forging and mining. Right from the start, he concentrates on nationwide direct sales, extending his business beyond the borders of Westphalia.
Following the French occupation of the Ruhr area, the second generation – Josef Böllhoff and family – establishes a branch in Bielefeld to safeguard the future of the business. Josef Böllhoff shifts the company’s focus to screws, nuts and threaded parts for machine construction and shipbuilding.
Böllhoff supplies a significant quantity of the fasteners used on the ship, which goes on to set a new record for the fastest crossing of the North Atlantic on its maiden voyage in 1929.
In 1954, Josef Böllhoff takes a significant decision that will have a lasting impact on the future of the company: He acquires a licence for the production of thread inserts under the brand name HELICOIL®. With this move, we begin to produce fasteners ourselves for the first time, alongside our existing business activities.
Our first production facility of our own opens in Bielefeld, where HELICOIL® thread inserts are manufactured. Production and distribution of these miraculous little fasteners alone occupy 36 employees.
In 1962, the third generation of the family joins the company in the person of Dr Wolfgang W. Böllhoff. He begins to look more and more beyond Germany’s borders. The opening of the first branch in Austria marks the beginning of our company’s internationalisation.
"A future needs a past. Since 1877, we have had a passion for helping our customers establish successful connections. As a family business, we have continued our consistent development over generations, responded to various trends and created innovation. That’s our strength."
Two years later, in 1964, Böllhoff undertakes its first venture in the Americas with its own production and sales facilities in Brazil and Mexico. This decision was prompted by our close supply relationship with Volkswagen, which had previously opened new production facilities in Brazil and in Mexico for its Beetle model.
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first men to walk on the moon. The lunar module that takes them there uses HELICOIL® threaded inserts.
Böllhoff establishes a production and sales facility in France, where manufacture of RIVKLE® blind rivet nuts and studs begins. This allows the company to expand into the important Italian and Spanish markets, where branch offices are subsequently established.
The reunification of Germany opens up Eastern Europe, allowing us to establish a second German production facility in Sonnewalde in southern Brandenburg. Further branches in Southeast Europe soon follow.
With Wilhelm A. Böllhoff in 1994 and Michael W. Böllhoff in 1998, the fourth generation takes the helm at Böllhoff. As managing partners, they continue our consistent pursuit of internationalisation.
Böllhoff purchases a production facility in Kendallville, Indiana, USA (near Fort Wayne). Michael W. Böllhoff is appointed manager of this facility.
Böllhoff has maintained a strong trade relationship with China since the 1980s, and now it takes its first permanent step into the Asian market with the establishment of a sales office in Shanghai.
Böllhoff sets up the first Asian production facility of its own in Wuxi, China. Production of RIVKLE® blind rivet nuts and studs for the Asian market begins at a facility that starts out with 2,500 m² of floorspace.
Böllhoff acquires Armstrong Precision Components (APC) in Hull, UK, strengthening its position in Europe.
With the opening of sales offices in Japan and South Korea in 2016, Böllhoff continues to expand in the Asian market. A Vietnam branch follows in 2021.
Two central national warehouses start operations in Oelsnitz in the Vogtland district of Saxony and in Sainte-Hélène-du-Lac in France. Both logistics locations are state-of-the-art and offer plenty of space for further growth. The central warehouse in Oelsnitz also represents a significant financial milestone: With investments totalling over 40 million euros, this complex is the largest single investment in the company’s history.
In October 2021, we acquire the worldwide HELICOIL® trademark. As a result, variants of the thread insert can be offered in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Japan for the first time.