The history of STUV in Heiligenhaus

The economic downturn in the so-called "Gründerzeit" had already lasted a decade when Steinbach & Vollmann was founded by the two merchants Rudolf Steinbach and Eduard Vollmann in Sprockhövel, Westphalia. The trade in locks, fittings and machinery characterised the commission business.


At the beginning of the decade, the company enters the production level by taking over the Heiligenhaus-based company August ten Eicken. The move to the current company headquarters is completed with a large number of structural changes and the takeover of all 20 employees. The production of safe and mortise locks continues without interruption.


The economy picks up strongly, the number of employees rises to 98 and the annual turnover to 300,000 Marks. According to precisely worked out plans, the two owners travel through Germany, sometimes for months at a time, and are thus in permanent direct contact with the customers.


Special attention is paid to the permanent review of the appropriate production range. New articles, designed and produced in-house, come onto the market with names that were attractive at the time. These include prison locks, safe locks, lever handle connections and master locks.


Despite the economic downturn in 1908, sales can already be increased again. The permanent expansion of the business and operating premises suffers no interruption. The number of locks produced exceeds 200,000 for the first time.


World War I brings production to a standstill in many areas. STUV also has to enter wartime production with the manufacture of snap hooks. Only the Scandinavian business with safety locks continues.


The demand accumulated over four years ensures full order books. The workforce grows by leaps and bounds to 260 employees.


Innovative products, adapted to general progress, open up new markets. These include special locks for vending machine construction, for steel furniture and petrol pumps, and refrigerator door locks.
The transition of the long-established craftsman's production to industrial production is initiated after the transfer of responsibility to Erich Vollmann. The establishment of systematic work preparation and methodical cost accounting run parallel to this development.


In the preceding years of the economic downturn there is a near standstill, as a result of which the trade tax revenue of Heiligenhaus falls from 256,000 to 61,000 marks. From 1934 until the Second World War, STUV's broad product range repeatedly proved to be a guarantee for orders.


The extremely strong demand of the post-war years and the will for independence prompts Erich Vollmann to install his own electroplating shop. The trade in prison cell locks with tumblers is expanded.


The company has an extensive network of commercial agents. Market economy, commercial skill and targeted and refined market orientation pay off for STUV. New products are developed, old articles - revenue generators of the past decades - are discontinued.


STUV expands the niche segment for high-security locks. Prison locks are developed and manufactured for a large number of correctional facilities and police stations in Germany and other European countries.


The production programme consists of several thousand articles, which are divided into five different product groups and purchased by more than 5,000 customers at home and abroad. The customers include small craft businesses and large global corporations. The products are designed, produced and distributed by 350 employees.


In the high security market segment, a new lock system for correctional facilities and forensic clinics is introduced. The series includes a wide range of mechanical and motorised locks based exclusively on a robust double-bit tumbler technology that can be quickly and easily changed over without auxiliary tools in case of key loss. The HSL line includes transponder solutions for connection to GM systems or PLC controls.


In spring 2004, after more than 50 years in management, responsibility is passed on to the 3rd generation of Peter Vollmann to Wolfgang Finger, who manages the company until 2019.


Steinbach & Vollmann has a worldwide presence and achieved a turnover of 19.5 million euros in 2007. Today, 165 people work at the Heiligenhaus site. The company trains industrial mechanics, toolmakers and industrial clerks. In the anniversary year, a solar thermal system is installed to produce process heat for the electroplating shop. With 400m2 of collector surface and 210 kw of power, it is one of the largest systems in Germany.


Securing the location. This simple keyword describes the extensive investments at STUV in modern infrastructure. New machining centres, computer-controlled robots for key production and a new automated small parts warehouse (AKL) are just some of the essential innovations. With a capacity of 26,500 containers, the 3-aisle fully automated warehouse is also planned to be future-proof in view of continued expected economic growth.


Steinbach & Vollmann has geared the production capacities at the Heiligenhaus site to the future by investing in a new hall for the press shop and stamping shop. A modern replacement building was erected on the site of the old shed roof halls. In addition to the central and space-efficient storage of tools in modular high-bay racking, the machinery in the hall was rearranged and adapted to today's operating processes.


Andreas Kupka takes over Steinbach & Vollmann GmbH (STUV) together with the medium-sized holding company Endurance Capital and the Sayn-Wittgenstein family.