Dematic: A Pioneer of Intralogistics Celebrates its 200th Anniversary

Heusenstamm, 19. January 2019 – Dematic is set for an extraordinary year: 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the founding of this international enterprise. Friedrich Wilhelm Harkort launched the predecessor of the intralogistics automation specialist with the Mechanische Werkstätten Harkort & Co. in Wetter an der Ruhr in 1819. Since then, corporate development has been closely tied to the progressive achievements of the Industrial Revolution. Today Dematic is one of the leading suppliers of automation technology.

"Dematic looks back over a long tradition. Our innovative strength has decisively shaped the history of intralogistics. We continue to make that claim today," says Rainer Buchmann, CEO Dematic Central Europe. After the first mechanical loom in 1784 ushered in the first phase of the Industrial Revolution, the Mechanische Werkstätten Harkort & Co. early on also relied on water and steam-powered production plants. Already in 1819, the company developed the first steam-powered crane and produced indoor cranes in series starting in 1840.

With the introduction of electricity as a power force in 1870, the second phase of the Industrial Revolution began. The internal combustion engine replaced the steam engine, and the chemical industry and electrical engineering developed into new leading sectors. Influenced by the resulting possibilities, another forerunner company was founded in 1900 with the Stöhr Elevatorenfabrik, which specialised in continuous conveyors, elevators and bucket conveyors. In 1922 - about half a century before the start of the third Industrial Revolution - the company built its first mobile conveyor belt. A few years later, Stöhr developed the first suspended conveyor technology. This was an advance that enabled completely new and more effective use of space in the factories. At the end of the 1950s, Stöhr created a paradigm shift in intralogistics with the world's first storage and retrieval system. Three years later, the company built the first fully automated warehouse for Bertelsmann. From then on, up to 15,000 orders could be processed there daily. While the company was renamed Stöhr Förderanlagen Salzer GmbH in 1968, it also changed its focus from a pure product provider to a full-fledged solutions provider. The goal was to supply customers with systems for complete business processes.

The third Industrial Revolution began in 1970 when the first programmable logic controller (PLC) named Modicon 084 was launched. For the first time, machines and systems were digitally controlled and operated with this device. To date, PLCs have been widely used in automation technology. Three years later, Mannesmann AG, which in the meantime had taken over by Stöhr, revolutionised the construction of distribution centres with the world's first automated high-rack warehouse. In 1990, the company finally rose to become the global market leader in conveyor technology. Five years later, Mannesmann Demag was the world's first complete supplier of intralogistics.

At the turn of the millennium, the fourth phase of the Industrial Revolution began with a primary focus on cyber-physical systems. These ensure decentralised dynamic control and the networking of all components via the Internet, mobile computers and cloud computing. After 2005, when Dematic GmbH & Co. KG was established as an independent enterprise, the intralogistics automation company revamped the market for automated small parts storage at that time and invented the Dematic Multishuttle. In 2011, the company once again demonstrated its innovative strength and presented the RapidStore storage and retrieval unit, the RapidPick order picking station, the Multishuttle Flex and the DC Director warehouse management software. The second generation of the Dematic Multishuttle, introduced in 2012, was lighter, faster and even more powerful.

Today Dematic is one of the leading providers of integrated automation technology, software and services for optimising the supply chain. "The greatest success of our company, however, is the fact that we have always succeeded in influencing the market in an innovative way and in retaining both qualified and committed employees. Without them we could not celebrate our 200th anniversary this year," says Buchmann. "Over the years, our corporate values of integrity, collaboration, courage and excellence have shaped us."  

About Dematic

Dematic is a leading global supplier of integrated automated technology, software and services to optimize the supply chain. Dematic employs over 7,000 skilled logistics professionals to serve its customers globally, with engineering centers and manufacturing facilities located across the globe. Dematic is now integrated under the roof of KION Group, and has implemented more than 6,000 integrated systems for a customer base that includes small, medium and large companies doing business in a variety of market

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Dematic is a member of KION Group, a global leader in industrial trucks, related services, and supply chain solutions. Across more than 100 countries worldwide, the KION Group designs, builds and supports logistics solutions that optimize material and information flow within factories, warehouses and distribution centers. The company is the largest manufacturer of industrial trucks in Europe, the second-largest producer of forklifts globally, and a leading provider of warehouse automation.

Contact for Journalists & Editors:

Jessica Heinz Dematic GmbH
Director Marketing and Communication CE
Martinseestr. 1
63150 Heusenstamm
Tel: +49 69 583025 125
Mobil: +49 172 65 98 590
Fax: +49 69 8903-1840

Manuel Nakunst Sputnik GmbH
Public Relations
Hafenweg 9
48155 Münster
Tel.: +49 251 62 55 61-14
Mobile: +49 172 52 56 514
Fax: +49 251 62 55 61-19