Company history 1881—1945

Leipzig has been associated with electroplating technology for over 100 years. On 01/12/1881 Dr. Georg Langbein founded a chemical factory and laboratory for plating and the metal industry (Fabrik und Laboratorium für Galvanoplastik und Metallindustrie) in Leipzig-Sellerhausen. In 1907 the company merged with Wilhelm Pfanhauser's Fachfirma für Galvanotechnik, established in Vienna in 1873, to become Langbein-Pfanhauser Werke AG (LPW). The complex range of processes used in the separating of  common metals, coupled with the continuous improvements in industrial systems, served to stimulate the growth of LPW - the headquarters of which were in Leipzig - to become the largest specialist electroplating company by the end of the Second World War, with a workforce of 2000 in 1940.

 

Historical advertisements

Original advertisement from 1914 (Source: trade journal "Galvanotechnik")

Original advertisement during the First World War in the years 1915-1918

(Source: trade journal "Galvanotechnik")

 

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1945—1990

The political changes that followed the end of the Second World War led to the Leipzig plant of LPW being nationalised by the Soviet military administration, continuing as an enterprise under Soviet administration (SAG – Sowjetische Aktiengesellschaft). This was followed, in 1950, by the formation of VEB GalvanoTechnik Leipzig (GTL) on the LPW site in Leipzig. In 1969 the GDR government decided to form powerful industrial combines, based around a core company. In 1970 GTL was assigned to Kombinat VEB Lokomotivbau-Elektrotechnische Werke (LEW) "Hans Beimler" Hennigsdorf, which had been formed in 1969.

 

By 1989 GalvanoTechnik Leipzig had developed into one of the leading specialist electroplating companies in Europe. Standardised automated systems (e.g. the separated transport automated system (TAR), the combined transport automated system (VAS) or the fully automated barrel line (VTS) were developed to simplify the production range and increase the quantities of identical assembly groups.

 

The fall of the Wall in 1989 and subsequent collapse of the Soviet economic bloc led to the break-up of the combine structures in 1990 and the transformation of the state-owned VEB GalvanoTechnik Leipzig into a GmbH (limited company).

 

Historical brochures

Cover «Fully-automated barrel unit Type VTS», 1971

Cover «Programme-controlled transport automated system Type TAR», 1986

Cover «Combined transport automated system Type VAS», 1983

 

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Since 1990

1990 saw the founding of the successor to VEB GalvanoTechnik Leipzig, GalvanoTechnik Leipzig GmbH, the company was privatised in 1992/93 and sold to the current shareholder. The company moved from its old premises to a new site in Leipzig-Lindenthal. This created the conditions required for the continuation of the tradition of electroplating in Leipzig. The new era brought with it new challenges. The profile had to be changed. The constantly rising demand for electroplating equipment led to VEB GalvanoTechnik Leipzig developing standardised automated systems that accounted for up to 90% of production capacity. Hundreds of these systems were sold in the 70s and 80s. However, by the early 90s the requirement was increasingly for specialised plant tailored to the specific needs of the customer and characterised by individuality, flexibility and innovation. The consequence was the development of product generations to meet the current and future requirements with regard to technology, environmental impact and value-for-money. In addition, the experience that we have gathered in almost two decades enables us to rework the existing concepts for standard units, rendering these systems more flexible, more innovative and therefore more practical.

 

The high point of our operations to date was the installation in 2006/2006 of the largest barrel galvanising unit in Europe, with a capacity of 120 tonnes/day.

 

Units from the years 1999, 2002 and 2006

Synthetic plating 1999

Barrel unit CuNi, 2002

Twin-barrel galvanising unit, 2006