150 years' industrial experience has given us firm roots.
Founding of the Axle Factory (Roßwein)
Founding of the Axle Factory by Karl Friedrich Wolf Employees: 8 Lathes: 1
Factory shop in Kückelheim
In 1864 Friedrich Brockhaus founded a "factory shop" in Kückelheim, using looms for the manufacture of iron and brass wire mesh.
He came from the family that launched the publishing house of the same name at the beginning of the 19th century.
Steam plant in Rosswein
A steam plant with steam hammers was set up.
The son takes over in Rosswein
Karl Friedrich Wolf hands over the business to his son, Carl Moritz Wolf. Development of vehicle spring production began.
The plant in Kückelheim
Paintings from 1880
Construction of the Oestertal Dam
From 1904 to 1907, Walther Brockhaus directed and oversaw the Oestertal Dam construction. From then on, there was no fear of a water shortage, even in the dry summer months. It then became possible to expand hydropower in Wiesenthal and the subsequent cold rolling mill in Lettmecke.
First connecting rods
Following the very early production of bicycle and passenger car parts forgings at Brockhaus, 1905 saw the first connecting rods produced.
A pipe drawing plant was set up and cold rolling began. This also marks the beginning of cold-rolled steel strip production.
Construction/erection of a metal foundry in Rosswein
A metal foundry was set up at the Roßwein plant employing over 100 personnel.
1914 - 1918
World War I
Rosswein continued to manufacture military vehicle axles, and also branched out by developing the new process of die-forging. By investing in (among other equipment) larger forging units, turret lathes, modern welding apparatus, and four-spindle and fully automatic machines, the Roßwein site became the largest die-forge facility in Saxony.
Rationalisation of operations
Formation of an axle conglomerate by the companies Wolf, Kadner & Co., and Fischer & Fuchs. The end of the 1920s saw the emergence of an axle productionconsortium, combining Hagen (Westfalica) with the Wiehl and Olbernhau works. A key task was to accurately determine supply and demand across the existing customer base. Based on that later Wolf produced mainly for Audi, Horch, Wanderer and Opel with more than 450 employees.
Acquisition of the HEUER bench vice patent
When the Iserlohn tinkerer and inventor Josef Heuer invented a new design of forged vices in 1925, the Sauerland company Brockhaus in Plettenberg was already one of the largest die-forging companies in Germany.
By 1927 the potential of Josef's superior invention had been recognized, the patent was acquired, and production of the bench vice began. This heralded the birth of what is now the market-proven, best-selling and world-famous HEUER vice.
Major fire in Rosswein
Destruction of the entire forging facility by a major fire. Construction of a new and modern forging hall. At that time there were about 550 employees in Rosswein.
1939 - 1945
World War II
Manufacture of products for the armaments industry in Rosswein Employees: approx. 1,000
Dismantling of the plant in Rosswein
In accordance with the Potsdam Agreement, the plant was dismantled and its assets confiscated. Dr. Carl Wolf became a trustee of his own company until 30.06.1948.
Founding "Hermann Matern"
Expropriation and founding of the VEB Roßweiner Axle, Spring and Forging Works "Hermann Matern"
Reconstruction of the Rosswein plant
From 1948 to 1986 the dismantled plant was rebuilt, and to begin with made gantry cranes. Subsequent production included complete commercial vehicle trailers with payload ratings between 2-3 tonnes, together with the resumption of forging manufacture for the passenger car industry. The plant supplied axle, spring and die forging components to the former GDR. During this time, there were up to 1,400 employees at the Roßwein site.
New forging hall in Rosswein
First cackable forged connecting rod has been produced.
The Rosswein plant is privatized.
Takeover of Rosswein
Takeover of the Rosswein plant by the press and forging works (PSW) Brand - Erbisdorf
Sale of companies
Between 2000 and 2001 the two companies Brockhaus Söhne and Kaltwalzwerk Brockhaus were sold. At that time, they employed more than 1,000 worker and were owned by about 70 shareholders.
Takeover by MAHLE
In 2004 MAHLE took over the plant in Rosswein, quickly followed the next year by the merger with MAHLE Brockhaus GmbH. In 2012 the company changed its name to MAHLE Motorkomponenten GmbH.
Acquisition by the Frauenthal Group
In 2017, the Austrian Frauenthal Group took over the forging sites in Plettenberg and Rosswein (Saxony).