7 min reading time
Story 175 – 1820 – Innovation Business model

From bell founder to leading supplier of semi-finished products

Milestones in sheet and strip rolling at Wieland

Soon after its foundation, Philipp Jakob Wieland transformed his bell foundry into a versatile industrial enterprise. A course which his successors would continue. Advances in rolling technology contributed to making Wieland a global player for semi-finished products in copper materials.

  • In 1820, Philipp Jakob Wieland took over his uncle’s bell foundry. He soon expanded his product portfolio, especially with cast products such as water and beer taps and articles for daily use such as candleholders, lamps and irons.
  • In 1828, he acquired the Bochslermühle mill and used hydroelectric power to drive his first rolling mill, which he expanded with large investments. He thus founded the rolled sheet division.
  • In 1864, the Vöhringen plant was established, again due to the purchase of a mill to drive the production with water power.
  • Philipp Jakob Wieland died in 1873, he had long since laid the foundation stone for a flourishing industrial company. For almost two decades his widow Mathilde ran the company and continued this path with numerous production innovations.
  • In 1883, the first rolling mill for sheet metal was put into operation in Vöhringen.
  • In 1892, Wieland's sons Philipp and Max took over the parental company.
  • In 1895, the brothers put a new steam-driven rolling mill into operation in Vöhringen.
  • The first strip rolling mill followed in 1901 and the production of semi-finished products increased strongly.
  • In 1931, Wieland acquired a majority shareholding in Messingwerk Schwarzwald AG. The Villingen-based company produced, among other things, brass and copper products such as sheet, endless strip and strip and, to a lesser extent, aluminium sheet already rolled.
  • In 1936, Wieland started to produce rolled light metal sheet and extruded products made of aluminium alloys in Vöhringen in accordance with the Nazi economic policy.
  • 1969 saw the start of construction of the new Rolling Mill North in Vöhringen, which was completed in the early 1970s and, with a length of 360 meters and a surface area of more than 22,000 square meters, was of enormous dimensions.
  • In 1987, Wieland acquired Kupfer- und Messingwerke AG in Langenberg – and thus the know-how and machinery to process pure copper materials as rolled material.
  • In 1996, Wieland decided to switch strip production to 800 millimetres width. For this purpose, the northern rolling mill was enlarged again.
  • 1987 – Opening of the rolling production in USA.
  • 1988 – Acquisition of B. Mason & Sons, Birmingham (UK).
  • In 2002, the formats and thus the block weights of the cast plates were increased once again, they can now weigh more than 10 tonnes.
  • 2007 – Development of the rolling production in Singapore.
  • 2019 – Acquisition of the American manufacturer of semi-finished products "Global Brass and Copper" and thus of the rolling mill Olin Brass.
  • Today, the Vöhringen rolling mill is one of the largest and most modern in the world.

Learn more about
Wieland Werke AG

Strip and sheets

Vöhringen factory 1895

The Vöhringen works in 1895, the year in which a new steam-driven rolling mill was built, which contributed significantly to Wieland's growth in this division. (Copyright: Foto-Studio Heim, Vöhringen)

Employees at strip rolling mill

The economic miracle ensured good capacity utilisation of the Voehringen strip rolling mill in the 1950s.

Aerial view construction work North rolling factory 1969

A gigantic project taking shape: in 1969, construction work began on the new 360-meter-long northern rolling mill, which is still one of the largest and most modern of its kind today.