In 1949, a few years after the end of the war, Karl Heilmeier and Wilhelm Weinlein set up the company Heilmeier & Weinlein in Munich/Germany as a business for the "manufacture of hydraulic apparatus". The business united the one founder's technical inventiveness with the other's commercial skills. The business started modestly with a workshop and storage rooms on 100 square meters and two offices on 30 square meters. A highly developed radial piston pump and the prospect of a first major order laid the foundation for their initial success and the continued existence of the company to the present day.
Company and production locations grow
The number of both employees and orders increased, and new products were added. At the beginning of the 1950s, Heilmeier & Weinlein moved into its first custom building in east Munich. At this time the additional name HAWE Hydraulik had already evolved, based on the German phonetic spelling of the initial letters of Heilmeier and Weinlein. In 2002, many years later, Heilmeier und Weinlein, Fabrik für Oelhydraulik GmbH & Co. KG became HAWE Hydraulik GmbH & Co. KG.
When the location in Munich became too small, a decision was made to build a second production location in the area. In 1965, the Freising plant went into operation, followed in 1977 by a new-build facility in Sachsenkam (near Bad Tölz) and in 1989 in Dorfen (near Erding). A production hall was leased in Kirchheim near Munich in 2007 for a number of years, and in 2014 a factory with a production area of more than 30,000 square meters was officially inaugurated in Kaufbeuren (Allgäu).
The construction of new production plants was the result of successes in Germany and later in the international market. The first steps into Europe were taken in 1970s, with the establishment of HAWE Italiana in 1974 and a subsidiary in France in 1977. In the mid-1990s, the basis for a long-term international expansion was created that enabled subsidiaries to be established in Spain, Switzerland, and the U.S. over the coming years. Locations in Austria, Finland and Slovenia followed in the 2000s.
HAWE Hydraulik began to develop the Asia-Pacific market in1995. Initially this consisted of a cooperation venture with a sales and marketing partner in China. A sales office was set up in 1996. The final step toward Asia was the establishment of subsidiaries in China, Korea and Japan in 1998, and later in India, Australia and Singapore.
The Munich-based company HAWE Hydraulik has evolved within a few decades into the globally operating HAWE Group.
International expansion and an increasingly globalized world economy were also reflected in a new legal form for the headquarters in Munich. Instead of its limited liability status as a GmbH & Co. KG, the company required a legal form that would permit an internationally oriented, sustainable legal and capital structure that is acknowledged worldwide. So in 2008 - nearly 60 years after the company was founded - the Munich-based business became a European company: HAWE Hydraulik SE.