"Researching, developing and testing, before producing and selling, ensure your future." This guiding principle by the company founder, Immanuel Straub, has set the course for his company, the STRAUB Werke. The company founded as a one-man operation in 1954 has constantly continued to develop. Permanent research and development has led to top-quality products such as springs and pipe couplings. Both of these product groups have become the trademarks of the company and spread its name far beyond the borders of Switzerland.
At the end of 1954 Immanuel Straub, engineer, founded STRAUB Federnfabrik in Zurich as a one-man operation, accommodating its modest business activities in rented space at the beginning of 1955. As the funds were limited, the production equipment was minimal, consisting entirely of small, second-hand machines and some self-made equipment.
Immanuel Straub used all his strength and knowledge to emerge from these small beginnings as soon as possible. At that time there was no five-day week and no difference between a workday and a day off.
He developed some highly resilient spring components and spring packages that were new in the industry. These products found a sensational response and resulted in a big number of orders. At that time, various new production methods and equipment, such as tools and machines for an improved and more efficient spring production, were developed on his drawing board. Many designs and inventions could be patented and were adopted in the market throughout the world.
In his third business year Immanuel Straub was already employing eleven people, but the growth of his little company was still too slow for him. He was looking for additional opportunities to boost his business. The idea was to find a new standard product, which would attract long-term interest in the international markets. After some investigations, he found out that nothing decisively new had been developed in the area of pipe joining technology for decades. He discovered a market niche, which seemed to be promising. The research and development was initiated immediately.
The constant growth of the STRAUB Federnfabrik demanded greater space and more personnel. 1962, after looking into various options inside Switzerland, Immanuel Straub decided to move his company headquarters from Zurich to Wangs, at the foot of mount Pizol in the area of Sargans. The first new factory construction, carried out 1963/64, and the favourable supply of labour in the area of Sargans became the basis for further remarkable company developments. Top-quality, extremely durable spring components ensured that the STRAUB company became well known far beyond the country borders.
The realisation of new ideas
The base for the STRAUB pipe coupling technology was established at the end of 1964, and the production of the first hydraulically functioning STRAUB pipe couplings started.
1967 Immanuel Straub founded STRAUB Kupplungen AG, the specialist company for the production and sales of this new pipe coupling technology. The first three assembly halls were built in 1970.
In the period between 1967 and 1970 it became clear from responses of the markets that hydraulically functioning assembly technology could not be deployed to advantage in all industries. For this reason some extremely enterprising research into a new mechanical pipe coupling design was carried out, based on the experience that had already been gained. The STRAUB Federnfabrik parent company rendered great service in those years with its extensive specialist know how from cold forming and spring technology. In 1972 a new generation of STRAUB pipe couplings was introduced, and sales began in- and outside of Switzerland in 1974.
The STRAUB Werke – a constant journey to the top
In the meantime the STRAUB Federnfabrik AG acquired its subsidiary, STRAUB Kupplungen AG, as a large and regular customer for spring components for STRAUB pipe couplings.
The predefined objective – to produce the company's own product with great new market potential within an intelligent diversification programme – was achieved, and subsequently, through close cooperation and exploitation of shared know-how, the fortune of the STRAUB Werke AG continued to develop consistently upwards. The industrial recession occurred in the Swiss and European markets in the 1970s and 1980s had no influence on the course of business.
Backed by the market successes of the STRAUB pipe coupling technology and its prospects for the future, a plant expansion and an administration building were realised in 1978/79.
The rapidly increasing demand for spring components, including the demand from STRAUB Kupplungen AG, required larger production capacities at the STRAUB Federnfabrik AG parent company. This was achieved by the construction of a new building along with the appropriate machines in 1982/83.
Only five years later it was decided to triple the production and warehousing space of STRAUB Kupplungen AG with a new building to cope with the constant extension of the product range and the increasing demand for these products. Construction time 1987/88.
The latest production machines, such as programmable welding robots, semi-automatic assembly lines, labelling lasers, robots for producing metal housing bodies, monitoring robots for rubber gaskets etc. helped to produce efficiently and to remain competitive in the international markets. At that time, the STRAUB Werke offered around 160 modern, partially IT-supported workplaces.
In both companies, research and development were both the driving force and the most important assets for the future. Consequently a great deal of work in these departments was done on further developments and new technical possibilities to maintain and develop the company's worldwide acknowledged advantage over its competitors in terms of quality.
A worldwide presence and a technical advantage
Already at the beginning of the 1990s, STRAUB products were delivered in more than 50 countries in all parts of the world. The cooperation with well established, experienced stock-carrying distributors in Switzerland and abroad had worked out well.
At the same time, successful licensed production facilities were set up in Japan, Canada and Brazil, which are supplying the Far East and South America still today.
In spite of all the market successes and constant increases in production and sales, the marketing department had a lot of "explanatory work" to do concerning the installation and pipe construction technology, as well as the changes in habits associated with this. The technical advance was so large that the customers were often quite baffled and, for this reason, went over to the STRAUB pipe couplings only slowly. The growth rates in business volumes over the years have confirmed, however, that STRAUB products meet the requirements of the markets.
In the 1990s there was an even greater response to the needs of the markets. The requirement from the shipbuilding industry for a light, space-saving pipe coupling was successfully realised with the introduction of the STRAUB-GRIP-L in 1993, for example.
There is nothing permanent except change
1998 Immanuel Straub sold the STRAUB Federtechnik and STRAUB Kupplungen companies to the
British Glynwed Overseas Holdings Ltd. The management and administration were then consolidated in order to save costs. The logical consequence of the merger of the two firms was the renaming of the company to STRAUB Werke AG in 1999.
2001 there was a takeover by the Belgian Etex Group. Etex is an industrial group, specialised in the production and marketing of top quality construction materials and systems. Two years later already the Etex Group was reorganised and the STRAUB Werke AG was integrated into the Aliaxis Group.
STRAUB Federntechnik was sold to the Federtechnik company in Kaltbrunn, Switzerland in 2004. Consequently the STRAUB Werke AG was only consisting of the STRAUB Kupplungen with immediate effect.
Synergies have constantly been created. Thanks to the worldwide network within the Aliaxis Group and with the takeover of the former licensee, STRAUB TADCO Inc., Canada, the foundations have been laid for future success.
Today the STRAUB Werke AG has around 90 employees and is an important employer in the area of Sargans.
"Researching, developing and testing, before producing and selling, ensure your future." This guiding principle by the company founder, Immanuel Straub, has set the course for his company, the STRAUB Werke. The company founded as a one-man operation in 1954 has constantly continued to develop. Permanent research and development has led to top-quality products such as springs and pipe couplings. Both of these product groups have become the trademarks of the company and spread its name far beyond the borders of Switzerland. - See more at: www.straub.ch/en/company/straub-history