FRIWO company history

1882

Patenting of the Wolf’sche mine safety lamp for the mining industry.

1884

Establishment of the „Friemann & Wolf“ machine and miner’s lamp factory in Zwickau/Sachsen by Heinrich Friemann and Carl Wolf.

1903

Development of the first electric rotating gang lamp with lead-acid battery by Carl Wolf.

1904

FRIWO reaches milestone of 600 workers. There are numerous international representatives, in England and the USA, among others.

1907

Redesign of a miner’s lamp with nickel cadmium battery. Testing on a Zeche Emscher-Lippe. Start of production of improved lead-acid batteries with solid electrolyte.

1910

Friemann & Wolf, now world famous under its brand name „FRIWO“, begins license production of an improved NiCd battery and begins in-house development.

1911

Installation of the first NiCd batteries with positive hinged electrodes in miner’s lamps. The „Wolf’sche Stahlakku“ achieves legendary status. In England and Belgium own production sites for mine safety lamps begin operations.

1915

2000 employees. Delivery of 1 Million Wolf’sche mine safety lamps and an equal number of acetylene lamps all over the world.

1927

FRIWO receives the patent no. 446183 for the first electrical mining cap lamp, which is initially only used by workmen underground.

1929

Issue of several patents on flame-proof FRIWO compressed air lamps and hinged electrodes. FRIWO is among the leading manufactures of lead and NiCd-batteries.

1931

Apart from three factories in Zwickau and offices in Germany, including the largest one in Duisburg, we have subsidiaries in the Czech Republic and Poland.

1939-45

Second World War interrupts international connections. Subsidiaries and offices abroad are lost, in Zwickau the production sites were expropriated.

1947

The office that was destroyed in Duisburg is reconstructed as the headquarters. Production of miner’s lamps.

1948

Reactivation of the old export connections after the currency reform.

1951

Development and production of the new silver zinc battery systems and thus the foundation of Silberkraft Leichtakkumulatoren GmbH in Rüdesheim (Relocation to Duisburg 1959).

1959

In the 75th anniversary of the company, end of the first stage of the reconstruction with 720 employees and a turnover of 11 Mio. DM.

1963

Extension of the program and formation of new production emphasis. Expansion of production of NiCd batteries for stationary and mobile use. In addition, security lighting and emergency power supply systems with individual, group and central batteries. Development of own silver zinc and silver cadmium batteries.

1967

Start of production of silver of large scale batteries.

1971

Foundation of Friemann & Wolf Gerätebau GmbH in Duisburg. Closely aligned with this is the acquisition of a production plant for electromechanics and electronics in Ostbevern/Westphalia, where the design and manufacture of electronic assemblies for charger and power supply technology is continued as an expansion of the FRIWO Program.

1973

Extensive structural extensions in Duisburg and Ostbevern for the creation of modern production areas. Ostbevern begins the production of power supplies and accessories for consumer electronics.

1973

Extensive structural extensions in Duisburg and Ostbevern for the creation of modern production areas. Ostbevern begins the production of power supplies and accessories for consumer electronics.

1974

FRIWO Group generates a turnover of 41 Mio. DM and employs 700 workers. In Ostbevern 10,000 plug-in power supply units are manufactured per day.

1975

Daily production of 15,000 plug-in power supply and charging units for power supply or charging of battery-powered equipment and tools in Ostbevern. Commissioning of the automated production of power transformers.

1979

Friemann & Wolf Gerätebau GmbH extends the program to power and charger modules for the power supply of EDV systems and EDV peripheral devices.

1980

In Ostbevern, loading boxes for NiCd batteries are manufactured in standard sizes.

1982

With a daily capacity of 25,000 plug-in power supply units, Friemann & Wolf Gerätebau GmbH becomes Europe’s largest manufacturer of small power supplies and chargers. Beginning of production of charger modules and charging monitoring devices.

1983

CEAG Industrie-Aktien and Anlagen AG, Bad Homburg, acquires a majority stake in FRIWO Group. With 640 workers an annual turnover of 73 Mio. DM is reached.

1984

Beginning of serial production of primary plug-in power supply units in switchmode technology in Ostbevern.

1986

Fully automated assembly of printed circuit boards in Ostbevern. Turnover reaches 48 Mio. DM.

1988

Manufacturing output is 35,000 plug-in power supply units per day. In total, 50 Mio. plug-in power supply units and chargers have been sold since 1971

1989

Beginning of automatic assembly of SMD parts. Move to a new production hall.

1990

Foundation of FRIWO FAR EAST LTD. with production facilities in Shenzhen (PRC).

1991

Acquisition of the competitor Bartec-Compit and integration into the FRIWO Group.

1992

EN DIN ISO 9001-Zertifizierung.

1994

The daily production capacity of the FRIWO Group reaches 53,000 devices.

1993

FRIWO is the first company to offer a charger for environmentally friendly NiMH batteries.

1995/96

The FRIWO consumer program is transferred to the newly founded sales company FRIWO-COMPIT, Walldürn-Altheim. FRIWO now employs 600 workers, and the 100millionth plug-in power supply unit leaves the workpiece carrier system. Commissioning of the new EMV test centre.

1997

Sale of Friemann & Wolf GmbH, Duisburg.

2002

FRIWO Gerätebau GmbH is divided into two parts: FRIWO Mobile Power (FMP) and FRIWO Power Solutions (FPS). Sale of the FRIWO-COMPIT division.

2005

1 billion power supply solutions have already been produced.

2008

Sale of the division FRIWO Mobile Power (FMP) to Flextronics. VTC becomes the majority shareholder of CEAG AG from DELTON and thus FRIWO Gerätebau GmbH.

2009

CEAG AG is renamed „FRIWO AG“.

2010

FRIWO expands its product portfolio and offers high-quality LED drivers and light control solutions “Made in Germany”.

2012

FRIWO enters new markets: The company follows the trend towards electromobility and sets new standards with innovative e-bike charging solutions

2013

FRIWO exceeds the revenue threshold of 100 million euros.

2014

The company starts the production of battery packs and acts as system supplier for charging and battery technology with solutions from one source. Moreover FRIWO develops www.friwo-shop.com, its own online B2B store. In particular, it allows customers to order small quantities of devices from the company’s standard portfolio, easily and directly.

2015

FRIWO launches the FOX product family, which combines extremely high efficiency with almost no loss of power in standby mode. Furthermore, the company starts to set up an own production facility in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

2016

Grand opening in Vietnam: FRIWO officially opens the new production facility. This location clearly stands out from other Asian productions: the ultra-modern production with ESD ground has experienced considerable investments like, for example, nitrogen soldering machines and automatic testing systems. With the new factory, FRIWO is well prepared for future growth.

2017

FRIWO acquires production of transformers and chokes in Vietnam. Due to the acquisition the power supply company expands its value chain and manufactures an important component for the FRIWO products in-house. The factory is located in an industrial park near Ho Chi Minh City in close vicinity to the FRIWO production site which was set up in 2015. The headcount increases to more than 2,000 employees.