A Brief Look at a Long History
Founded in 1898 in Hattingen, Germany, Köppern remains a family-run enterprise reflecting its traditional values of technology leadership and highly dependable manufacturing quality, coupled with a unique regard for the individual needs of its customers. Köppern’s global network of subsidiaries provides customized service on all continents.
The company’s history is very much linked to the briquetting of hard coal, a process that goes back to the mid-17th century. But it wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that the manufacture of briquettes became a modern industrial process.
In the course of improving the slow and expensive copy milling of coal briquetting rollers, Köppern installed one of the European continent’s first heavy plants for electrochemical machining (ECM) in 1965, making the machining of briquetting rollers much more cost-efficient.
Investment in ECM-technology really took off in 1965 with the first ECM machine from the US company Anocut, and just a year later Köppern began working together with Rolls Royce in England, who were also using ECM-technology for the machining of aero-engine housing parts – this was our first experience of exchanging know-how.
As ECM-technology became better-known in the 70s, Köppern began investing more in the contract manufacturing sector.
Orders for ECM-machining, including tool development, were often carried out together with AEG Elotherm, an ECM machine manufacturer. In the course of becoming a Europe-wide ECM-supplier, Köppern processed parts for Famat in France, MTU in Munich and for Siemens and Tutthill Powerplant Technologies.
In 2007, Köppern decided to invest in a new area of ECM-technology known as ‘Combined Pulsed ECM‘ or PECM, which can be operated either with direct-current voltage or with pulsed voltage. This technology raises the level of precision of ECM without significant loss of machining time. Our PECM-machine was the first built entirely by Köppern, as AEG Elotherm was no longer active in this sector. In 2015 we began the construction of one of Europe’s largest ECM-machines, deploying the newest technology for pumps, turntables and CNC-controls up to 20 kiloamps of electrical current.
Köppern is currently operating five ECM-machines in Hattingen, Germany, with capacities ranging from 5,000 to 20,000 amps. Two additional machines are located in our workshops in Venezuela and India.