It all started with one bold decision. On 1 April 1919, August Läpple founded a small mechanical workshop complete with a smithery in Weinsberg, close to the German city of Heilbronn. With assistant and apprentice in tow, his first jobs were to repair bicycles and agricultural machinery, as well as manufacture cutterbars for mowing machines.
Around 100 years later, the LÄPPLE Group has grown to become an internationally renowned supplier of press parts, bodyshell components, standard parts, rotary tables and automation solutions, delivering innovative solutions to the highest standard of quality.
Passion, expertise and the application of state-of-the-art technology have shaped the history of LÄPPLE from the very beginning. With his high standards of quality and the ability to find efficient and economical solutions for his customers’ problems, August Läpple soon earned an outstanding reputation.
And with strong local roots and a high level of skill and expertise, 2500 men and women have been working at the company since then to ensure his legacy endures.
FOUNDING A WORKSHOP
On 1 April 1919, August Läpple (1885–1968) founded a small mechanical workshop in Weinsberg complete with a smithery. His first jobs were to repair bicycles and agricultural machinery, as well as manufacture cutterbars for mowing machines.
FIRST MAJOR PROJECTS FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
After growing the company’s manufacturing portfolio, it started doing business in the field of tool construction for various industries, notching up its first major projects for the automotive sector in 1928.
FOUNDING OF THE LÄPPLE APPRENTICE SCHOOL
Having a good training background and useful qualifications was incredibly important to the entrepreneur. That’s why, in 1930, he set up a separate apprentice school, laying the foundations for what would become LÄPPLE’s current training and professi
TAKEOVER BY THE SECOND GENERATION
August Läpple stepped down from active leadership of the business. Subsequently, his sons Erich and Helmut Läpple, as well as his son-in-law Ernst Fleischmann, assumed leadership of the company.
LÄPPLE BECOMES PORSCHE’S PRIMARY SUPPLIER
When the German car industry was deregulated following the country’s 1948 currency reform, the company’s order book grew significantly. The company became the primary supplier of the Stuttgart-based carmaker Porsche, which remains a customer to this d
RELOCATION TO THE NEW SITE IN HEILBRONN
In a bid to overcome a chronic lack of space, which was only getting worse, LÄPPLE relocated all of its operations to Heilbronn in 1950. A new factory was built on Austraße, where the headquarters of LÄPPLE AG remain to this day.
LÄPPLE BECOMES THE LARGEST INDEPENDENT TOOLMAKER IN GERMANY
By manufacturing large tools for use in bodywork construction, motorcycles, helmets and refrigerators, as well as a wide variety of small tools, the company grew massively in the 1950s, employing over 1300 workers.
COMPANY FOUNDER AUGUST LÄPPLE DIES
Company founder August Läpple passed away on 6 November 1968 at the age of 83.
STANDARD PARTS AND ROTARY TABLES ADDED TO THE COMPANY’S PORTFOLIO
LÄPPLE acquired FIBRO GmbH, a manufacturer of standard parts and rotary tables with sites in Weinsberg and Hassmersheim.
NEW SITE ESTABLISHED IN TEUBLITZ
Three years after the closure of the Maxhütte-Haidhof steelworks, LÄPPLE acquired the 400,000 m² site for its sheet-metal working division. Following conversion and renovation work, production began in the new factory in May 1991.
FOUNDING OF LÄPPLE AG
By the end of 2000, the Läpple family had stepped down from active leadership of the business. The company was then renamed as an Aktiengesellschaft – a public limited company. To this day, the family holds 100% of shares.
GROWTH OF THE COMPANY’S AUTOMATION PORTFOLIO
The company GSA Automation was acquired and integrated into FIBRO in efforts to grow the Group’s robotics and automation portfolio.
EXPANSION INTO INDIA
Following the founding of FIBRO India, a new production site was erected in Pune.
CONSOLIDATION OF AUTOMATION KNOW-HOW
The newly renamed FIBRO LÄPPLE TECHNOLOGY GmbH (formerly FIBRO-GSA and LÄPPLE Anlagenbau) was to become a hub for the Group’s automation expertise.
ADDITION TO THE HEILBRONN PLANT
In light of the company’s growing order book, a new bodyshell manufacturing division over 3500 m² in size was built at the Heilbronn factory.
EXPANSION INTO THE ASIAN MARKET
Internationalisation on the Asian market was explored further with the founding of FIBRO Korea Co. Ltd and FIBRO (Shanghai) Standard Parts Co., Ltd China.
ADDITION TO THE HEILBRONN PLANT
A new 2500-tonne transfer press, complete with ServoDirect technology, was built at the Heilbronn site. The press added to the company’s XL press portfolio and made it possible to manufacture complex structural components from steel and aluminium.
INVESTMENTS IN INFRASTRUCTURE
The largest project in the company’s history involves the construction of a 5000 m² building which, as of 2018, will be used for manufacturing vehicle components, incorporating seven different production lines and cells with nearly 60 robots.