From development garage to global player
The beginning was almost idyllic. It was located on Brockdorfstraße in Hamburg's Rahlstedt district, where the start-up company "Dingfelder + Hadler" (which later became D+H) originated in a garage in 1968. It has been a long time since the two-man operation working out of a tiny garage developed into a medium-sized group of companies with more than 500 employees worldwide and an annual turnover of about 60 million euros. The 50-year success story of D+H is also the history of two families who today ̶ led in the second generation by Dirk Dingfelder (CEO) and Christoph Kern (CSO) ̶ set the course of the group of companies towards the future.“Who would not love developing solutions that satisfy the basic needs of all people? Whenever air and life are concerned, we are in our element,” says Dirk Dingfelder, CEO of D+H Mechatronic AG. As manufacturers of systems for smoke extraction and natural ventilation, the fresh air providers and lifesaving rescuers at D+H will celebrate their fiftieth anniversary in the summer of 2018. Dingfelder continues, “D+H doesn’t just produce intelligent systems that open and close windows in buildings. D+H is concerned with far more than technologies for smoke extraction and natural ventilation.” Christoph Kern, CSO of D+H Mechatronic AG adds, “We make buildings breathe! And that means we bring protection and security as well as comfort and well-being to people. So much so that we have based our claim on this: BUILDING ATMOSPHERE.”
From development garage to innovation driver
For the last half century, D+H has significantly contributed to the SHEV and ventilation industry and has left its mark on it with many innovations. One of them was the KA series of chain drives. The KA 30 was the first chain drive that D+H developed and manufactured itself.
Its performance data with a stroke of more than 800 mm and a force of pressure of 300 N gave it a unique selling point on the market in the mid-1990s. Its invention with a solid chain made it possible to install a window drive immediately adjacent and parallel to the sash, meaning it did not protrude into the room as had been the case with rack and pinion drives up to that point. To this day, the KA is one
of our most significant innovations. It is the device that does it all among D+H chain drives and remains a timeless classic.
The orange-coloured smoke vent button has also become an icon in the industry and synonymous with D+H. It can be found in countless stairwells and hallways the world over. Since the company's founding, more than a million units have been sold. It and its successors remain D+H's top sellers.
When every second of quality counts
Over the last five decades, the D+H portfolio has grown by many innovative and standard-setting products, such as the digital CPS-M SHEV control panel, the CDP series high-performance chain drive with 1,500 N pressure load for extremely heavy roof windows or the CDC-0252 window drive, which is almost inaudibly quiet and nearly invisible because it can be integrated in the profile. No matter how different these applications of smart technology are: They all have a common denominator. Seeing D+H on a product means a plus for the quality.
The joining element is already included as a plus sign in our name—and in every single D+H solution made in Germany. As we are a market-leading company which turns safety into global standards, the demands we place on ourselves are the highest. “Every second of quality counts and is an opportunity for identification with the D+H brand. That is how we think and operate,” Dingfelder concludes.
D+H has been active as a strong brand and innovation driver for going on 50 years. Along the way, we are combining the character of our regionally anchored, family business corporate culture with the growing global requirements and challenges of an international group. If you want to know more about what exactly “BUILDING ATMOSPHERE” means for the medium-sized company, you will find stirring images of the North German family-owned company in its new brand video on the site Brand.