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Winkler + Dünnebier Makers of Envelope Machines.

The History 

The Winkler + Dünnebier GmbH is a mechanical and plant engineering company in Neuwied (Rhineland-Palatinate). It was listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FWB) from 1998 to 2010 and was included in the SDAX from 1999 to 2003. In 2010, Körber AG became the sole shareholder and took the company off the stock exchange. On August 15, 2011, the company changed its legal form from AG to GmbH. Since 1 January 2016, Winkler + Dünnebier GmbH has been part of the American Barry-Wehmiller Group together with W + D POEM in Neuwied and the W + D Asia Pacific Departments in Malaysia and W + D North America in the USA.

The company manufactures machines for the production, printing and enveloping of envelopes and mailers as well as production equipment for the hygiene industry and is a leading global supplier of special machinery. The confectionery machinery business was split off from the company in 1996 and continued separately.

First patents
Already on September 15, 1900, Max Dünnebier (1878-1950), who lived in Heidenau (Saxony), received a first patent for a machine for the production of envelopes and pouches (Patent No. 154424). Alfred Winkler (1872-1945), who came from Zittau (Saxony) and moved to Neuwied, was granted patent no. 213091 on February 1, 1908 for a folding device on envelope machines.

Founding and development until the end of the Second World War
In 1913, Alfred Winkler and Max Dünnebier founded the company Winkler & Dünnebier in Neuwied. First workshops were located in the city center of Neuwied. In 1917, the first workshop was built at the present location on Sohler Weg in the Heddesdorf district. The founding of the company was based on the abovementioned inventions and patented envelopes. These developments enabled a much higher speed and precision in envelope production than conventional folding machine technology. The distribution took place under the brand name Helios. The first order for the new machines came from the Neuwieder Couvertfabrik Willy Strüder (founded in 1889). The first foreign mission came from England. Because of the outbreak of war, these were delivered via the neutral Netherlands.

Rotary envelope machine of the company Winkler & Dünnebier, model Helios 26, built in 1926

Chocolate coating machine, built in 1938
The outbreak of the First World War brought the Winkler & Dünnebier a big business slump. Alfred Winkler tried to counter this by entering the confectionery machine business. After receiving a patent for a chocolate coating machine in 1914, in 1916 a first copy was delivered to a major German chocolate factory. After the First World War, these machines were then sold worldwide. Previously, Winkler & Dünnebier but was involved in the defense industry and had from 1917 mainly produce grenades.

After the end of the war, the machine park worn out by the war production and the hyperinflation Winkler & Dünnebier made it very difficult to resume machine production. When the leading US envelope manufacturer Tension Envelope offered to distribute Winkler & Dünnebier's envelope machines in the USA in 1922, Neuwied's company opened up a new, huge market. In order to secure the subsequent growing demand for castings, Winkler & Dünnebier leased a foundry in Hangelar in 1924 and bought it in 1929.

During the Great Depression of 1929, the company got into a serious economic situation due to bankruptcy by the Dresdner Bank. Only the quick financial help of Tension Envelope secured the survival of Winkler & Dünnebier.

Winkler & Dünnebier recovered so well after the global economic crisis that in 1936 the competitor and former employer of Max Dünnebier Fischer & Wescher could be taken over. A few years earlier, this company had developed a rotary envelope machine that no longer produced envelopes from a stack of stamped sheets, but directly from the paper roll. However, there was not enough room in the Sohler Weg plant for the production of the paper roll envelope machines from Winkler & Dünnebier which were based on this technology. Therefore, 1937 in the nearby Blücherstraße, the production rooms of the former Neuwieder soap factory of Dreiring-Werke KG was acquired and the confectionery machines area outsourced to the new, Site II mentioned.

From 1939 to 1945, the operation was again verp to the production of essential equipment