Der Wimpel

AHP Merkle GmbH
Nägelseestr. 39
79288 Gottenheim
Germany

phone: +49 7665 4208-0
fax: +49 7665 4208-88

History

40 years AHP Merkle – the story so far 

1973

On 1st April, Gerhard Merkle establishes a company for the development and manufacture of hydraulic cylinders in Gundelfingen, South Baden. His residential property at Thormattenweg serves as first domicile of the company. The factory is in the garage and the office in the living room. Merkle is at once developer, manufacturer and vendor. If he is not inventing new products, he is travelling thousands of kilometres across the country, always accompanied by home-made mud pie from his wife Renate who is also assisting him at the company whenever possible.

1975

Merkle hires his first employee and longstanding chief designer Guenter Pelka. The company relocates into a two-room apartment, still in Gundelfingen.

1978

Because the garage is becoming too tight, Gerhard Merkle is expanding it into a double garage. The small production facility also manufactures customised special cylinders.

1981

The company relocates to March-Hugstetten near Freiburg. A small hall and offices are available here. The product range is gradually growing. Meanwhile, Merkle is also manufacturing short stroke, block, cube and flanged cylinders.

1983

The establishment of the first agency in Switzerland rings in the company’s international focus.

1986

Merkle purchases an additional hall in March-Hugstetten. The product area grows to 250 square meters. A storage facility for raw materials and a sawmill are added.

1988

Christen Merkle, the son of the company founder joins the enterprise and is in charge of the accounting division. Meanwhile, the company has also set up branch offices in Denmark and Portugal. In the next few years, agencies are launched in Holland, Belgium, Sweden and Finland. For the first time, the AHP product catalogue is available on a floppy disk. 

1992

The production area is expanded to 700 square meters with the addition of the third hall at the company’s domicile in March-Hugstetten.

1997

Grand opening of a new agency in Spain. 

1998

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary, the company changes its name to AHP Merkle GmbH. Christen Merkle is promoted to CEO.

1999

By establishing a branch office in the USA, AHP Merkle is setting foot outside of Europe for the first time. In addition, the office space in March-Hugstetten is expanded.

2000

Grand opening of the new office in Hungary. The product catalogue is published in CAD-3D for the first time.

2001

The second hall purchased in 1986 is expanded
to 250 square meters of production area.

2002

The » Renate-Merkle Foundation is established. Aside from supporting regional ventures, it promotes aid projects for disadvantaged Ukrainians.

The company’s website www.ahp.de is available in 14 languages.

2004

The grand opening of a branch office in France marks AHP Merkle’s twelfth office abroad. By the year 2008, Hong Kong, Singapore and China have joined the ranks, followed by Italy one year later.

2010

Relocation to Gottenheim near Freiburg. Meanwhile, a production facility for nearly 120 employees has been built on the green meadow under a single roof with a total surface area of 6000 square meters.

The first version of the extensive product catalogue ahp.book is launched just in time for the relocation. In addition, the first compendium on the topic of hydraulic cylinders entitled ahp.informiert is published.

2012

New branch offices are launched in Korea and Turkey. The ahp.book is digitally supported and supplemented with the ahp.app. The revolutionary app for hydraulic cylinders provides designers with unprecedented advantages when it comes to the selection and customising of cylinders.  

2013

 

A new training centre is built in Gottenheim. Two dozen apprentices are currently working at AHP Merkle. The training ratio is close to 20 per cent. The 19th international branch office is launched in India.

3 questions for... Gerhard Merkle.

 

3 questions for... Christen Merkle.

 

40 years in 3:30 minutes

What are the origins of AHP Merkle? Our short movie tells the story of our company – amusing, entertaining, informative.

 

» Click to start!