VULKAN’s history began following the foundation of Maschinenfabrik Louis Schwarz in Dortmund. The company initially functioned as a supplier of brewing equipment, tanks and low pressure compressors for the already well-established Dortmund breweries.
The world’s first clutch, which was capable of being activated under load, was produced for use in lifting machinery, hoists and reversing gearboxes. It was manufactured by Louis Schwarz and it marked the beginning of VULKAN couplings.
The merger of Maschinenfabrik Louis Schwarz and the company Heinrich Behrend resulted in the establishment of Dortmunder VULKAN AG.
Foundation of the Maschinenfabrik Hackforth & Co.
Foundation of Maschinenfabrik HACKFORTH & Co. by the engineer Bernhard Hackforth Sr (1871 – 1954) in Herne. The company was primarily involved in repair work and small amounts of contract work for the local mining and foundry industries.
The flourishing construction of couplings and transmission units for ships was separated from “Dortmunder VULKAN AG” and made autonomous under the name “VULKAN Kupplungs- und Getriebebau GmbH”.
Maschinenfabrik HACKFORTH & Co. took over the production from VULKAN Kupplungs- und Getriebebau GmbH. This resulted in the foundation stone for the co-operation between ”VULKAN” and “HACKFORTH” being laid.
All commercial and technical installations of VULKAN (in Dortmund) and HACKFORTH (in Herne) were destroyed during a World War II air-raid. The reconstruction of Maschinenfabrik HACKFORTH & Co. in Wanne-Eickel commenced immediately after the war.
Bernhard Hackforth Jr (1914 – 1990) assumed sole responsibility for the business from his father. As a result, Maschinenfabrik HACKFORTH & Co. passed to the second generation.
The highly flexible VULKAN EZ-coupling
VULKAN acquired the sole manufacturing and global marketing rights for a highly flexible coupling, aptly named the “Highly flexible VULKAN EZ Coupling”.
Bernhard Hackforth Jr acquired VULKAN AG. Consequently, the company was transformed into VULKAN Kupplungs- und Getriebebau B. Hackforth GmbH & Co. KG.
VULKAN was entrusted with the construction of the largest highly flexible couplings that had ever been built – the EZ 560 – with a nominal torque of 981 kNm.
The foundation of VULKAN Corporation
Foundation of the production subsidiary American VULKAN Corporation in Winter Haven, Florida.
The foundation of VULKAN do Brasil
Foundation of the production subsidiary VULKAN do Brasil Ltda. in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The third generation
Bernd Hackforth (1949) joined the company as joint owner. This resulted in the third generation of the Hackforth family taking over a share of the responsibility.
The foundation of the company VULKAN Lokring
Foundation of VULKAN Lokring Rohrverbindungen GmbH & Co. KG, the headquarters of which were and remain located in Herne. The company is engaged in the development, production and marketing of solder free tube connections for air conditioning and refrigeration.
Foundation of VULKAN HAREX Stahlfasertechnik GmbH & Co. KG, the headquarters were located in Herne. HAREX milled steel fibres were used as a substitute for the standard steel reinforcement in concrete buildings. VULKAN Kupplungs- und Getriebebau developed a coupling with an extremely high torsional flexibility, which bore the name RATO. Following this, the manufacturing of the patent-registered RATO S coupling began.
The foundation of the manufacturing location WUXI VULKAN
Foundation of the production subsidiary WUXI VULKAN Technologies Co., Ltd. in Wuxi, China.
The foundation of the manufacturing location VULKAN Technologies
Foundation of the production subsidiary VULKAN Technologies Pvt. Ltd. in Pune, India.
VULKAN Kupplungs- und Getriebebau established an in-house vulcanisation ensuring the control, knowhow and reproducible quality of a core process.
The merger of VULKAN Harex Stahlfasertechnik GmbH & Co. KG and Krampe Strahltechnik GmbH & Co. KG resulted in the establishment of the joint venture KrampeHarex GmbH & Co. KG; the headquarters were located in Hamm.
Opening of the 20th VULKAN subsidiary
After working with the management of VULKAN Lokring for four years, Sebastian Hackforth (1978), the son of the sole proprietor Bernd Hackforth, was appointed President of the Hackforth Holding GmbH & Co. KG. This meant that the fourth generation had now taken co-responsibility for the VULKAN Group.
VULKAN Group celebrated the opening of the 20th VULKAN subsidiary located in Istanbul, Turkey.
Inauguration of the Hackforth Academy
Inauguration of the Hackforth Academy in the former residence of Bernhard Hackforth.
A new office building is built in Herne
As a fitting tribute to the 125th anniversary of the company a new office building is built at the headquarters in Herne.
Opening of the new headquarters' office building and celebration of the 125th anniversary of the VULKAN Group
The VULKAN company has been owned solely by the Hackforth family since 1889. On occasion of the 125th anniversary of the company the new headquarters in Herne was inaugurated in September 2015.
VULKAN has entered the market for hybrid and electric drives, offering customized and more efficient solutions as a Hybrid Architect.
Together with the technology company NEMOS, VULKAN presents a world first: the flexible drive shaft N-Flex.
With the patented technology, the required installation space and the mass of the drive train can be significantly reduced, as no highly flexible couplings are required.