KOBO History

A future with tradition.

The founders, Emil Köhler and Hermann Bovenkamp first started producing chains in 1894, with a standardization process that is still practiced at KOBO today. The advantage of having industry knowledge, that dates back to the 19th century, helped the company gain global success in various industries. At KOBO we know that if our customers succeed, we succeed. That is why a majority of our customers has been with us for decades.


120 Years and Counting

Company Timeline

1894 Foundation of KOBO in Wuppertal, Germany by Hermann Bovenkamp and Dietrich Lentzen

1899 The company is named KOBO acc. to the owners Köhler and Bovenkamp

1912 Emil Köhler leaves the company, Hermann Bovenkamp remains as the sole owner

1934 Factory A is built with a production area of 3,000 sqm

1935 Bovenkamp’s sons Hermann, Max, Paul and Arthur join the company

1949 KOBO GmbH, Mechanical Conveying Technology is founded

1954 - 1958 Factory B is built  with a production area of 2,000 sqm. Facilities were opened in six German cities and Belgium

1961 Factory C is built with a production area of 8,000 sqm

1964 - 1968 Further foreign branches are opened in France, Austria and the UK

1969 Cooperation agreement with Rolcon/ India, another foreign branch is opened in the Netherlands

1974 Acquisition of Wilhelm Fissenewert in Gütersloh, Germany

1987 Acquisition of Heinrich Schomäcker in Bielefeld, Germany

1988 Fissenewert and Schomäcker merged to KTB-Kettentechnologie Bielefeld GmbH + Co.

1995 Acquisition of ZEFAM in Znin, Poland

2004 Merger of KOBO and KTB to form KOBO-KTB GmbH + Co. KG production facilities in Poland are expanded, € 3.3 million investment in reorganization and modernization2010 Merger with Hangzhou Donghua Chain Group Co., Ltd., China