Expansion of sinker production and innovation in the spring sector
As early as 1947, parts of the building owned by Schramberg clock and watch maker SU are rented. They are later gradually expanded, until the building is finally bought from the city of Schramberg in 1951.
In the years that follow, the expertise acquired through years of sinker production enables the expansion of the product range to fineblanked and stamped parts with the highest precision standards, along with a growth in expertise in the field of hardening.
Parallel to the ongoing development of sinker production, these years also see innovation in the spring sector. In addition to its own research work in the stainless steel sector, significant progress in manufacturing technology and quality control is also achieved.
In 1953, HUGO KERN KG starts supplying the American company IBM with stamped parts for typewriters designed to military quality standards, ensuring the early incorporation of statistical process control in standard production.
Passenger safety in automobiles gains in importance
With passenger safety a growing concern, the automatic seat belt is finding its way into automobiles. Hugo Kern KG recognizes the market potential for the return springs used in this application, becomes a development partner of the belt, automobile and steel manufacturers from the outset, and secures a leading world market position in this sector.
Dr. Kurt Steim sets the course for the future
By the late sixties, there are 720 people working at Hugo Kern. It is producing 35 million springs and 147 million sinkers, of which 66% are exported to 57 countries.
Dr. Kurt Steim takes a number of important decisions for the future. He appoints his son-in-law, business graduate Robert Drosten, to the management team, while at the same time entrusting his son, engineer Dr.Hans-Jochem Steim, with the development and management of the research and development department.
The ongoing development of fatigue-proof steel strips, which leads to the development of the material grades „Primaflex®“ (a texture-rolled carbon steel strip) and „Superflex®“ (a spring tempered stainless steel strip) - both still in use today – is an important element of spring production, and forms the basis for our greatest success, the „Maximo power spring“*, which is mainly used for seat belts. These springs today give KERN-LIEBERS a leading position in the world market.