100 Years of Passion for Precision
Handover of the commemorative publication to the owners Toni Driesch (picture center) and Stephan Hoberg (5th from right) by Dr. Armin Schmiedeberg, Chairman of the Board of the CHIRON Group SE (6th from right) and by the management and members of the Board of Directors of CHIRON Group SE.
100 Years of Passion for Precision: Title and theme of the CHIRON anniversary commemorative publication.
Key moment at Schützenstraße 18 in Tuttlingen: This is where the success story of today's CHIRON Group began in 1921.
CHIRON – big name, big goals and a symbol for top quality.
The times they are a-changing: Originally a surgical instrument manufacturer, they expanded to injection molding units and compressors, and then to their current specialty, high-tech machining centers. CHIRON is always innovative and achieves the decisive edge at all times.
Revolutionary machine-tool construction: The legendary FZ 16 with its innovative basket tool-changer. The tool change took just one second, spawning the tagline “Seconds ahead”.
CHIRON celebrates a special anniversary
“Companies today are short-lived like never before and yet, CHIRON is now celebrating its 100th birthday. While half of all listed companies vanish within a decade, CHIRON has been part of the Hoberg & Driesch Group for three generations now.” This is how Dr. Armin Schmiedeberg, Chairman of the Board of the CHIRON Group SE, began his greetings for the anniversary.
It was the takeover by the former Hoberg & Driesch GmbH in 1957 and CHIRON’s ongoing membership of the Group, that allowed the company to set its sights on the long term and significantly boosted CHIRON’s development in the field of machine construction. And, of course, formed the basis for the success of the CHIRON Group today.
Courage and opportunity
Courage is another key contributing factor to the success of the firm. The firm prides itself on the courage to dare to try something new, not to be satisfied with what has already been achieved, and to recognize opportunities early – and then grab them with both hands. The first sentence of a historical document hits the nail on the head, “Only the truly daring can really pounce on economic adventure”. When Otto Staebler, a salesman from Stuttgart, and factory owner Gottfried Schnell from Tuttlingen founded their ‘Fabriken für feinmechanische Apparate und chirurgische Instrumente GmbH’ in 1921, the world was uncertain and unstable; the economy and the population were suffering from catastrophic inflation. But it was precisely this moment – when they first put the key into the lock of their first headquarters at Schützenstraße 18 in Tuttlingen – that their success story began. Because the founders, like all the leaders after them, had a large helping of courage and a good eye for opportunity.
In the early years, these new opportunities were to be found in stainless steel for manufacturing high-quality surgical instruments. Stable and precise were two terms that really defined their first decades in business, and they remain synonymous with CHIRON-brand quality today. They had to make the most of their very limited production possibilities at the end of the second world war, having lost 90% of their machine inventory. CHIRON initially produced whatever was feasible and appealing to customers – and thus they made the jump from medical technology manufacturer to manufacturers of pressurized-air equipment of all kinds. With each new product and each passing year, development and production teams at CHIRON got to know their plant better, optimizing the production systems for their purposes and accumulating their collective expertise.
Recognizing potential and providing perspective
Peter Hoberg and Toni Driesch – owners of Hoberg & Driesch GmbH in Düsseldorf at the time of the takeover – recognized the in-depth machine building expertise that CHIRON had built up, almost as a ‘side-effect’ of its other work. They saw the expert knowledge, innovative drive and flexibility of the employees and gave them the decisive push to transfer their knowledge to the field of machine manufacture. From the first feed units to machining metal, CHIRON’s path evolved to encompass everything from special machines for cutting manufacturing, to turret head drilling machines to the first ‘machining center’ the FZ 32. And then, in 1982, the company revolutionized machine tool construction with the legendary FZ 16 featuring an innovative basket tool changer. The tool change took just one second, spawning the tagline “Seconds ahead”.
A success story with longevity
Today CHIRON’s name is synonymous with CNC machining centers and turnkey solutions for maximum productivity, highly dynamic machining, and precision with minimal cost-per-part. Since the end of 2020, CHIRON has been one of the four strong brands heading up the new, overarching company structure of the CHIRON Group SE. The restructuring, which began last year, is now concluded, and the Group is carving new paths with CEO Carsten Liske at the helm, striving for agile and successful cooperation. The firm is paving the way with a calculated innovation roadmap and it continues to invest in its product campaign and digitization, in order to better meet the gratifyingly high demand and fulfill requests in an even more targeted manner.
Together, all employees are pursuing one goal of remaining the benchmark for quality, technology and service for all customers around the world and building on their advantage. One thing remains as important for future positive development as it ever has been – the passion for precision. This is what makes the CHIRON Group future-ready.
100 years of CHIRON: This special anniversary has fallen in unusual times, and yet it still deserves to be celebrated. The company will celebrate in the coming years with a Family Day which has been delayed due to Coronavirus. But for now, the company has produced a commemorative and passionate chronicle of its exciting history, from its founding in 1921 to its anniversary in 2021, which demonstrates the growth and success of the firm. It is not about glorifying the past or reminiscing, but rather about keeping a bold focus on the future. What has made CHIRON really stand out in the key phases of the company’s development? What has made CHIRON strong through all these decades? What does the future hold for the CHIRON Group? The 200-page chronicle answers all these questions and more, illustrating the brand’s evolution with a wealth of contextual information. Upon reading it, one thing is clear. 100 years of success doesn’t happen by accident, it’s the result of continued, collective commitment and solid support from shareholders Hoberg and Driesch.
The CHIRON Group SE management team and Dr. Armin Schmiedeberg, Chairman of the Board of the CHIRON Group SE, used the board meeting in Düsseldorf at the end of June to give thanks for this, presenting the current owners with the first two copies of the commemorative publication. Stephan Hoberg and Toni Driesch also received a sculpture completed by the trainees, featuring a milled globe and CHIRON history milestones, 3D-printed with LED lighting.
About the CHIRON Group
The CHIRON Group, headquartered in Tuttlingen, is a global company specializing in CNC vertical milling and mill-turn machining centers, as well as turnkey manufacturing solutions. The Group has a global presence, with production and development sites, sales and service subsidiaries, and sales agencies worldwide. Around two thirds of machines and solutions that are sold are exported. Key customer sectors are the automotive, mechanical engineering, medicine and precision engineering, aerospace industries and tool production.
CHIRON Group SE
Kreuzstraße 75, 78532 Tuttlingen
T: (0 74 61) 940-3712