1946 - 2021: RENOLIT is celebrating!
Since our founding on May 4th, 1946, we have evolved from a small company into a global player that takes a leading role in plastics processing worldwide. We have overcome numerous challenges along the way.
The picture shows one of the first RENOLIT buildings from 1947.
Jakob Müller began our success story in Worms in 1946. The entrepreneur owns a leather goods factory that emerged robustly from the Second World War. But production is often halted: Genuine leather is scarce at this time. Jakob Müller sees the potential of using leather substitutes made of PVC as a replacement. He finds a suitable factory in Worms and establishes RENOLIT on May 4th. His entrepreneurial vision is evident: Right from the start, he uses PVC not only for leather substitutes, but also for flooring, films and much more. In just a few years, the man of action and visionary builds up an international company. When Jakob Müller dies in 1976, Team RENOLIT already has several hundred employees and achieves profits in the millions
Where did the name RENOLIT originate? And what does it mean?
There isn’t much information from the past, but we do know: "LIT" comes from IGelit. This basic material, known today as PVC, was used to manufacture our products from the very beginning. But opinions are divided about the name "RENO". One theory is that it stands for the river Rhine, in Latin Rhenus, which runs along the city of Worms. But there is another explanation that is just as compelling: "RENO" stands for a leather substitute that was known as "Reno" at the time of our founding.
When Jakob Müller founded RENOLIT in 1946, he focused on Worms and the surrounding area, but by 1950 we had already grown into an international company: The first exports were made to the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France and South America. The great wave of expansion began in 1956 with the first plant in Spain. Production Sites followed in the USA, the rest of Europe and China. We are now globally active with more than 30 locations in some 20 countries.
Since our company was founded, we have manufactured a wide range of plastic films and products. These products make day-to-day life easier and more pleasant; they are used in medicine, to protect facades and waters, and much more.
Our products are contemporary witnesses to the events of the past 75 years. For example, our furniture films date from the time of the German economic miracle, the booming years for home furnishing and design.
Twelve employees and three directors: That´s how it started in 1946.
Team RENOLIT has not stopped growing since. Today, RENOLIT has almost 5000 employees, with more than half of them outside of Germany.
It is hard to imagine nowadays that in the beginning, films were rolled out on simple rolling mills and delivered in sheet form. The first calander was acquired in 1950 and made everything easier and faster.
Since then, calandering has been the centerpiece of production at many of our sites, and of course always adapted to the latest technology.
Led by our curiosity, for 75 years we have developed our products to meet the demands and needs of the time and our customers. Therefore our portfolio is constantly being updated, too. Initially, rubber shoe soles were also part of our product range, along with material for hula hoops and inflatable swimming toys.
Today it’s unimaginable: In the early days of RENOLIT, employees mixed the raw materials by hand in large kettles before the mixture could be further processed at the rollers. Those times are long gone, of course. Our production facilities have been and are constantly being modernized and expanded, kept as state-of-the-art technology and expanded to include new calanders, extrusion lines, warehouses or clean rooms.
Just one year after our foundation and the start of production in 1946, we reached our first million in sales, at that time still in Reichsmarks (around 3.2 million euros in today's purchasing power). After the currency reform and introduction of the D-Mark in 1948, the German economy began to boom and so too did business at RENOLIT. We ended our first decade with record revenues of 22 million D-Marks. In 2002, when euros first appeared on the balance sheet, our sales totaled over 900 million euros. Today, our sales volume reaches more than one billion worldwide.
We set up our first exhibition booth as early as 1949 at a small regional trade fair in Worms with the delightful name "Business is booming in Germany's sweet wine country". In the following years, we began making international appearances and always made the design of our booths a high priority.
One particular highlight was our booth at the EuroShop exhibition in Düsseldorf in 2011. The designers of this booth took their inspiration from the children's book "Alice Through the Looking Glass". We even received a distinction for that appearance: the Red Dot Award.
And one more anniversary: We have been a training company for 70 years. In 1951, the first apprentice started in Worms with a commercial apprenticeship; apprentice plastics moulders joined later. Today, by the way, the profession is called process engineer for plastics and rubber technology and it is still one of our technical apprenticeships.
In 2016, we opened our training workshop in Worms for apprentices at our sites; it specifically aims to equip trainees with important skills and practical work experience.
In 1960, the fleet at the Worms site included two Volkswagens, an Opel Kapitän, a Mercedes 220 SE and a Borgward Isabella. Ultra-modern then, nostalgic driving pleasure today.
Cars also play an important role in our product range – and they have for some 50 years. We started with composite materials for automotive construction. We then developed self-adhesive automotive exterior films and later our special window films to make convertibles safer.
In the 60s, furniture made of chipboard appeared on the market. Wrapped in film, they triggered a huge trend. We started producing furniture films in 1963. First in white, then in a wood look, and finally as 3D films, which can be applied around corners and curves without creasing. Our machines have not stopped making furniture films since then. The furniture from the early days is now enjoying a cult status.
The internal company newspaper KALANDERSTRASSE, distributed in 1969, was the first to cover topics of interest for colleagues at the Worms headquarters. Almost 40 years later, RENOLIT was active worldwide and the employee newspaper was multilingual. The new magazine, called RENOLIT News, was a source of information for employees at all of the sites. In 2019, the employee magazine was renamed ONE. It is published in seven languages; along with addressing current topics and projects in the Group, it also presents profiles of employees.
1998年收购美国La Porte的生产CAST-PP薄膜的SOLVAY公司，成立了第一家美国工厂。1998年6月，RENOLIT的执行部分被分离出去，由“RENOLIT工厂有限责任公司”开展执行业务。2003年1月1日，有限责任公司转型为股份公司（AG）。1999年收购Tarkett Sommer公司的“Pegulan”薄膜部门，成立了德国Frankenthal分部。
2003年，RENOLIT工厂有限责任公司转型分割为三家独立企业：RENOLIT AG、RKW AG和Kiefel GmbH。控股公司是JM Holding GmbH & Co. KGaA。2006年收购SOLVAY S.A公司的SOLVAY工业薄膜业务部门，同年在中国收购一家薄膜企业。2008年，RENOLIT Hispania, S.A.正式营业。2008/2009年，相继在俄罗斯莫斯科、乌克兰、白俄罗斯和哈萨克斯坦成立销售公司。
2010年，RENOLIT收购意大利薄膜制造商Eurogloss。2011年，RENOLIT转型为欧洲股份公司（SE）。同年成立RENOLIT Istanbul销售公司。2012年收购AUSTAR PMC中国的“医用薄膜部门”。
2018年5月在智利成立RENOLIT Chile SpA公司。通过850万投资额开拓了整个南美市场。RENOLIT在美国La Porte分部投资2020万欧元，以满足美国市场的高需求。另一项重大举措是在慕尼黑分部投资1200万欧元购买了一套新的PET设备。基于PET的仿漆装饰膜为家具面板的设计开创了全新的视角。另一项投资是在Thansau分部的750万欧元。2019年4月，全新的挤出生产线BS10投入使用，进一步扩展了RENOLIT MEDICAL的产能。
2019年，在重新调整所有权结构的过程中，Fischer和Lang/Helms两个家族持有JM控股公司，也就是RENOLIT SE的100%股权。RKW SE被平行分离出去，由Müller和de Alvear两个家族持股。