Histo­ry

Throug­hout its histo­ry, Woertz AG has expe­ri­en­ced con­ti­nuous growth and deve­lo­p­ment through dif­fi­cult times. Thanks to its focus on qua­li­ty, inno­va­ti­on and cus­to­mer satis­fac­tion, it has estab­lished its­elf as a lea­der in the elec­tro­tech­ni­cal indu­stry, con­stant­ly expan­ding its pro­duct ran­ge to meet the chan­ging demands of the market.

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Time­line of the histo­ry of Woertz

1895

Mile­sto­nes in elec­tri­cal engineering

The histo­ry of elec­tri­fi­ca­ti­on is mark­ed by various mile­sto­nes that have con­tri­bu­ted to the deve­lo­p­ment and dif­fu­si­on of elec­tric power. Here are some signi­fi­cant milestones.

Meilensteine Elektrotechnik
1895

1919

Elec­tri­fi­ca­ti­on of Switzerland

The elec­tri­fi­ca­ti­on of Switz­er­land has resul­ted in the coun­try having a com­pre­hen­si­ve and effi­ci­ent power grid, which forms the basis for a sus­tainable ener­gy sup­p­ly for hou­se­holds, indu­stry, trans­port and communications.

02 elektrifizierung schweiz

1919

1928

Foun­da­ti­on of the com­pa­ny Oskar Woertz

As part of and in sup­port of this histo­ric deve­lo­p­ment of incre­a­sing elec­tri­fi­ca­ti­on, Oskar Woertz foun­ded his company.

03 gruendung woertz

1928

1945

Gre­at Depres­si­on and World War 2

Mass unem­ployment, social unrest, eco­no­mic col­lap­se, des­truc­tion and end­less suf­fe­ring shook Europe.

04 weltwirtschaftskrise krieg

1945

1950

Histo­ric pro­duc­tion buildings

The pro­duc­tion sites in Basel were ste­adi­ly expanded.

05 historische produktionsgebaeude

1950

1950

Pro­duc­tion machines

With the most modern and also self-deve­lo­ped machi­nes were produced.

06 produktionsmaschinen

1950

1963

Obitua­ry Oskar Woertz

In the light of cau­tious entre­pre­neur­ship, Oskar Woertz achie­ved remar­kab­le finan­cial inde­pen­dence. Apart from the initi­al foun­ding years, he ope­ra­ted wit­hout out­side capi­tal. As a result, he retai­ned full con­trol over deve­lo­p­ments and invest­ments. He always stri­ved to estab­lish his sup­p­ly chain on a broad basis by sourcing sel­ec­ted and cost-effec­ti­ve raw mate­ri­als and semi-finis­hed pro­ducts. Despi­te his efforts, he encoun­te­red hurd­les in fin­ding relia­ble and effi­ci­ent sup­pliers for spe­cial­ties and tools. In respon­se, he over­ca­me such bot­t­len­ecks on his own by set­ting up his own tool shop with all the key equip­ment. This ser­ved not only to pro­vi­de the neces­sa­ry deve­lo­p­ment fle­xi­bi­li­ty, but also to make his com­pa­ny cri­sis-pro­of. The­se mea­su­res con­tri­bu­ted signi­fi­cant­ly to making the com­pa­ny more robust and resilient.

07 nachruf oskar woertz

1963

1963

Suc­ce­s­si­on

In 1963, the unex­pec­ted death of Oskar Woertz chan­ged the fate of the com­pa­ny. His two sons were desti­ned to take over the manage­ment of the com­pa­ny. The youn­ger one, also named Oskar Woertz, was a tech­ni­cal­ly trai­ned engi­neer from the ETH. His crea­ti­ve natu­re, good humor and cheerful per­so­na­li­ty made him a per­son the com­pa­ny app­re­cia­ted.
His older brot­her, Hans Woertz, brought a com­mer­cial edu­ca­ti­on, a syste­ma­tic work ethic and a rather serious per­so­na­li­ty to the com­pa­ny. Despi­te occa­sio­nal dis­agree­ments, the coope­ra­ti­on bet­ween the two brot­hers enri­ched the com­pa­ny in many ways.

As ear­ly as 1946, the foun­der, Oskar Woertz, reco­gnized the need for expan­si­on and had the fore­sight to acqui­re a plot of land in Mut­tenz. When the company’s growth exce­e­ded the capa­ci­ty of the site in the city of Basel, the first cons­truc­tion pha­se in Mut­tenz was initia­ted in 1972.

Due to per­so­nal cir­cum­stances, the youn­ger brot­her, Oskar Woertz, with­drew from the com­pa­ny. As a result, Hans Woertz took over sole manage­ment of the busi­ness and a new era began.

08 nachfolge oskar woertz

1963

1972

Flat cable patents

The Woertz brot­hers filed a joint patent for strip­ping-free cont­ac­ting on flat cables – a ground­brea­king inven­ti­on that was deca­des ahead of the tech­no­lo­gy of the time and set a signi­fi­cant mile­stone in the company’s history.

The first pro­duct to use this inno­va­ti­on was the illu­mi­na­ti­on light­ing that lent festi­ve Christ­mas cheer to Zurich’s Bahn­hofstrasse for many years. The spe­cial flat cable types requi­red for the fur­ther use of this cont­ac­ting, which had spe­cial pro­per­ties, were sup­plied by the long-stan­ding part­ner Dät­wy­ler AG from Altdorf.

10 flachkabelpatente

 

1972

1998

Work of Hans Woertz

Hans Woertz, who hea­ded Woertz AG after the sud­den death of his father in 1963, had a decisi­ve influence on the com­pa­ny. He and his brot­her Oskar expan­ded the site to Mut­tenz in the 1970s when Basel beca­me too small. After Oskar’s reti­re­ment, Hans ran the com­pa­ny alo­ne and filed a ground­brea­king patent: strip­ping-free cont­ac­ting on flat cables.

He also par­ti­ci­pa­ted in natio­nal and inter­na­tio­nal stan­dar­dizati­on com­mit­tees, making Woertz known bey­ond Switzerland’s bor­ders. With his wife, he was com­mit­ted to main­tai­ning pro­duc­tion and jobs in Basel-Land­schaft and pre­ser­ving the company’s social tra­di­ti­ons. In 1988, he laid the foun­da­ti­on stone for a new site in Höl­stein. After his reti­re­ment in 1998, his daugh­ter Caro­le took over the management.

09 10 wirken hans woertz

 

1998

2024

Work of Caro­le Woertz

Caro­le Woertz joi­n­ed the com­pa­ny in 1984 and has work­ed in almost all depart­ments to get to know the com­pa­ny and its pro­ducts. Her most deman­ding and at the same time most dif­fi­cult years were spent under the lea­der­ship of the then Sales Mana­ger Mr. Bösch. The deman­ding tasks assi­gned to her enab­led her to acqui­re a com­pre­hen­si­ve know­ledge of the com­pa­ny and its processes.

In 1988, she was ent­ru­sted with the manage­ment and sales respon­si­bi­li­ty of the new pro­duc­tion site in Höl­stein. In 1998, she took over the manage­ment from her father, Hans Woertz. Under her lea­der­ship, the com­pa­ny faced chal­lenges such as incre­a­sing pri­ce pres­su­re and a chan­ge in busi­ness practices.

Caro­le Woertz has focu­sed on sales and direct cus­to­mer cont­act in her role as mana­ging direc­tor. Her time with the com­pa­ny and her abili­ty to hand­le dif­fi­cult tasks have given her the expe­ri­ence and under­stan­ding neces­sa­ry to lead the com­pa­ny through chal­len­ging times.

11 wirken carole woertz

2024

2024

Pro­duc­tion in Switzerland

Woertz AG pro­du­ces high-qua­li­ty pro­ducts in Switz­er­land, which brings num­e­rous advan­ta­ges. Dome­stic pro­duc­tion allo­ws the com­pa­ny to ensu­re high pro­duct qua­li­ty and exer­cise clo­se con­trol over the enti­re pro­duc­tion chain. In addi­ti­on, local pro­duc­tion enables short deli­very times and a high degree of fle­xi­bi­li­ty in mee­ting indi­vi­du­al cus­to­mer requi­re­ments. Pro­xi­mi­ty to the mar­ket also faci­li­ta­tes com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on and coope­ra­ti­on with customers.

During past times of cri­sis, such as the COVID-19 pan­de­mic, Woertz was able to con­ti­n­ue pro­du­cing con­ti­nuous­ly and sup­p­ly its cus­to­mers relia­bly due to dome­stic pro­duc­tion. The short sup­p­ly rou­tes, local avai­la­bi­li­ty of raw mate­ri­als and inde­pen­dence from inter­na­tio­nal dis­rup­ti­ons have streng­the­ned the resi­li­ence of the sup­p­ly chain.

Ano­ther important aspect of dome­stic pro­duc­tion is envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion. By using sus­tainable prac­ti­ces and envi­ron­men­tal­ly fri­end­ly tech­no­lo­gies in pro­duc­tion, Woertz helps pro­tect the envi­ron­ment. Dome­stic pro­duc­tion also sup­ports the local eco­no­my and helps crea­te and main­tain jobs in the regi­on. Over­all, pro­duc­tion in Switz­er­land offers Woertz and its cus­to­mers many advan­ta­ges in terms of qua­li­ty, fle­xi­bi­li­ty, short deli­very times, sup­p­ly chain resi­li­ence, envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and regio­nal eco­no­mic deve­lo­p­ment. During past times of cri­sis, dome­stic pro­duc­tion has pro­ven to be par­ti­cu­lar­ly bene­fi­ci­al as it has allo­wed for con­ti­nuous pro­duc­tion and delivery.

12 produktion schweiz

2024