Company history

Baden-Württemberg, a unique mixture of cultural and technological density in the middle of a unique natural setting with fascinating people. The car was invented not far from us. Surrounded by vineyards, this is where high-tech meets the world's innovation pool. This is also where the story of Hörnlein began. It has grown from an artisanal metal forming business in the year 1931 into a global Industry 4.0 company. Yet even today the medium-sized enterprise Hörnlein is still a family-owned enterprise managed by its owners.

1962 Factory and office building
Hörnlein Historical chocolate mould
2003 Location in Slovakian Šahy
2016 New construction of the administration building, Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany

  • 1931 Walter Hörnlein opens a metal goods factory in his parents' house on Hirschgäßle in Schwäbisch Gmünd. It soon grows into a proper business. Hörnlein becomes famous for its high-quality moulds for hollow chocolate figures.
  • 1989 Dr. Kurt von Niessen, who previously was the head of the metal forming division of a major corporation, buys Hörnlein. The company grows and profits from the combination of the best elements of two worlds: elements of the family-owned business with its deep connection and the development opportunities for employees combined with structures of a corporation with its systematic process design. The company, now named Hörnlein Umformtechnik, expands its position as an automotive supplier for high-precision sheet metal forming.
  • 2000 Dr.-Ing. Alexander von Niessen, who previously was the head of Quality Management for an automotive supplier and European Quality Award finalist, takes over the management of the company. Hörnlein expands with high growth rates and the company maintains a consistent orientation on assemblies. Numerous new manufacturing technologies are integrated into the company.
  • 2003 Hörnlein Slovensko is founded in the Slovakina city of Šahy. Then, Hangzhou Hörnlein Metal Forming in China and a joint venture in Mexico are established. The Hörnlein Group is born. At the same time, large investments are made in the main factory in Schwäbisch Gmünd. Hörnlein thereby advances into the top group of worldwide automotive suppliers.
  • 2017 Hörnlein enters Industry 4.0 with unusually high degrees of automation. The specialist for high-precision sheet metal forming has become an expert in multiple areas for a broad portfolio of manufacturing technologies. Our internal mechanical engineering and our software experts enable networking with the smart factory and offer integrated customer solutions from a single source. Hörnlein is a development partner and systems supplier for the global automotive industry and automotive supply industry.

Additional info

Quality management Excellence Modell