From family company to internationally operating group of companies
The history of the family company begins in the 1920s in Zeulenroda in eastern Thuringia, the place where at one time almost every compression stocking sold worldwide was produced.
1929 Bruno Bauerfeind starts up a specialist company for the production of medical compression stockings. He manages the company until his death in December 1944.
1939 The company already has 100 employees.
1945 Rudolf Bauerfeind, son of the company’s founder, returns from imprisonment in Russia and sets to work full of confidence.
1949 The political climate of the Soviet occupiers is anything but business-friendly and the Bauerfeind family leaves Zeulenroda and begins reconstruction in Darmstadt-Eberstadt.
In the 1960s Hans B. Bauerfeind develops and modifies production processes: amongst other things, the grandson of the company’s founder modifies a knitting machine so that it can also be used to produce the stocking top. He also develops procedures to simplify the production of seamless custom-made stockings.
1972 Hans B. Bauerfeind takes over the company Diedrich Grote Nachfolger in Kempen and in 1978 merges the companies in Darmstadt and Kempen into Bauerfeind GmbH with its headquarters in Kempen. This site operates until March 2009.
1981 The development of the GenuTrain® knee support represents a milestone in the company’s history. It marked the beginning of a series of products in which the principle of functional therapy was transferred from compression stockings to supports. Since then, the GenuTrain® has proven itself a million times over.
1984 Operations begin at the new production facility in Kempen. In the next few years, Bauerfeind establishes its own distribution companies in Europe and the USA. Acquisitions during this time include the comfort shoe manufacturer Berkemann in Hamburg and foot orthosis specialist Globus K. Kremendahl in Remscheid.
1991 Hans B. Bauerfeind brings the family company back to his home town of Zeulenroda. The manufacturer of compression stockings, supports, orthoses, orthopedic insoles and, since 2001, prosthetic components as well, operates both nationally and internationally in four business sectors of the market.
At the site of the company’s headquarters in Zeulenroda, the following are created with significant investment:
1994 The most up-to-date production site for medical compression stockings for its time,
1999 The Bauerfeind Innovation Center, the research and development arm of the company, which has been operating under the name Bauerfeind AG since2002,
2003 The Logistics Center, and
2004 The new administrative building – at 57 meters, the highest new building in the region since reunification.
2007 Bauerfeind launches a quality partner program for medical supply retailers in Germany. Its aim is to improve the quality of consultancy and other services by specialist dealers and thus ensure optimum patient care. The program attracts 1,000 trade and workshop partners.
As of October 2007 Berkemann is carried on as an independent company by owner Thomas Bauerfeind.In November 2007 Münster University of Applied Sciences awards an honorary professorship to Hans B. Bauerfeind, thus honoring his commitment to the study of technical orthopedics.At the end of February 2008 Prof. Hans B. Bauerfeind is elected President of the IHK (Chamber of Industry and Commerce) of East Thuringia in Gera. He holds the position until December 2010.In November 2008 the Co Partnerschaft Deutschland (“Co-partnership Germany”) agreement, which has existed since 2001, is extended by a further four years to 2012. After the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City in 2002, in Athens in 2004, and in Turin in 2006, Bauerfeind provides a specialist orthopedic treatment service for the German athletes in Beijing in 2008 too.In March 2009 Bauerfeind is awarded five prizes for innovative, design-oriented products: the iF gold award, the iF product design award and the red dot award: product design for the JT20 prosthetic knee. The hip orthosis SofTec® Coxa is also honored with the iF product design award and the red dot award: product design. The jury in question reaches its decision not only on the basis of visual considerations; aspects such as degree of innovation and functionality or durability of the product feature much more heavily in the assessment.In April 2009 Beatrix Bauerfeind-Johnson enters the company. She is the fourth generation to be represented in the company’s management. Beatrix Bauerfeind-Johnson, who has already worked in top positions in various departments of the company in Germany and the USA following her education and studies, is in charge of Finance/Personnel.(She is currently on maternity leave.)As of January 2010 what was the prosthetics branch becomes Uniprox GmbH & Co. KG.February 2010: The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver (Canada) is setting a new precedent: Bauerfeind is the official partner of an Olympic organizing committee for the first time and is thus on hand for the athletes of all participating nations.January 2011: TOP JOB 2011 – Bauerfeind AG is awarded the prize for Germany’s best employer.February 2011: The seventh generation of the GenuTrain knee support is launched on the market.In 2011, the MalleoTrain Plus ankle support is honored with the iF product design award and the red dot design award. The MalleoLoc orthosis receives the iF product design award and the Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA) Silver Award. The GenuTrain (7th generation) knee support wins the universal design award and universal design consumer favorite.January 2012: Thomas Bauerfeind, brother of Beatrix Bauerfeind-Johnson, joins the Executive Board of Bauerfeind AG and takes over responsibility for Finance, Personnel and IT.Summer 2012: Bauerfeind is a partner at the Olympic Games in London and provides medical care for all 10,500 athletes from 204 countries with its very own team of orthotists. Its supports, orthoses, medical compression stockings and orthopedic insoles come to the aid of athletes on more than 700 occasions.January 2013: Bauerfeind becomes an official service partner of the Deutsche Sporthilfe foundation, thus reinforcing its commitment to sport in Germany.