Ernst Kühne – Innovationen from the start
Ernst Kühne revolutionised the manufacturing process for fibre-reinforced plastics when he developed the pultrusion technique.
“In early 1954, Ernst Kühne invented the pultrusion process while working in a major electrical manufacturer’s development lab. Kühne produced his first extruded products, featuring glass rovings and impregnated with epoxy resin, himself. As well as the pultrusion technique, Ernst Kühne also invented the machinery required for the process, as well as made-to-measure dies. It was at this early stage that the electrical, chemical and mechanical parameters associated with pultrusion profiles were first determined. Kühne then went on to set up Ernst Kühne Kunststoffwerk; Europe’s first pultrusion manufacturer.
Around the same time, W.P. Goldworthy, one of the pioneers of fibre composite technology, was introducing the pultrusion process in the United States. However, his work concentrated on manufacturing profiles using polyester resin, whereas Ernst Kühne focused primarily on epoxy resin.”
The story of Ernst Kühne Kunststoffwerk
1. January 1967
The company that would become Ernst Kühne Kunststoffwerk is founded as Waco GmbH, and begins operating from a shared garage attached to Waldeckstrasse 25 and 25a in Waldshut, Germany.
Ernst Kühne builds his first two pultrusion machines, working to his own blueprints.
The company moves to Tiengen to Schaffhauserstrasse “Alte Honnegerei”.
It manufactures another two pultrusion machines, featuring new drive systems and inline feeds, as well as buying its first filament winding machine.
The company moves again, this time to the Untere Au/Bleiche industrial estate in Waldshut. It begins a gradual expansion to 4 divisions, working single-shift, 2-shift and 3-shift patterns.
It also builds and installs new state-of-the-art pultrusion production lines, featuring the latest control technology, and commissions no fewer than four filament winding machines.
We develop a strain relief system for fibre-optic cables using S glass-fibres and epoxy resin, working on behalf of a leading German electrical specialist. The new tension member allows to minimize the damping oft the signal within the cable, which in turn allows the cables to carry more data over longer distances.
The first no-splice strain relief element is built for a 25 km cable.
We develop a retaining ring for use at very high temperatures (240°C +) in car starter motors. They are still standard in 2021’s latest generation of vehicles.
The very first reinforced bridge for bridge-laying armoured vehicles is built using our carbon-fibre pultruded profiles. The CRRP profiles used were made entirely of carbon fibre and epoxy resin. To test the bridge, we had a Leopard II tank drive over it. It passed the test with flying colours.
We develop the first carbon-fibre profiles for a European aircraft manufacturer. The handles on the emergency exits were just one of many WACOSIT® CFRP parts on that generation of planes.
Ernst Kühne Kunststoffwerk GmbH+ Co. KG celebrates its 25th birthday
Its wealth of experience and highly qualified staff have made it an acknowledged name on the composite market, with a strong reputation for new products and innovation. The company’s product range is made up of complex pultruded profiles and filament-wound parts.
We develop high-performance filament-wound parts for high- and medium-tension applications, and we also produce bespoke components for a European research organisation specialising in particle acceleration.
Ernst Kühne Kunststoffwerk becomes a certified supplier to the wind turbine industry.
Ernst Kühne Kunststoffwerk develops and supplies radomes for the GSM telecommunications market.
We become a certified supplier to the rail industry, obtaining fire safety approval for interiors and external parts in Germany, France, Italy and the UK.
Ernst Pfister, Economy Minister and Deputy Minister-President of the State of Baden-Württemberg, awards Ernst Kühne with the Baden-Württemberg Business Medal.
The first buildings featuring WACOSIT® window profiles and door sills are completed.
Ernst Kühne Kunststoffwerk delivers a large number of projects for the car industry and its suppliers.
Ernst Kühne Kunststoffwerk celebrates its 50th birthday.
It is firmly established as one of the most professional and innovative manufacturers of pultruded profiles and wound components everywhere in the world. With our many years of experience and high level of technical expertise, dealing with even the most complex requirements is our daily business. Our products are used in innovative new projects all over the world. With over 5,000 active pultrusion tools, we can supply the world’s biggest range of plastic profiles.
The IHK Hochrhein-Bodensee [Lake Constance Chamber of Commerce] awards its Medal of Honour to Dietmar Kühne, and elects him as an honorary member of the Chamber’s Executive Board and Plenary Assembly.
We have been revolutionising plastics for over 50 years, and we’re not about to stop now. With our combination of passion, expertise, experience and technical know-how, we are ready to face the future head on.
With more than 25 pultrusion machines and 6 filament winding centres, we are your perfect partner for development projects or series supply.
Ernst Kühne Kunststoffwerk has been:
DIN ISO 9001 certified
DIN ISO 9001:2000 certified
DIN ISO 9001:2008 certified
ISO 9001:2015 certified
EN ISO 9001:2015 certified
To accompany our customers’ ideas with passion and to design solutions for their future. We are convinced that WACOSIT® in many areas is a real alternative to steel, aluminium, wood and thermoplastics and offers a great innovation potential for our customers.
This is what we are committed to!
How to get there
From Basel, follow the signs for Schaffhausen. In Dogern, turn right at the Shell petrol station. Then follow the road until Ernst Kühne Kunststoffwerk is signposted.
From Schaffhausen, follow directions for Basel. In Dogern, turn left at the Shell petrol station. Then follow the road until Ernst Kühne Kunststoffwerk is signposted.