The history of our family-owned business goes back to the end of the 19th century. Christian Herion (great-grandfather of Claude Herion) owned and ran a plant for mechanical drive components in Alsace until its expropriation after World War I. His son Ernst Herion founded a new company in Berlin in 1928 which primarily manufactured valve reseating tools for the aviation industry at the time. Due to the great demand, the company grew and already employed more than 200 workers in 1941. Towards the end of World War II, the production site was almost completely destroyed. The grandfather still rebuilt the company after the war. In 1949 shortly before the foundation of the GDR, Ernst Herion’s property was expropriated.
New beginning and search
He left Berlin to go to Bavaria and again founded a company in Pfaffenhofen – with its present name. Even back then the company’s success was based on the constructive communication between the company and our customers as well as a keen instinct for special market demands. If a farmer needed a sprocket wheel for his motorcycle, for example, it was manufactured individually by WMH.
Establishment and expansion
WMH Herion made a name for itself with the manufacture of sprocket wheels. At the same time, however, Ernst Herion did not forget to continuously expand the product portfolio. Hence, the company had developed a solid base and was well prepared for the future at the end of the 1950s when the demand for motorcycle sprocket wheels plummeted. As a reminder of our beginnings and the former best-seller, we display a motorcycle with the typical sprocket wheel from that time in the reception area of our company headquarters.
Into the 1990s, racks and spur gears for linear drives became the main products of WMH Herion. During that time, a global sales system was established with the help of our international partners and distributors, successfully conquering new markets. The once small business transformed into a company with more than 200 employees under the management of Wolfgang Herion (father of Claude Herion). The demands grew along with the expansion and the competition never slept. We continuously expanded our product portfolio to meet our customers’ requirements.
Relocation and expansion
In 2007, WMH Herion moved from the “old” plant in Pfaffenhofen to the newly constructed company headquarters in Wolnzach. Not only the production area expanded with the relocation but the demanding logistic requirements were also taken into account. The in-house development department was set up at the same time. From that point on, WMH did not only support its customers with the design of drive components but was also able to develop entire assemblies which were manufactured and set up in-house.
Development and progress
In the following years, more and more was invested in development. New and patented drive concepts, such as the preloaded double pinion and the backlash-free drive for rotary tables, are developed in collaboration with the university Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt (THI).
The areas of assemblies, systems and projects have been continuously developed since 2009 and are increasingly gaining on importance. As a result, the product range of WMH grew to incorporate a unit construction system for round rack winches in different sizes. The manufacture and delivery of complex assemblies continue to increase. Additionally, the serial production of assembled partial solutions, such as Z axes with a rack-pinion combination, starts with the customer’s order. Now WMH Herion is an approved A-system supplier of OEM automation technology.
Conclusion and outlook
The foundation for the innovative and sustainable growth of our family-owned business was created by continuous development and the logical expansion of our services.
Now WMH Herion employs more than 120 staff members at its headquarters in Wolnzach. Our philosophy and the drive which once brought millions of motorcycles on the fast track are still the cornerstone of our business policy. Expanded structures, in-depth knowledge and our motivation to make a change qualify us as a partner for future-oriented drive solutions.