Polyphonic: the factory choir records numerous vinyl records in the 1980s.
Entry into agricultural engineering
The acquisition of axle shaft manufacturer Vernimb in 1953 strengthens Walterscheid with an additional production site.
Walterscheid builds its first hall in Lohmar at the end of the 1950s – this marks the start of the relocation from Siegburg to Lohmar.
On location and close to the application: Walterscheid supports farmers with its mobile measurement technology in the VW Bulli.
Strong together: Uni-Cardan
In the 1960s, workers from Portugal are welcomed with open arms and stay with their families, often across generations.
By 1970, the Lohmar plant has grown impressively, and the administration building now extends across five storeys. The hangar that contained the training workshop is located on the front right, with the combined heat and power station with chimney behind it.
Eagerly awaited by journalists and farmers: at the DLG in 1974, Walterscheid presents the innovative Walterscheid coupling system (WKS) in its practical application.
Product development continues. The tube fittings division of Walterscheid designs a DIN-compliant fitting that appeals to a larger customer base. As the base elements are exchangeable, the new fitting is also compatible with the existing system meaning that no conversion is required by customers. Walterscheid’s introduction of these fittings with DIN-compliant cutting and wedge rings beginning in 1973 also leads to the acquisition of new customers in agricultural engineering. In addition to drive shafts and overload clutches, Grimme, Krone and KHD now also purchase tube fittings from Walterscheid.
In its tireless work on solutions for agricultural engineering, Walterscheid is particularly committed to safety, because despite improved drive shaft protection, accidents continue to occur when coupling and uncoupling machines. A more convenient and safe system would be one that allows coupling to take place from the tractor cab. This is first made possible by the Walterscheid coupling system (WKS), which is presented at the DLG in Frankfurt in 1974. The key element of the WKS is the hook coupling as a tractor attachment. Following the market launch of the WKS in 1974, the next year Walterscheid presents an improved three-point coupling system under the brand name Walterscheid two-stage coupler.
These days, this innovation is an indispensable part of agricultural engineering, but it was initially met with scepticism. Tractor manufacturers are hesitant to install the new coupling system due to the cost. But Walterscheid is tenacious and goes directly to farmers to convince them of the benefits of the system. Technicians travel to villages and weld the hook – the key element of the new system – onto tractors on location. It is a resounding success: the benefits in practical application are obvious. Farmers now exert pressure on manufacturers to integrate the new system into their machines as a standard solution. This once again made crystal clear that benefit for the user is the deciding factor in the success of Walterscheid products.
Walterscheid remains particularly successful with its drive shafts and, in 1974, sets a production record: 1.1 million drive shafts in one year! That same year, the company is also able to acquire an industry giant, Claas, as a customer in Germany. Claas has already been manufacturing some of its Markant presses in Algeria using Walterscheid drive shafts for a number of years. The agricultural machinery manufacturer now decides to purchase the drive shafts for its Markant presses in Harsewinkel as well.
Walterscheid decides that the time is right to look for business outside Europe and, in 1976, establishes a US subsidiary in Burr Ridge, Illinois (near Chicago).