Company History

DEHN historySince 1910: DEHN

The history of success of the DEHNgroup started on January 21, 1910, when the master electrician Hans Dehn registered his electrical installation business in Nuremberg. Fascinated by the force of a lightning strike, Hans Dehn decided to specialise also in lightning protection. Thus, he was engaged both in the installation of electrical systems and in the installation of lightning protection systems.
Based on Hans Dehn’s wealth of ideas, the company started to produce self-developed lightning protection and earthing components at the beginning of the 1920ies.
Electrical and electronic devices and systems found their way into all aspects of life and work and over the following decades it became more and more apparent that conventional lightning protection alone would not be sufficient to protect buildings against fire. During that time, we realised that internal lightning protection has become a necessity. As a result of intensive development work, we launched the world’s first indoor surge arrester for use in low-voltage installations in the early 1950ies: This was the beginning of today’s surge protection product group.
At the same time, our portfolio was expanded by safety equipment which protects devices and components to ensure safe work on electrical installations.
Both our industrial production with a wide portfolio of lightning protection / earthing, surge protection and safety equipment components and devices and our electrical installation business, the early focus of our founder, are the cornerstones of our activities. 
More than 1,600 employees of our innovative and meanwhile globally active family-owned company, where the fourth generation is now in charge, proudly look back on more than 100 years of continuous development, tradition and experience.

 

More detailed information on our company‘s history

DEHN is an innovative, globally active family-owned electrotechnical company with more than 100 years of experience and tradition.

1910: On January 21, 1910, Hans Dehn registers an electrical installation business in Nuremberg.
Apart from local network construction, overhead line construction and installation work on buildings, the installation of lightning protection systems on buildings is an integral part of the business activities.
1918: Very quickly, Hans Dehn finds himself involved in the complex problems surrounding lightning protection. In 1918, he is granted his first patent on this subject.
1921: Hans Dehn sees his chance in Upper Palatinate / Bavaria which has not been fully electrified yet, sets up subsidiary in Neumarkt, about 45 km from Nuremberg, and thus successfully expands business.
1923: Based on his pioneering spirit and innovative ideas, Hans Dehn starts the industrial production of his lighting protection and earthing component portfolio in Nuremberg.
1925: The operation of large loudspeaker systems at events and an anchor coiling business for maintaining electric motors up to the 1960ies become a special field of business for DEHN technicians.
1933: The company grows. Hans Dehn transfers a part of the responsibility to his sons Walter and Willy. Both become co-partners and the family-owned company is named DEHN & SÖHNE. In 1941, the youngest son Richard becomes a co-partner.
1939-1945: The Second World War inevitably affects business development. The premises in Nuremberg and Neumarkt are considerably damaged during the war. Highly motivated, the family starts the reconstruction of the company.
1945 - 1950: The starting point for post-war activities in Neumarkt is a warehouse built during the last months of the war in the area where the headquarters are located today.
During the years of reconstruction, particularly the electrical installation business grows.
1948: The demand for lightning protection and earthing components is on the rise again. The decision to build a hot dip galvanising plant paves the way for turning the subsidiary in Neumarkt into a production site.
1952: DEHN + SÖHNE presents lightning protection and earthing equipment at the Hannover Messe for the first time.
The excellent business development soon requires a further expansion of the production facilities in Neumarkt.
Besides lightning protection and earthing, the company starts to develop earthing and short-circuiting devices, which are an integral part of our safety equipment portfolio today. The patented ball pin decisively influences the state of the art.
The founder of our company Hans Dehn dies at the end of the year. His sons successfully continue his legacy.
1952: The increasing market demand requires a further expansion of the production facilities in Neumarkt.
1952: Besides lightning protection and earthing, the company starts to develop earthing and short-circuiting devices, which are an integral part of our safety equipment portfolio today. The patented ball pin decisively influences the state of the art.
1953: Austria becomes the first exporting country.
1954: DEHN introduces to the market the world’s first surge arrester for low-voltage systems, the legendary J250.
1958: The separable earth rod, a pioneering innovation, considerably extends the range of earthing components and is in great demand. DEHN + SÖHNE becomes well-known in the field of earthing technology.
1960: The family-owned company celebrates its 50th anniversary.
1960 – 1980: The company’s portfolio is continuously amended and extended.
1981: 1981: Walter, Willy and Richard Dehn relinquish their management role. Hans-Joachim Dehn
and Thomas Dehn, members of the third generation, and Dr.-Ing. Peter Hasse assume overall
responsibility for the company.
1984: The first lightning current carrying arrester, DEHNventil®, enters the market and becomes a synonym worldwide for a new generation of arresters. It allows the company to strengthen its leading position in the sector of surge protection.
1986: The success story of surge protection starts with the introduction of the VM 280, the world’s first arrester with a modular width of 17.5 mm.
1988: International activities are intensified:
Foundation of the first international sales company DESITEK A/S in Denmark.
1990: The German reunification also involves major changes for DEHN. A lot of new highly trained staff from the former German Democratic Republic is employed at DEHN over the following years. The sales structures in the newly-formed German states are developed; Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic also become new target markets.
1991-1998: The company prepares for the future by developing and implementing the master plan DEHN 2000. National and international success requires comprehensive restructuring, reorganisation and reorientation in the Neumarkt-based headquarters.
1992: The electrical installation business is also in high demand in the newly-formed German states. Therefore, a subsidiary is founded in Hermsdorf / Thuringa, which is awarded major installation contracts right from the start.
1996: The new energy-coordinated arresters of the Yellow/Line family for the protection of data and automation systems are presented. BLITZDUCTOR® CT stands as milestone in the development in the field of lightning and surge protection.
1999: For transparency reasons, activities in the field of electrical installation are spun off into a separate subsidiary called DEHN INSTATEC GmbH based in Nuremberg, Neumarkt and Hermsdorf.
2003: The HVI® Conductor, a high-voltage-resistant insulated down conductor, stands as milestone in external lightning protection.
2004: Hans-Joachim Dehn and Dr.-Ing. Peter Hasse retire and Dr.-Ing. Peter Zahlmann is appointed Technical Managing Director.
2010: DEHN celebrates its 100th anniversary.
The small electrical installation company turned into a globally active family-owned company.
On the occasion of our company’s anniversary we fund an endowed professorship at the Ilmenau University of Technology to support fundamental research in the fields of lightning and surge protection.
2011: The fourth generation takes control of the family-owned company: Dr. Philipp Dehn becomes Managing Partner.

2013: Foundation of three new subsidiaries in South Africa, Mexico and Russia: DEHN now
maintains subsidiaries and offices in 17 countries and serves customers in more than 70
countries.

At the end of the year, Thomas Dehn retires after more than 33 years. In addition to Dr. Philipp
Dehn and Dr. Peter Zahlmann, Helmut Pusch becomes Managing Director.

2014: DEHN invests into the future: Two major projects are started.
The new logistics and production centre in Mühlhausen is opened and the SAP software is introduced across our company.
DEHN sets up another representative office in Turkey.
The extended DEHN test centre allows to generate lightning currents up to 400 kA (10/350 μs), an absolute highlight in metrology.
2015: DEHN (SEA) PTE. LTD. is founded in Singapore and serves the South East Asian market.

 

DEHN History