With vision to a Global Player
Visions begin with questions
In the 50s, the upswing in industrialisation led to a huge demand for cables and conductors.
Faced with this development, Oskar Lapp asked himself a simple question:
"How can I optimise the current method - the time-consuming manual inserting of single cores and switching strands into the outer sheaths?"
His answer: to invent the first industrially produced flexible, colour-coded signal cable - ÖLFLEX®.
1957 - Cornerstone setting for a successful future
The Lapp family buys a house in the Rosentalstraße in Stuttgart-Vaihingen. Once independent, Oskar Lapp develops the first ever industrially-produced signal cable: ÖLFLEX®. Oskar and Ursula Ida Lapp build up the sales of the new product ÖLFLEX® together. Their starting capital for this was a bank loan of 50,000 D-Mark. Ursula Ida and Oskar Lapp form U.I. Lapp KG using Ursula Ida Lapp's initials.
In 1959 Lapp set out a definite brand policy
Giving the products brand names was a completely new idea at the time, but it allowed them to be distinguished from the competition more easily. Oskar Lapp was again one of the front runners and became one of the first people to offer this kind of catchy branding. These brand names are still in use at Lapp today. The most well known brand is ÖLFLEX®, which has secured a place in the history of the sector.
1963-1965 Foundation further companies
In 1963 Oskar Lapp founds Lapp Cableswerke GmbH in the Galileistraße. It produces cables and conductors to customer requirements in a rented workshop. In 1963 Oskar Lapp 1963 founds the company Contact GmbH to produce the rectangular connectors. By 1965 Oskar Lapp is employing a staff of 30. The company headquarters is moved from their house to Schulze-Delitzsch-Straße in Stuttgart Vaihingen.
1979 – Ölflex Inc. USA becomes the first overseas subsidiary
This early step into globalisation was very unusual for a German SME. Business in the US was successful right from the start.
Oskar Lapp loved the foreign market and had a good feel for the needs of his clients. Once again, an uncompromising customer focus and committed client service reaped rewards for the company. This is the foundation of the success strategy that was to take Oskar Lapp and his company around the world. Today, the Lapp Group has several sales and production sites in the USA, Canada, Mexico and Brazil.
1983 - Lapp Systems
Siegbert Lapp as 1-st member of the 2-nd generation form another company:
"S" Glaskabel GmbH, which becomes 1995 in Lapp Kabelsysteme GmbH and is renamed later as Lapp Systems GmbH.
All around the globe, Lapp Systems offers client-specific preassembled systems for cable systems, spiral custom cables, energy supply systems and custom applications.
1987 - The new era
On April 25th 1987, Oskar Lapp died from a heart disease.
After his death Ursula Ida Lapp and his sons, Andreas and Siegbert Lapp, took over the management of the company. The new generation took the ideals and ideas of the company's founder to new heights. The exemplary manner in which the company's philosophy was continued has been marked by more success. The company grew both domestically and internationally. New product lines were introduced for new markets.
Customer focus and a firm belief in what's realistic remained key aspects of the company's philosophy. The two second-generation directors also see courage, determination and commercial long-sightedness as vital.
Together they control the fate of company and are adding new chapters to its successful history.
1992 - Oskar-Lapp-Foundation
The Oskar Lapp Foundation was created in memory of the founder. It promotes research into heart disease.
The funding is to be used primarily to promote young and talented scientists. The Oskar Lapp Research Prize is awarded to young scientists each year.
1995-2005: Global Player
The number of international companies is growing. The Lapp Group is now active in the main international markets in Asia, Europe and America. It employs 2500 people in 50 companies and more than 100 agencies around the world.
Each year, the most successful employees are personally honoured by the Lapp family.
2007/2008 – All the signs point to expansion
The Lapp Group is growing throughout the world – our largest production plant in Forbach in north-east France is being expanded to double our manufacturing capacity.
In the USA, the sales and distribution company K.L. Tannehill Inc. has become Lapp Tannehill Inc., headquartered in Savage, Minnesota. At our Indian site in Bangalore, the company is founding the Lapp Center Asia. This centre allows us to present the company's branded products whilst also enabling comprehensive quality control and testing to be carried out. The company is even making its mark on distants lands such as Siberia – we are opening a new Competence Centre at the Polytechnic University in Tomst, Russia. This will allow Lapp to support electrotechnical training at the university.
Lapp is also constructing new manufacturing, distribution and logistics centres in Spain, the Czech Republic, Norway, Korea and Brazil. New sales offices, such as those in India and China to name just two, are offering our customers a greatly improved service on the ground.
2009 – ÖLFLEX® keeps the world moving
Under this slogan, the Lapp Group is celebrating the 50th anniversary of our flagship ÖLFLEX® brand.