When the young Carl Bechem (1806-1891) served his apprenticeship in a textile company in Elberfeld*, the industrial revolution in this economic sector was already well under way. Bechem directly faced the permanently increasing degree of mechanisation and technical progress. Already at that time he recognized the importance of lubricants. In 1828 he moved to Hagen, a transport hub of increasing importance in the dynamic Ruhr district, and a short time later founded his lubricant plant.
Today BECHEM is a family-owned company managed in the sixth generation which has built up a worldwide network of daughter companies, Joint Ventures and sales partners. With our traditional and future-oriented business culture BECHEM is facing the forthcoming challenges.
*urban district of Wuppertal, city near Hagen
At about the same time with the formation of the German customs union and the abolishment of many trade barriers, the young tradesman founded the first German oil plant in 1834.
1835: Start of the first railway in Germany. Soon the railway organisation will become BECHEM’s first important key customer.
1840: The wire drawing plants in the Altena area are major, important customers.
1870ies: Carl Bechem develops first mineral-oil based lubricant products; with decades of know-how Carl Bechem takes up a leading position in Germany.
1895: As one of the first German companies BECHEM produces lubricants according to the “Stauffer greases”.
1909: BECHEM acquires the brand “Staroil” which is successfully used in the flying machine motors of the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH, e.g. type Z II and Z III.
1920: BECHEM lubricants comply with all requirements related to technical progress. Sales developed from pure trade to technical sales by field engineers.
1930: Cooperation with the ball bearing plants in Schweinfurt. W 16, KS-28 and SN-28 are notable ball and roller bearings.
1948: As first German company BECHEM produces lubricating greases for most modern Timken roller bearings.
1952: BECHEM moves to Hagen-Vorhalle, today’s headquarter and builds new facilities.
1973: BECHEM supplies broaching oils for the production of the Saturn transport device from which the Saturn V started for the Apollo spaceflight programme.
1974: BECHEM develops the first polyurea greases for lubrication points subjected to high temperatures in the steel industry.
1981: Introduction of the seawater proof high-performance grease High-Lub SW 2.
1986: With the Avantin series BECHEM gets involved in the field of fully synthetic coolants for metal working.
1993: Berulit 935 forms the basis of the development of successful coating media in semi-hot forging.
1994: BECHEM supplies environmentally friendly rail lubricants for the Eurotunnel project.
2003: Global expansion is continued with own production facilities in China.
2005: BECHEM introduces a complete range of anti-friction coatings for automotive applications.
2010: First serial application of microcapsule technology in anti-friction coatings.
2011: Together with the Fraunhofer Institut IVV and the TU Braunschweig BECHEM wins the German Raw Material Efficiency Prize.
2012: The Fraunhofer team is awarded the Joseph-von-Fraunhofer prize for the development of the coolant Berufluid together with their industrial partner BECHEM
With our modern product programme BECHEM does not only offer solutions to face the challenges of the present, but also is a pioneer for innovative lubricant applications and technologies. A solid basis for this is our long tradition, our future-oriented business culture, decades of experience, close cooperation with scientific organisations, users and industrial partners as well as the outstanding know-how and commitment of our employees.