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Milestones in Connectivity

Today: The success story continues

Having overcome the bursting of the ITC bubble and the ensuing economic downturn in the early 2000s, HUBER+SUHNER now is in robust shape due to extensive restructuring measures. By applying its 3x3 strategy of three core competencies -radio frequency, fiber optics and low frequency- in three main markets -communication, transportation and industrial- HUBER+SUHNER has become a leading global supplier of components and systems for electrical and optical connectivity.

Excellence in Connectivity Solutions continues to be geared for the future.

2003: Back on track

The year marked a trend reversal for HUBER+SUHNER. After two extremely difficult fiscal years, the Group restored its profitability. Dividends were paid again after an interruption of just one year.

2002: A change of paradigms

A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) took over from the leadership troika (appointed in 2000). In addition, the organization was given a simplified internal structure comprising two business sectors: “Mobile Communications + Electronics” and “Wired Solutions + Networks”.

With its philosophy of “Excellence in Connectivity Solutions”, the HUBER+SUHNER Group had given itself a clear profile for the future. As part of extensive restructuring measures, the organization was strategically re-oriented toward the three core competencies of radio frequency, fiber optic and cable & polymer technology.

From now on the Group now focused on the supply of components and systems for electrical and optical connectivity. Since then, the three main markets communication, transportation and industrial have been at the centre of all activities.

2001: New challenges, tough decisions

The decline in the global economy and especially in the telecommunications industry had a powerful impact on HUBER+SUHNER. For the first time ever in the history of the company, jobs had to be eliminated inside and outside Switzerland. As part of a portfolio streamlining program, production of rubber articles and mouldings in the Polymer Systems division, environmental engineering activities and filter manufacture for telecommunications applications were discontinued.

2000: Fiber for the future

In the former Kollbrunn factory, a fibre optic production site with 80 employees was set up in 2000. The Group’s global presence was intensified by the founding of sales companies in the Netherlands and the USA. In Daventry, England, HUBER+ SUHNER AG built a new factory for assembling railway cables and cable systems.

1999: Restructuring

The Henry Berchtold AG, Kollbrunn is fully integrated into the Materials Technology unit of Pfäffikon. The company (purchased in 1987) is active in the field of spinning cotts production.

1998: An international company

In Europe, the long-time Swedish representative is successfully transformed into an independent Group company.

In China, a sales office is set up in Shanghai, and a manufacturing site constructed in Shenzhen (South China).

In Brazil, another subsidiary is founded to develop the South American markets.

1996: Growth continues

HUBER+ SUHNER GmbH is founded in Bad Salzdetfurth, Germany, improving the Group’s access to worldwide mobile radio markets. By the end of the year, products for the globally expanding telecommunications sector accounted for over half of the total turnover. The year before HUBER+SUHNER AG had changed from the second tier to the main market of Swiss Exchange, in order to better finance the continued growth.

1978: New priorities

With the development of heat shrinkable, chemically or electronically cross-linked plastic components and tubing for energy distribution and electronics, HUBER+SUHNER set new priorities in materials engineering in Herisau.

1976: Going global

HUBER+ SUHNER is represented in 28 countries around the globe. Research and development activities were consolidated.

1974: Expanding to Down Under

A subsidiary opens in Australia and marks the beginning of the internationalization of HUBER+SUHNER.

1969: A merger for the future

The two traditional family-owned companies Aktiengesellschaft R.+E. Huber and Suhner & Co. AG merged in 1969. Merging into HUBER+SUHNER AG, the company focuses on the product units “Cable and Cable Systems” as well as “Telecommunications.”


1948: Branching out

In the years after 1948, the company opened new branches in Tiefe near Herisau, in Schwellbrunn and later on in Winkeln.

1928: Continuous expansion

After World War I, Suhner gradually extended his line of products to hard and soft rubber mouldings for engineering applications, overhead conductor materials, container and pipe linings, and roller coatings. The company expanded continuously: it started the injection moulding shop (brand name “Suconit”) and began producing “Sucoflor” flooring.

1905: Lay some rubber

Dissatisfied with the quality of the imported rubber which was being used for insulating cables, Gottlieb Suhner set up his own rubber factory to produce rubber compounds.

1892: Wired to Brown Boveri

Gottlieb Suhner purchased a wire factory in Basel and relocated it, along with its employees, to Herisau. But business did not really start booming before machinist Suhner constructed his own high precision braiding machine. He soon set up a branch of his factory in Brugg in order to improve the service for his best customer, the Brown Boveri Corporation.

1864: Metal roots

Gottlieb Suhner, a machinist, opened a workshop on the ground floor of a rented dwelling house in Herisau, Switzerland. There he produced metal components for hand looms, starting what would later become Suhner & Co. AG. He soon shifted his activities to the construction of auxiliary equipment for the embroidery industry.


1950: Extended range of products.

Vibration absorbers for machine-building purposes were included in the range of products of Aktiengesellschaft R.+E. Huber.

1908: Expansion

The company continuously extended its product range to solid rubber tyres, cobber brands, hard-rubber linings for the chemical industry, telephone cable, resistor wire, and pneumatic car tyres.

1889: Then there was light

The young company’s name changed to “Telegraph Wire and Cable Factory”. It operated its own wire drawing shop and – something of a sensation at that time – had electrical lighting.

1885: A change of course

The founder abandoned his cotton thread mill. He recognised the need of the emerging electrical engineering industry for insulated wire. He did not hesitate to seize this opportunity and began wrapping copper wires with textiles.

1882: In the beginning, there was cotton

Hans Rudolf Huber opened his own cotton thread mill in Pfäffikon, Switzerland. He thereby laid the cornerstone for the subsequent Aktiengesellschaft R.+E. Huber. Because the textile industry was very volatile, R. Huber started winding cotton yarn around iron wire for the ladies’ hat industry.