History


BIRN dates back to 1896 when journeyman former and foundry worker Heinrich Peter Christian Birn founded the foundry in the town centre of Holstebro. During its first many years, the foundry mainly produced cookers, stoves, cleaning doors, cake crushers, etc. In addition, the foundry also supplied castings to F. L. Hansen’s machinery that was situated just opposite the foundry.

After several years of cooperation with F. L. Hansen’s machinery, Valdemar H. Birn, who had in the meantime taken over the company after his father, Heinrich Peter Christian Birn, decided to extend the cooperation and therefore acquired the machinery in 1932.

One of the many cake crushers produced by the foundry during its first many years
 
 
During the subsequent years, the company and its experience grew as the foundry business developed. Apart from different moulds for machine production, the machine factory was also processing castings under customer contracts. Therefore it had become familiar with V-belt pulleys on various occasions. This gave us the idea to include V-belt pulleys in our own production as the product was ideally suited for our company because the finished product required rather much processing.
The production of V-belt pulleys has continued to this day where the majority is now being produced by a Chinese partner and by BIRN’s German subsidiary which also sells and distributes all the pulleys.
In 1942, the joint-stock companies Vald. Birn Jernstøberi and Vald. Birns Maskinfabrik were founded. The company grew further over the following years and in 1964, it was decided to relocate both the foundry and the machinery to its present address at Frøjkvej.
 
In 1972, the company installed its first Disamatic plant, and various automation initiatives saw the light of day during the following years, including tooling machines with NC control, a 3D-coordinate measuring machine and, later on, also robots in the washing plant.
 
In 1994, the company obtained its first ISO certificate which opened even more doors to potential customers. In 1997, the first surface treatment plant was commissioned as was the first FMS plant in 1998. Due to these initiatives, the company became a technical frontrunner and increasingly competitive.
 
Over the years, the company has acquired the companies of Tasso A/S, Kockums Maskin AB, and Uldalls Jernstøberi A/S, thereby also expanding its staff.
 
In 2006, the machine factory and the foundry merged into one company – Vald. Birn A/S – also referred to as BIRN. The very same year, BIRN and China Metal International (CMI) established a joint venture in Suzhou– the processing company, China Metal Birn (CMB). In cooperation with CMI, CMB set up a foundry named NCMB (New CMB) in 2012. However, all shares were sold off to CMI at the turn of the year 2012/2013, and the Birn Group’s commitment in China is limited to an 11% stake in CMI. NCMB still manufactures V-belt pulleys for Birn in Germany.
 
BIRN is now owned by the holding company of Vald. Birn Holding A/S. CEO is now Jens Axel Birn, a nephew of Valdemar Richard Birn (1933-2008).
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