Ideas emerging from 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 - The laying of the foundation stone for successful future
The Lapp family bought a house on Rosentalstraße in Stuttgart-Vaihingen. Once he had his independence, Oskar Lapp developed the first industrially manufactured control cable: ÖLFLEX®. Oskar and Ursala Ida Lapp together marketed the new ÖLFLEX® product with a loan-based start-up capital of 50,000 D-Marks. Ursula Ida and Oskar Lapp then created U.I. Lapp KG, using the initials of Ursula Ida Lapp.
In 1959, Lapp defined its definitive branding strategy
Registering product tradenames was a new idea at the time, but it was an excellent way of standing out from the competition. Oskar Lapp was a pioneer in this regard, creating eye-catching trademarks that acted to guarantee the quality of the products for Customers. These trademarks, of which ÖLFLEX® is the best known, remain in use.
1963-1965 Creation of other companies
In 1963, Oskar Lapp created Lapp Cableswerke GMBH on Galileistraße, which manufactured customised cables and conductors. Another company, Contact GmbH was also set up to manufacture rectangular connectors. By 1965 Oskar Lapp employed almost 30 people. Sales of ÖLFLEX® cables grew rapidly and a new head office was housed on Schulze Delitzsch Straße in Stuttgart-Vaihingen.
1979 - Ölflex Inc. USA becomes the very first international subsidiary...
It was relatively unusual in the 1970’s for German SMEs to experience rapid growth on the international market. This venture into the United States nevertheless proved very promising right from the start.
Oskar Lapp, with his liking for the international, was personally involved in the project. Here again, the careful attention he gave to Customer care was rewarded and became a guiding strand in the strategy of Oskar Lapp and his company around the world. The Lapp Group today has marketing subsidiaries and production facilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil.
1983 - Lapp Systems
Siegbert Lapp, the 1st member of the 2nd generation, created another company: "S" Glaskabel GmbH, becoming Lapp Kabelsysteme GmbH in 1995, and subsequently Lapp Systems GmbH.
Lapp Systems produces specially manufactured systems for cabling, curly cord, power systems and special applications.
1987 - A new era
On 25th April 1987, Oskar Lapp died of a heart attack.
Following his death, the reins of the company were taken up by Ursula Ida and their sons, Andreas and Siegbert Lapp. The next generation then took the values and ideas of the company’s founder to new heights. The exemplary way in which the philosophy behind the company was perpetuated has been a factor in its success. The company experienced rapid growth in both its domestic and international markets. New product ranges were launched for new markets. This Customer focus and firm belief in what can be achieved remain the guiding principles behind the company’s philosophy. The two Directors of the second generation also believe that courage, determination and a long-term commercial overview are essential elements.
Together they set the framework for the company’s future company and write the next chapters in the developing story.
1992 - Oskar-Lapp Foundation
The Oskar Lapp Foundation was established in memory of the company’s founding father. The Foundation works to support advances in cardiac disease research.
It mainly finances promising young scientists, through its annual Oskar Lapp Research Prize.
1995-2005: A global player
The number of international subsidiaries grows every year. The Lapp Group is now present in all international markets in Asia, Europe and the Americas. It has 2,500 employees in 50 companies and more than 100 agencies around the world.
The top performing employees are rewarded each year by the Lapp family in person.
2007/2008 - Signs of growth
The Lapp Group continued its growth around the world - our main production facility in Forbach in north-east Germany was enlarged to double its capacity.
In the United States, the K.L. Tannehill Inc sales agency was renamed Tannehill Inc., headquartered in Savage, Minnesota. We opened the Lapp Center Asia on our Bangalore site in India. The Center presents our products, as well as carrying out tests and quality checks. The company also expanded into more remote areas such as Siberia with a new Skills Centre at the Polytechnic University of Tomsk in Russia. Lapp provided support through electro-technical training at the university.
Lapp also opened new production, distribution and logistics sites in Spain, the Czech Republic, Norway, Korea and Brazil. New sales agencies, namely in India and China, now offered local support to our Customers.
Lapp was 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, offered our Customers a greatly improved locally based service.
2009 – ÖLFLEX® keeps the world moving
2010 - ÖLFLEX® World Tour
This is a major milestone: the ÖLFLEX® World Tour. Once sent around the world, an ÖLFLEX® cable drum visits eleven LAPP sites, covering more than 51,000 km and signed by more than 2,500 people.
2013 - Opening of a new logistics center
LAPP sets standards with its new service and logistics center in Ludwigsburg. Up to 90,000 cable drums are stored on 30,000 square meters, which are loaded via 30 truck loading racks. The warehouse is fully automated; customers in Germany receive their goods within 24 hours.
2015 - From manufacturer to system provider
LAPP is increasingly offering system solutions, including ready-to-use servo cables and drag chains. This offer is grouped under the new name of ÖLFLEX® CONNECT.
2017 - Generation of grandchildren
Matthias Lapp takes over responsibility for the business in the region Europe, South America, Middle East and Africa. This marks the beginning of the handover to the third generation of the business family.
2018 - New name
For a long time now, the company has not only been offering cables, but has also made a name for itself as a system supplier offering a seamless international service. With this in mind, the company has given itself a new name: LAPP - uniform worldwide for all group companies.