Buhler AG is marking 150 years of business with a yearlong celebration and special anniversary activities that will include its employees, customers and partners.
The festivities began Feb. 12 with a gala event at the company’s headquarters in Uzwil, Switzerland. The company’s manufacturing hall was transformed into an elegant hall for an evening celebration, said Bruno Mendler, president of the company’s grain processing division. Guests were treated to an international show in an evening where the past met the present and future, he said.
"Together with customers and partners, we celebrated the founding of the small iron factory 150 years ago," Mendler said. "Most customers took the opportunity to visit the factory and met with the Buhler staff the day before and after the event."
It’s was a fitting celebration for a company that has grown from a cast iron foundry founded by Adolf Buhler with two employees to a global specialist in plant design, construction and related services with 7,700 employees around the world.
The company is a leader in the technologies of grinding, blending and mixing, bulk handling, thermal treatment and shaping for processing cereal grains and foods, producing and upgrading engineering materials and die casting.
Following the Feb. 12 kick-off, Buhler will continue to celebrate its 150th anniversary with multiple events for its customers at sites around the globe. Buhler’s South African location is planning a special program for the International Association of Operative Millers Middle East/ Africa Conference scheduled Nov. 22-25 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Buhler employees around the world will celebrate the anniversary at all Buhler sites on the same day in May. In addition, the company plans to launch a new website and publish a corporate history book. The book provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Buhler from the perspective of those who shaped and defined the company in all parts of the world, Mendler said.
The 230-page book is meant as a gift to all employees and customers, he said. It includes comments from milling cutters, milling engineers, installers, scientists, factory managers, technologists, engineers, the chief executive officer as well as the owner of the family enterprise.
"About 70 current and former employees paint the picture of a company which has distinguished itself time and time again over the last 150 years through constantly new and innovative solutions," Mendler said.
Through the years, the company’s innovations and breakthroughs have been numerous. Early on in its history in 1887, Buhler constructed a four-roller mill with 1,000 mm width, a width that had been previously declared impossible by milling industry experts.
Innovations continued in the coming years including the introduction in 1900 of a new type of plansifter that mounted to the floor instead of hanging from the ceiling; completion of the first DD roller mill in 1904, which was produced for nearly 40 years and spread the Buhler name throughout the world; development of the first Buhler flaking roller miller in 1922; and introduction of pneumatics in mill manufacturing in 1944.
In 1980, Buhler had the Airtronic roller mill with horizontal rolls and pneumatic control and in 1999, the company introduced the Newtronic line, the new generation of four- and eight-roller mills. By 2000, Buhler had more than 6,000 patented inventions.
Employees’ enthusiasm and pride in all the company has accomplished is apparent when reading the corporate history book, Mendler said.
"It is our aim and engagement to continue this enthusiasm into the future," he said.