An anniversary year comes to an end
Wieland celebrates a successful anniversary
200 years of Wieland – it was supposed to be a special anniversary year. The Wieland Group planned a large number of festivities at all locations for the owners, all employees and the public over a period of 12 months.
In 2020 – 200 years after its foundation – the Wieland Group employs about 8,500 employees and records a turnover of about 4 billion euros. This is an incredible growth, both in business and global terms, with one constant: the material copper. The success of a company is closely linked to people, be it in strategic management, executives or employees who tirelessly perform in the most diverse positions and thus contribute to the success of the Wieland Group. It was therefore important not only to think about a large number of birthday surprises to open the anniversary year on 1 January 2020 but also about a gift for all employees of the Wieland Group. The concept of the anniversary activities was "Past – Present – Future", because not only does Wieland have an interesting past and an impressive present to report, but we also have a bright future thanks to our main material copper.
The well-maintained Wieland-Werke archive, contemporary witnesses and impulses from employees were a solid basis for telling 200 stories. Starting in January 2020, stories are being published at two-day intervals on the anniversary website www.200YearsWieland.com. In an entertaining way they report about the past of the Wieland Group, create aha-effects when the reader learns about applications of Wieland products in daily life or astonishment when there is speculation about applications of copper products in future stories. Some stories are entertaining, some are tragic, many are hitherto unknown – all in all they give a unique overview of what Wieland is all about – then, now and tomorrow. Milestones in the company's history are presented in the timeline, which can be viewed either from the perspective of "Technology & Innovation" or "Corporate Development". Particularly interesting are the links to world-historical events.
The Wieland-Bell – in miniature
After taking over the bell foundry, Philipp Jakob Wieland made a total of 122 bells. One of the few still in existence today is located in the foyer of the Ulm headquarters. Based on an elaborate 3D scan, bronze miniatures were produced in an art foundry near Ulm. In addition to a limited edition of 200 pieces, further bells were cast in a slightly smaller format and offered for sale. The proceeds were donated to a good cause.
Strolling through 200 years Wieland
In January, the permanent exhibition was opened in the foyer of the Ulm headquarters. It also follows the red thread "Past – Present – Future" and is accessible to visitors of the Wieland Group and employees. The public can also experience it virtually through a 360° degree view via the website www.200YearsWieland.com. The exhibits interactively bring the past to life, provide impressive insights into today's production and a film shows scenarios of tomorrow that could be realised through copper. The mixture of exhibits, accompanying texts and multimedia elements allows a fascinating and informative foray through 200 years of Wieland.
On the tracks of Wieland
From March 2020 onwards, regular guided tours of Ulm were offered to employees, relatives and the public under the motto "In the footsteps of Philipp Jakob Wieland – How it all began". A knowledgeable city guide, dressed in historical costume, takes you to partly unknown corners of Ulm and tells many anecdotes. Refreshments are provided during a stopover at "Drei Kannen", a brewery inn near Rosengasse, where Wieland once ran his art and bell foundry.
The celebrations – worldwide
From the middle of the year, anniversary celebrations were to be held for all employees at all Wieland Group locations. The kick-off was planned for 5 July 2020 in Ulm, an event to which approximately 10,000 people – employees, relatives, former employees and invited guests – were expected. This was to be followed by further celebrations at all 90 locations of the Wieland Group. Each one special in its own way, with one great thing in common: being part of the Wieland Group, whose founder laid the foundation stone in 1820 with the art and bell foundry. Due to the Corona pandemic, all events unfortunately had to be cancelled.
In order to make the incredible, impressive history accessible to the public as well as to employees and their relatives, exhibitions were planned. For this purpose, the Sparkasse Ulm Mitte made its premises available in a prominent location in Ulm over a period of approx. 10 weeks. In Vöhringen, where the main production plant is located, it was subsequently presented in the Wolfgang-Eychmüller-Kulturhaus for another two weeks. The special thing about the exhibits on display: In addition to the impressive contemporary witnesses of the past, products of the Wieland Group such as rods, wires, tubes, profiles, strips, bushings and heat exchangers were exhibited and their applications explained. Wieland accompanies us all day long without anyone even suspecting it. The exhibition provided orientation.
A nice surprise: Dr. Erwin Mayr hands over a Wieland miniature bell to Dr. Stefan Bill, Chairman of the Board of Sparkasse Ulm, at the opening of the exhibition on 8 July 2020.
The large number of entries in the anniversary guest book, which was displayed during the exhibitions in Ulm and Vöhringen, speak volumes. It shows the pride of being "Wieländer", sometimes over several generations, but also the amazement and respect of visitors who took the opportunity to look behind the scenes at Wieland and to understand what the "big employer" of the region actually produces and that Wieland products have their place in daily life.
- A great exhibition that beautifully illustrates the multi-faceted nature of this versatile company. Thank you!
- Congratulations on 200 years Wieland - keep up the good work! Great exhibition! Greetings from Switzerland
- Congratulations, Fa. Wieland and City of Ulm - a story from Ulm for the world
- Congratulations on the anniversary. We wish you much success for the next 200 years. Vöhringen is proud and happy to have this employer in its community
- Very impressive presentation – compliments!
The employee gift
All employees worldwide were to receive a gift for the anniversary. For this purpose, a high-quality jacket from Adidas was selected, not too warm, so that it could be worn in Singapore in the same way as in Scandinavia. The jacket shows the Wieland and anniversary logo. The big challenge was to organise this jacket in the right sizes for employees without taking away the surprise factor. Therefore, it was decided not to ask the employees about their size. In order to procure the appropriate sizes, Adidas provided its statistical sales data. On 19 October, the day on which Philipp Jakob Wieland published the foundation of his company in 1820, jackets were issued worldwide. If you look at the published pictures, you can see the pride that speaks from the faces of the colleagues – proud that they are part of the Wieland family.
Virtual celebration on the foundation day
19 October replaced - at least to a small extent – the staff parties that were unfortunately cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic. CEO Dr. Erwin Mayr gave an inspiring, interesting and encouraging speech to all Wieland employees around the globe. On this feast day, the employees received their Wieland gift as well as the opportunity to purchase a miniature bell or to pre-order the large Wieland anniversary book. After all, the 200 Wieland stories, which were previously only available in digital form (Internet and social media), are now put on paper in a representative anniversary book. Who knows, maybe in a hundred years' time they will be used for the 300th anniversary…
Happy birthday: CEO Dr. Erwin Mayr in his video anniversary speech on 19 October 2020.