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Makino History: Part 3

Exciting 70s - Makino's start in Germany

Through its involvement in Europe, Makino can look back on a long history, which began with the traditional German company Heidenreich & Harbeck GmbH in the 70s.

Founded in Hamburg back in 1868, Heidenreich and Harbeck's expertise originally was in the production of lathes.

While the beginning and the middle of the 20th century were determined by the construction of pieces of artillery during the world wars, Heidenreich & Harbeck was awarded the contract to build the "Large Schmidtspiegel" of the Hamburg observatory as a West German partner of Zeiss Jena in the early 1950s.

Then came the exciting 1970s: As an additional branch of the company, the first high-performance blow molding machine was developed for the production of PVC beer bottles. This process was adapted to PET in 1971, the plastic bottle production unit became independent in 1975 and was sold to the Krupp group in 1979.
As early as 1972, Martin Harbeck's son had sold the company completely to competing Gildemeister AG from Bielefeld, after it had acquired a stake in 1970.

In 1976 Gildemeister announced the intended closure of production and drastically reduced the number of employees from 1000 to 200.

At this time - October 1978 - the Japanese company Makino (founded in May 1937 by Tsunezō Makino) joined Heidenreich & Harbeck with an equity share and from then on also manufactured its machines in Hamburg.
The company in Hamburg was completely taken over by the Japanese Makino Group in 1978. In 1997 the "local business" was expanded and business units were created throughout Europe.

Since 1999 the company is called Makino GmbH. The production, including lathes, was still in Hamburg until 2007, when the company moved to the northern edge of the city. The company was transformed into a sales and service company with a showroom. Today, all Makino machines come from Japan or Singapore, and customers in Northern Europe are serviced from Hamburg.