Julius Blum

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This article is about the Austrian company. For other uses, see Blum (disambiguation).
Julius Blum GmbH
GmbH
Industry Metalworking
Founded 1952
Founder Julius Blum
Headquarters Höchst
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Gerhard E. Blum (General Manager)
Products Furniture fittings
Revenue 1,656.17 million euros (2015/2016)[1]
Number of employees
6,929 (06/2016)[1]
Website blum.com

Julius Blum GmbH (commonly referred to as "Blum") is an international company that produces hinge-, lift- and runner-systems and the appropriate assembly tools for the cabinet making and furniture industry.[2][3]

Description[edit]

Blum is an international manufacturer of furniture hardware.[4] It is a family-owned company based in Höchst, a municipality in the Austrian province of Vorarlberg.[5] Production facilities are mainly located in Austria, but the company also has production plants in the United States, in Poland and in Brazil.[6][7] Blum supplies furniture manufacturers and hardware distributors in more than 120 countries worldwide.[2] 97% of its products are exported, and its annual turnover is 1,656.17 million euros in 2015/2016.[8]

The company has 6,929 employees, as of June 30, 2016.[8] In Vorarlberg, the company is one of the largest employers with more than 5,300 employees.[3][9][10]

History[edit]

The company was founded in 1952 by blacksmith Julius Blum in Höchst.[11]

The first product was a horseshoe stud, which averts horses from slipping. Then in 1958, the first furniture hinge was produced. The construction of concealed hinges started in 1964, and this essentially led to the entry into the furniture fittings industry. Today, Blum products are exported to more than 120 countries.[3][4][7][8]

Julius Blum died in 2006, and the family business continued to be run by his sons, Gerhard Blum and Herbert Blum. Today, the company structure is as follows: Gerhard E. Blum (26%), Herbert Blum (26%), and Blum Private Trust (48%).[8]

Production facilities and subsidiaries[edit]

The company has seven factories in Vorarlberg, and additional production sites are situated in Poland, Brazil and the United States.[2][3][8] In the 2014/15 financial year, 50% of the company’s turnover was generated in the EU, 15% in the United States and 35% in other markets.[10]

The company has 27 subsidiaries worldwide.[3][4][8]

Blum subsidiaries (ranked according to the founding year):

  • 1977: Blum Sweden, Blum USA
  • 1978: Blum Canada
  • 1981: Blum Germany
  • 1987: Blum UK
  • 1989: Blum Norway
  • 1991: Blum France
  • 1992: Blum Poland
  • 1993: Blum Czech Republic
  • 1994: Blum Hungary
  • 1995: Blum Romania
  • 1996: Blum Turkey
  • 1997: Blum Australia, Blum Russia
  • 1998: Blum Brazil
  • 2001: Blum South East Asia
  • 2002: Blum China
  • 2005: Blum Ukraine
  • 2006: Blum Hong Kong
  • 2007: Blum Mexico
  • 2008: Blum Kazakhstan, Blum Vietnam
  • 2009: Blum India
  • 2010: Blum New Zealand
  • 2011: Blum North Africa, Blum Portugal
  • 2012: Blum Greece[12]
  • 2016: Blum Azerbaijan

Products[edit]

Blum is specialized in the production of fittings and systems for furniture, in particular for kitchens. The main business segments are lift, hinge and pull-out systems.[3][4] Apart from its hardware solutions, the company offers electrical and mechanical motion technologies for the opening and closing of furniture.[2][4][13][14][15] Blum products are displayed at showrooms, home design shows and fairs for the furniture industry, such as Interzum in Cologne [16][17][18] and Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS).[19]

Research[edit]

Blum invests 4% of its annual revenue in research and development. In 2014, the company holds around 52 patents and 1200 trademark rights in total. Blum Austria occupies second place in the invention rankings and ranks amongst Austria’s top ten patent candidates.[13][20]

The company has set up training rooms, laboratory kitchens and test-drive areas to identify requirements of kitchen fitters, manufacturers, sellers and kitchen buyers.[3][4] Research insights have resulted in new and improved products and concepts for storage space planning in kitchens.[4][7]

Blum has won several awards in product quality and design.[4][18] In 2013, the furniture manufacturer received the European Inventor Award in the "industry" category for its hinge system Blumotion. The invention assures that doors, drawers and lift systems close gently and silently.[20]

Apprenticeship training[edit]

Mechanical engineering at Blum

Blum Austria started its own apprenticeship system in 1970.[12] The four-year program is a combination of class participation and practical training in the company. Students are able to learn high-tech professions in metal and plastics processing.[2][4][21][22] Vocational training is common within central Europe, as young people are split at the age of 15 either to academic schools or to apprenticeships.[2][9]

Eight training programs are currently offered:

In 1995, Blum USA introduced the in-house training program "Apprenticeship 2000" according to the Austrian model. The company cooperates with businesses in the community and the Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC).[2][21][22]

As of September 2015, the company trains 298 apprentices, 14 of which are in the United States.[10] Blum apprentices frequently take part in global competitions like WorldSkills, in which they have received several certificates of excellence.[3][22]

Blum is actively involved in a variety of initiatives with educational and training organisations, such as the Buckinghamshire New University Foundation Course for kitchen designers.[23]

Environment[edit]

Blum started to install energy management systems as early as 20 years ago. The company has been certified to several international standards, including ISO 14001,[3] ISO 9001[24] and ISO 50001.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.blum.com/facts.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Rusnak, Andrew (March–April 2015). "Perfecting motion". Charlotte Business Journal. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Legg, John (September 17, 2013). "Furniture & Joinery Production". Furniture Production visits Blum. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Andiva, Yvonne (March 2015). "Fitted Kitchens". Construction Review. 
  5. ^ "Blum spends $10M for equipment". Charlotte Business Journal. 14 April 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  6. ^ http://www.blum.com/plants
  7. ^ a b c Thorpe, Amelia (October 2012). "Smooth operators". EKB Business. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Facts and figures". Julius Blum GmbH. 
  9. ^ a b "Blum Austria Trip – Part 1: Employee Investment » The Furniture Makers Company". www.furnituremakers.org.uk. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  10. ^ a b c "Blum turnover up again in the 2014/2015 financial year". Julius Blum GmbH. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  11. ^ Margarethe Endl (30 January 1997). "US-Tochter von Julius Blum strebt Milliardenumsatz an". WirtschaftsBlatt (in German). Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "The history of Julius Blum GmbH". Julius Blum GmbH. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  13. ^ a b "Blum: Welcome boost in the 2013/2014 financial year | Furniture Production Magazine". www.furnitureproduction.net. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  14. ^ Legg, John (September 9, 2013). "Blum's fittings innovations at Sicam". Furniture & Joinery Production. Retrieved October 30, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Bathroom & Kitchen Update | Blum on future storage". www.bathroomandkitchenupdate.com. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  16. ^ "Bathroom & Kitchen Update | Blum innovates at Interzum". www.bathroomandkitchenupdate.com. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  17. ^ "Blum to showcase product innovations at interzum 2015". My Office Magazine. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  18. ^ a b "Red Dot Online: Winners of the “interzum award: intelligent material & design 2015” - jury of experts granted top award to just nine entries". en.red-dot.org. Retrieved 2015-10-30.  C1 control character in |title= at position 32 (help)
  19. ^ "Blum introduces LEGRABOX and AMBIA-LINE | KBIS Pressroom". KBIS Pressroom. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  20. ^ a b "European Inventor Award 2013 goes to Julius Blum GmbH from Austria- ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA international - advantageaustria.org". Advantage Austria. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  21. ^ a b "Dual Training Made in Austria – the Blum Apprenticeship 2000 Program". ostaustria.org. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  22. ^ a b c "Apprenticeship 2000 trains workers for coming decades - Charlotte Business Journal". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  23. ^ "Encouraging new talent". Designer Kitchen & Bathroom. January 2015. 
  24. ^ "The Blum quality cycle". Julius Blum GmbH. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  25. ^ "Blum's Energy Management System Certified with the new ISO 50001 | Architecture And Design". Architecture And Design. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]