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Ziehl-Abegg SE
Societas Europaea
Industry Electrotechnology, Automotive
Founded 1910
Headquarters Kuenzelsau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Key people

Executive Board

  • Peter Fenkl, Chairman
  • Achim Curd Raegle
  • Norbert Schuster
  • Klaus Weiß, Ph.D.
  • Uwe Ziehl, Supervisory Board Chairman
Products Fans and drives
Revenue 540 Mio. EUR (2017)[1]
Number of employees
3900 (2017)[2]
Website http://www.ziehl-abegg.com
First Design of an external rotor motor

Ziehl-Abegg SE (own notation ZIEHL-ABEGG SE, until 2013 Ziehl-Abegg AG)[3] is a German manufacturer of fans for ventilation and air conditioning applications, as well as drive technology for elevators and motors with matching control technology. The company's headquarters are in Kuenzelsau, in Hohenlohekreis, Germany.

The group owns

  • ZIEHL-ABEGG SE, Künzelsau (Headquarters)
  • Ziehl-Abegg Automotive GmbH & Co. KG, Künzelsau[4]

as well as all international subsidiaries.


In 1897, Emil Ziehl developed the first external rotor motor. In early 1910, the Ziehl-Abegg Electricity Company was founded in Berlin. Emil Ziehl and the Swedish investor Eduard Abegg set up the company in Weißensee,[5] a borough now part of the Pankow District.

Emil Ziehl had big expectations for Abegg, who was to develop wind turbines. After the company’s logo (with Abegg’s name on it) was already made public, Abegg failed to bring the promised funds. The introduced patent for the wind motors also turned out to be unsuitable. Abegg left the company that same year.[5]

The plant in Berlin was dismantled and taken to the Soviet Union after the German Surrender in 1945, following orders of the Soviet Military Administration in Germany.[5] In 1947, the brothers Günther and Heinz Ziehl re-established the company in the Künzelsau castle mill, this time in West Germany. In 1960 began the production of an external rotor motor as a fan drive. The internalisation of the company started in 1973 and, in 2001, it became a family owned, joint-stock company.[6]

Sales subsidiaries can be found in Poland, China, Russia, USA, Czech Republic, Sweden, United Kingdom, Finland, France, Italy, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Austria, Ukraine, Spain, Benelux, South Africa, Japan, Turkey, India and Brasil.

The founders of various competitors (Gebhardt, ebm-papst and Rosenberg) were employees of Ziehl-Abegg before starting their own company. Wilhelm Gebhardt worked in the Development department, and Karl Rosenberg used to work in the Sales department until 1981, when he left to set up his own firm.[7]


The biggest division is the Ventilation division, in which axial and radial fans with a diameter from 190 mm to 1400 mm are produced. Ziehl-Abegg also has two further divisions which produce drives and the corresponding control technology. Application areas are i.e. Heat, clean room and refrigeration technology.

In the late 1980s, Ziehl-Abegg became the first company in the world to introduce EC-Motors (see Brushless DC electric motor) and use them for Ventilation Technology.[8] In the 1990s, the rotor blades were sickled and in 2006 they were equipped with a bionic profile, in order to minimize the noise emissions.[9] In 2013, Ziehl-Abegg was also the first company in the world to develop a Bio-Fan made entirely of a Bio-Polymer (in this case castor oil).[9]

In the drives division, Electrical Motors for lifts, medical applications (i.e. Computer Tomographs) and Omnibuses are developed.[10]

Ziehl-Abegg Automotive[edit]

At the International Motor Show Germany in 2012, the associate company Ziehl-Abegg Automotive presented under the name ZAwheel a gearless in hub wheel drive for buses[11] and other commercial vehicles with a synchronous external rotor motor.[11]

Buses equipped with ZAwheel are in line operation since 2008,[12] among others in Apeldoorn ("The Whisperer") and Rotterdam ("eBusz").[13][14] Five buses equipped with ZAwheel started their tour in the German city Münster in April 2015. The ZAwheel SM530 model with 125 kW has a maximum torque of 6000 Nm. The Efficiency is up to 90%. The retrofitting for conventional buses with a diesel engine is also possible.[11]


Ziehl-Abegg SE[edit]

Ziehl-Abegg Offices in Künzelsau

The headquarters are located at the Heinz-Ziehl Street in Kuenzelsau, with a subsidiary plant in the nearby Würzburger Street. Built in 2008, the world's largest and most modern air flow and noise level test chambers for fans can be found in the main production site.[15]

Further production sites are located in Schoental-Bieringen (one facility) and in the Günther-Ziehl Street in the Hohenlohe Industrial Park, Kupferzell (ZA Kupferzell).[16]

Ziehl-Abegg France SARL[edit]

The production site of electrical motors and complete Fan Systems for the Refrigeration and ventilation industry is located in Villieu, Lyon. 118 Employees work on an area of 10.000 qm.

Ziehl-Abegg KFT[edit]

ZIEHL-ABEGG Motor- és Ventillátorgyártó Kft. in Marcali (Hungary) was founded in December 1994 by ZIEHL-ABEGG GmbH. & Co. with a capital of 84.570.000 Forint. This plant manufactures Ventilation equipment, special electrical motors, axial and radial fans and accessories for agriculture, engineering, AC-equipment and cooling industry. The production of the parts consists of three facilities on an area of 62.000 qm in total.

Training and education[edit]

The percentage of trainees and apprentices in Ziehl-Abegg is close to 10%. In 2014, the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce gave Ziehl-Abegg the "Dualis" Label for its remarkable training programme.

In 2012, Ziehl-Abegg was honoured with the Human Resources Excellence Award for its outstanding Welcome Culture towards international employees.[17] Ziehl-Abegg is also exporting the successful German Dual education system: the Ziehl-Abegg facility in Hungary is offering a cooperative study program (with an 80%–20% balance of theory and practice, similar to the special college system called Duale Hochschule) for 2016, following the start of the Dual Training System in 2013.


  1. ^ Ziehl-Abegg steigert weltweiten Umsatz on ki-portal.de
  2. ^ About Ziehl-Abegg [1] from 2016-03-23
  3. ^ The Royal League on www.ziehl-abegg.com
  4. ^ [2] on www.ziehl-abegg.com
  5. ^ a b c The Electro-locomotives of the Berharnd Station on nonstopsystems.com
  6. ^ Think global, act local on ejarn.com
  7. ^ Komplizierte Familienverhältnisse on www.brandeins.de
  8. ^ EC-Technology on Es Magazine
  9. ^ a b Interplay of design + material Archived 8 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine. on akro-plastic.com
  10. ^ Land der Ideen
  11. ^ a b c Energy Globe Award from 21 April 2013
  12. ^ Public comparison: E-bus is much quieter on ecartec.com
  13. ^ Ziehl in Hannover on BustoCoach.com
  14. ^ e-Busz on www.e-traction.com
  15. ^ Innovation and Ventilation Combine at Ziehl-Abegg on ejarn.com
  16. ^ Germany sites on www.ziehl-abegg.com
  17. ^ "Ziehl-Abegg: Highest sales in the history of the company". www.ejarn.com. Retrieved 2015-12-04. 

External links[edit]