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75 years of family business with history





It was 1947 when a train broke down at Porta Westfalica station and could not continue for some unknown reason. The company celebrates its 75th anniversary on 23.5.2022.

It was 1947 when a train broke down at Porta Westfalica station and could not continue for some unknown reason. Hans Bernstein was one of the passengers together with his wife Ursula and their then four-year-old son Hans-Joachim. They had just moved to the West from Leipzig and had originally planned to travel to southern Germany. But the young family now decided to get off the train and stay in Porta Westfalica: The course was set for BERNSTEIN AG, one of the leading developers and manufacturers of switches, sensors, enclosures and support arm systems. The company celebrates its 75th anniversary on 23.5.2022.

Today, BERNSEIN employs more than 560 people in 10 countries and is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The headquarters are still located in Porta Westfalica. Hans Bernstein first founded the company "BERNSTEIN Spezialfabrik für Schaltkontakte" here, from which today's BERNSTEIN Group emerged. Hans-Joachim Bernstein, his eldest son, was instrumental in continuing the success story. Under his management, together with his wife Gisela Bernstein, the company developed into today's internationally active technology group. In the meantime, the family business is managed in the 3rd generation by the grandchildren of the company founder, Nicole and Achim Bernstein. Hans Bernstein received a special tribute posthumous in July 2015 when the town of Porta Westfalica renamed the access road to the main administration building "Hans-Bernstein-Straße". Not far away, in Hille-Hartum, is the company's German manufacturing site. Currently, the furthest BERNSTEIN subsidiary is BERNSTEIN Safe Solutions in Taicang, China - there are exactly 8,627 km between it and Hausberge.

As a supplier of industrial safety and enclosure technology, BERNSTEIN AG combines its expertise in the DETECT and PROTECT divisions. The two business units DETECT (switches, sensors, safety technology) & PROTECT (enclosure technology) operate as two independent sales divisions - united under the umbrella of the BERNSTEIN brand.

For example, one of DETECT's latest developments, the SMART Safety System, monitors industrial plants and machines. It protects employees from injury by shutting down the equipment or not even starting it up if, for example, a safety guard is not properly closed. In this new development, BERNSTEIN has placed particular focus on the associated diagnostic system: It reads a large amount of data and makes it available centrally and flexibly in the sense of intelligent production. In this way, BERNSTEIN supports its customers in the implementation of its Industry 4.0 through the use of digital information. In this way, product and process quality and ultimately machine effectiveness can be increased.

BERNSTEIN has also made a name for itself with products from the PROTECT enclosure range - for example, when it comes to operating and monitoring production lines in the automotive industry, among others. For example, the operator of a machine should be able to adapt the working environment to his individual body dimensions, body forces and requirements. This is exactly the right challenge for support systems such as the CS-4000 neXt with its rotatable stand, an individually height-adjustable keyboard shelf and other functions.

The company's "hygiene technology" division developed in the wake of the Corona pandemic. Its portfolio includes, for example, a hygiene column that implements both hand disinfection and customer counting in the retail sector, among others. It provides information via a monitor on how many customers are currently in the shop and what the maximum number is - depending on the shop area and the current version of the Corona Protection Ordinance.

"We want to keep our finger on the pulse of the times and the market, continue to grow and not rest on the successes of the past 75 years. Rather, we see them as an incentive and trailblazer for the future of the company," says Nicole Bernstein.

Ursula and Hans Bernstein
Hans Bernstein, here with his wife Ursula, founded the company "BERNSTEIN Spezialfabrik für Schaltkontakte".