The history of the FRÄNKISCHE Group

Founded in 1906, the company has developed into a group of companies with almost 6,000 employees and 17 production and sales facilities worldwide. For all its internationality, the FRÄNKISCHE Group is firmly rooted at its headquarters in Königsberg, Lower Franconia, and is still family-run - now in its 4th generation.

Our key inventions - the flexible metal electrical conduit, its further development in plastic and the yellow drainage pipe - form the basis of our success and today's product diversity. They symbolize our ability to shape industry standards through continuous research and development.

1906 – Foundation

Master locksmith Georg Schäfer founds the "Fränkische Isolierrohr- und Metallwarenwerke Gg. Schäfer & Cie." in Schweinfurt. in Schweinfurt. The company produces insulating pipes and accessories for electrical installations.

1909 – Otto Konrad Kirchner

The great-great-grandfather of today’s Owner and CEO of the FRÄNKISCHE Group joins his brother in the company, which already has warehouses and agencies in Germany and abroad.

1912 – Relocation

After the five-story factory building burns down, the company moves into a vacant hall in Königsberg in Franconia and resumes production with around 60 employees.

1921 – Change in name

The Kirchner brothers take over the company, which is renamed “Fränkische Isolierrohr- und Metallwarenwerke Gebr. Kirchner Königsberg i. Bayern” and from 1939 is managed by graduate engineer Otto Konrad Kirchner as the sole owner.

1949 – Dr. Auguste Kirchner

After the death of Otto Konrad Kirchner, his widow, Dr Auguste Kirchner, who holds a doctorate in chemistry, takes over the management of the company.

1952 – Flexible metal electrical conduit

Thanks to specially developed machines, the previously rigid conduit becomes the world's first flexible corrugated conduit made of metal, which fundamentally changes the electrical installation.

1959 – Flexible plastic electrical conduit

FRÄNKISCHE uses a patented process to produce the world's first continuously extruded flexible plastic electrical conduit.

1961 – Plastic drainage pipe

The company revolutionizes drainage technology with the world's first corrugated, endless drainage pipe made of plastic.

1968 – Industry

Corrugated plastic pipes made from new materials and in a wide range of diameters are used in the machinery and equipment industry.

1970 – Hermann & Fritz Kirchner

Otto Kirchner's sons, who already support Dr Auguste Kirchner in the management, become shareholder-managers (2nd generation).

End of the 1970s – Building Technology

Pipes made of polybutene and polypropylene are used for heating pipes and underfloor heating systems. Multilayer composite pipes made of plastic and metal are later developed for the sanitary sector.

1977 – Change in name

The company is renamed to "FRÄNKISCHE Rohrwerke Gebr. Kirchner GmbH & Co KG".

1991 – Otto Kirchner

Fritz Kirchner's son Otto becomes Managing Partner (3rd generation) and manages the company together with Hermann Kirchner's son Helmut, who had been Managing Partner since 1980.

1992 – Automotive

Following the development of a corrugated plastic pipe with a diameter of just 4.5 mm, FRÄNKISCHE also presents itself for the first time as a supplier to the automotive industry.

2002 – Internationalisation

The turn of the millennium marks the beginning of internationalization, and FRÄNKISCHE is soon represented with production or sales facilities on almost every continent.

2006 – Takeover of all shares

Otto Kirchner takes over all shares from his co-partners and continues the company philosophy of his ancestors as sole managing partner - FRÄNKISCHE remains a family business.

2008 – Spin-off of FRÄNKISCHE Industrial Pipes

The Industrial Products division becomes an independent GmbH and operates freely on the market as a wholly owned subsidiary.

2019 – Julius Kirchner

Otto Kirchner's son Julius becomes Managing Partner (4th generation) and manages the company together with his father, who retires from the operational business in 2021.

2023 – New company structure

The family-owned company is transferred to a holding structure. The two subsidiaries FRÄNKISCHE Rohrwerke and FRÄNKISCHE Industrial Pipes operate under the umbrella of FRÄNKISCHE Group SE.

quotation marks

Our employees, managers and the entrepreneur family can look back on our success story with pride, but also with gratitude - knowing full well that despite the high level of commitment over generations, a portion of luck is also needed to survive all these years in good shape and to be able to be considered one of the large and renowned family businesses today.

Otto Kirchner Shareholder