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History of the Müller Group

From tinsmith to industrial business

In 1897 the former tinshmith Müller located in Kleinhüningen hired their first employee and therefor became a company by definition. This makes 1897 the Year of foundation of the Müller AG. To this day the small company has developed into a family-owned industrial company with ca. 400 employees and the two segments Industrial Packaging and Handling & Processing which operates worldwide.

  • Today
  • 2000's
  • 1990's
  • 1980's
  • 1970's
  • 1960's
  • 1950's
  • 1940's
  • 1930's
  • 1920's
  • 1910's
  • 1900's
  • 1890's
  • 1888
  • Today

    2010

    Senior partner and 3rd generation shareholder Hans Müller-Senn dies on the 23rd of March at the age of 83.
    Fördertechnik AG Münchenstein takes a 25% stake in ILS Intra Logistik Service AG in Muhen.


    2011

    Senior partner and shareholder of the 3rd generation Rudolf Müller dies at 86 years on the 13th of March.
    On the 17th of November we celebrate winning the 2nd place of the "SVC Unternehmerpreis" (business award) for northern Switzerland. The year is marked by a large Euro crisis and a strong Swiss Franc. 


    2012

    The Müller-Systemtechnik of Fördertechnik AG Münchenstein is successfully integrated in Müller GmbH Rheinfelden (Germany).
    Daniel Müller, representative of the 5th Müller Generation, joins the Müller AG Cleaning Solution as  head of Technical Division.
    The whole Müller Group achieves the initial certification of the management system ISO 14001 and occupational safety OSHAS 18001. The 4th and 5th Müller generation meet on the 15th of August for a family day and visit the plants Plastomatic AG Muttens and Müller AG Verpackungen Münchenstein
    A photovoltaic system for 100,000 kwh is installed on the roof of Müller AG Verpackungen Münchenstein.


    2013

    The Müller AG Immo Münchenstein is founded. They supervise the estate and the residential and commercial properties of the Müller Group.


    2014

    Starting April 1st, the Müller AG Cleaning Solution is based in Münchenstein and under new management.
    The company Müller Container Systeme GmbH Appenweier (Germany) is founded. It produces and sells container systems for the pharmaceutical and food industry.
    The 4th and 5th Müller generation meet in October for a family day to visit Müller AG Verpackungen in Reiden.
    The Müller Group is working with a new ERP System.
    The puplic road that crosses our premises in Münchenstein are bought from the community. We are planing a production-related optimization of the work place in Münchenstein.
    Our two business segments "Industrial packing" and "Handling&Processing" stand up well in the market. We have approximately 400 employees, including ca. 14 apprentices.


    2015

    The sites of the Müller Group located in Switzerland are faced with major challenges by the abolition of the minimum Euro exchange rate of CHF 1,20 by the SNB on January 15th.
    "I am Müller" is the slogan for the celebration on the 12th of September. The employees and pensioners of Müller GmbH celebrate the 50th anniversary of the site in Rheinfelden together with their families with an eventful festivity.
    Simultaneously the new production hall is officially inaugurated. The extension over more than 1.300m2 is the third expansion of the production space since the company was founded in 1965, additional to the years 1970 and 1999.
    The management system FSSC 22000 for food safety for selected drum productions is introduced and successfully certified.


    2016

    As one of the measures of our Müller Group strategy, we have renamed Plastomatic AG in Müller AG Plastics and Fördertechnik AG in Müller AG Intralogistics.
    In November, the 4th and 5th generation of the Müller family meet for a family day to visit Müller GmbH in D-Rheinfelden.
    With the adoption of LEAN management in the Müller Group, we want to create values without prodigality.

  • 2008

    2000's

    2005

    Peter Müller and Walter Müller replace their fathers Hans and Rudolf as Managing Directors of Müller GmbH in Rheinfelden.


    2006

    Walter Müller takes over the chairmanship of the operating companies of Müller Group from Marco Fischer. Peter Müller replaces Marco Fischer as CEO of the Müller Group.


    2008

    Work is paused for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the factory in Reiden. The financial crisis also reaches the Müller Group.
    On August 21st, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Müller-generation is meeting in Rheinfelden for a Family Day.
    As a manufacturer of plastic-food-packaging, Plastomatic AG in Muttenz achieves the initial certification of the managementsystem BRC/IoP .


    2009

    Global recession suppresses the course of business. Müller AG Verpackungen Münchenstein and Reiden certifies the hygiene management system DIN 15593.
    The new brands are established and the Müller film is produced. The company Müller AG Cleaning Solutions is founded. It produces cleaning systems for the pharmaceutical and food industry.

  • 1998

    1990's

    1991

    Müller AG Verpackungen buy the machines and mild metal products of BMW-Vogel AG in Aesch and Stebler-Saner of Nunningen.


    1992

    Hans Müller steps back to second row after being CEO for 42 years.


    1996

    Walter Müller replaces his father Rudolf Müller in the Board of Directors of Müller AG Verpackungen.


    1996–1998

    Matthias Müller, second cousin of Walter and Peter Müller, acts as Chairman of the Board.


    1997

    Peter Müller replaces his father on the Board of Directors of Müller AG Verpackungen and will be Vice President of the operating companies of Müller Group a year later.

    The Anniversary Generel Meeting for the 100th anniversary of the company is held on June 25th. Münchenstein has a day of «open house». Employees receive an anniversary bonus. In the cultural and sports center (Kuspo) the  «The Jubilee Musical» is shown. A big celebration with all employees, customers, suppliers and business partners is being organized in a circus tent.


    1998

    The bank BLKB gives Müller AG Verpackungen the "Kantonalbank-Price". Paul Nyffeler, CEO of the BLKB, honors the company «for the successful development of an innovative family business and a leading company in the packaging industry».

    At the end of the year the Holding company called MVM Pack-Holding AG is being created. Walter Müller officiates as President ans Peter Müller is CFO of the Müller Group.

  • 1980's

    1981

    Fördertechnik AG pass to 100 percent into the possession of the Müller Group .


    1982

    The remaining shares of Mauser and Stebler-Saner Companies on Leichtfass AG are bought. Now it belongs to 100 percent to the Müller Group.

    Representing the fourth generation, Peter Müller joins the Plastomatic AG. Until 1998 he is responsible for finance, marketing and administration as well as management. 


    1985

    Rudolf Müller steps back from the Board of Management after being CEO for 40 years. Hans Müller and Marco Fischer take the lead in the business of the Müller Group.


    1987

    A new production facility for Fördertechnik AG is built in Münchenstein.


    1988

    Fördertechnik AG moves to the new facility building in Münchenstein.


    1989

    The Müller Group is one of the first industrial companies to achieve the international quality certificate ISO 9001.

  • 1972

    1970's

    1971

    After the major expansion phase of the last two years, there are a canteen, new dressing rooms and showers available for the staff. The acute labor shortage should be countered with this modern infrastructure.


    1972

    As the participation in the Hamburg shipping company can not be controlled up to satisfaction, the two ships are sold and the partnership is dissolved.

    Ernst Müller AG Blechemballagen celebrates it's 75th birthday. Prof. Dr. Felix Richard-Müller writes in the anniversary booklet: «Benefical growth of a complex constructed industry is always based on loyal customers as well as a good habitat for each fateful connected employee. Eyeryone wants social security for himself and his family. It is the purpose of the company to meet these needs as much as possible.»

    Despite reconstruction, rationalization and modernization, the capacities in Münchenstein are no longer sufficient. The Board of Directors decides to buy a 50,000 square meter property in Reiden .

    The new building for the Leichtfass AG in Muttenz is ready for occupation. The side in Basel is abandoned.


    1974

    On August 29th starts the building of a new facility in Reiden which will produce voluminous 200 litre drums.

    Plastomatic AG move from Basel to Muttenz into a new building.


    1975

    Economy is bad. Plastomatic pass into the possession of the Müller Group to 100 percent.


    1976

    The economy is facing a sharp appreciation of the Swiss Franc. The Swiss export industry is suffering. 1974 one Dollar equals 4.30 Swiss Francs, and 100 DM match 120 Swiss Francs. In June 1976 it is only 2.45 and 93 Francs.

    Director Paul Hof retires this year. Marco Fischer joins the company.


    1978

    After four years of construction and set-up time the machine in Reiden is launched officially on the 30th of March and the first drums are produced.

    At the 42nd Annual General Meeting it is decided to change the name of company Ernst Müller AG Blechwarenfabrik to Müller AG Verpackungen. It is required by the specialization in the basic materials steel, stainless steel, plastic and fibre . The change facilitates the marketing and especially the advertisement.

  • 1963

    1960's

    1960

    Order situation is good. Construction booms. The 45-hour-week is introduced.


    1961

    Rudolf and Hans Müller transfer the stake of the north-german shipping company to the Ernst Müller AG for tax reasons.


    1962

    The company diversifies and buys a stake of the Plastomatic AG and subsequently increases its stock capital by 50'000 to 450'000 Swiss Francs.


    1963

    The political and economic conditions are characterized by the diversity of EEC (European Economic Community) and EFTA (European Free Trade Association). The chemical industry of Basel relocates productions abroad. To gain a foothold in the EEC, the company buys 27,500 square meters of industrial land in Sierentz (Alsace) and found the Société Industrielle Sierentz SA.


    1963

    The new administration building in Münchenstein, designed by the architects Flum and Arber is opened (picture of construction).


    1963

    In future also packaging- and conveying systems should be developed. An engineer-office starts to work. Production takes place in Münchenstein. The newly found Fördertechnik AG in Basel take over the sales part.


    1965

    Due to increasing financial loss, the stake in the Leeser Kleinpackung oHG is sold.


    1965

    In exchange Gempp & Unold with considerable ground in Rheinfelden (Baden) is bought. This becomes the Müller GmbH for mild steel packaging and galvanizing. This new acquisition requires a further increase of the stock capital to 720'000 Swiss Francs.


    1966

    Stock capital hits 1’340’000 Francs. Strict management, advanced management methods and applied marketing entail the introduction of electronic data processing (EDP). The ELDAG Electronic Data Processing processes the papers abroad.


    1968

    As the Müller GmbH in Rheinfelden (Baden) takes over the "European Function", the Société Industrielle Sierentz SA is being dissolved.


    1969

    Production in Münchenstein is redesigned and adapted to the latest requirements. A new automated production line, two "Double-burn-in furnaces", an automatic washing mashine and 14 new (some of them automatic) spray booths are put into operation.

  • 1950

    1950's

    1950

    Karl Müller dies of a heart attack on the 11th of January. The young sons of Ernst Müller, Rudolf (25) and Hans (23), now have to take over the business. Towards the end of the year the economic situation is improving.


    1950 - 1954

    An investment and risk-taking phase begins. Some tags to it: new machines, automation, enhancement of the fleet, reconstruction of a production building.


    Stock capital is increased to 400'000 Swiss Francs. The widows of Ernst and Karl Müller, Lydia Müller-Schärer (50% of the stock capital) and Rosa Müller-Lauber (25% of the stock capital), enter the Board of Directors. Rudolf and Hans Müller own a capital share of 12,5 percent each.


    1954

    Rudolf and Hans Müller recognize the need for product-specific packaging – therefore they take share in the Leichtfass AG, which solely produces Fibre-Drums.


    1955

    The company gets involved with the Leeser Kleinpackung oGH in Cologne with 20 percent. The german company manufactures products of paper, cardboard, plastic and metall. New knowledge and relationships develop by this cooperation.


    1956

    Rudolf and Hans Müller participate personally in a partner shipping company in Hamburg . Studies on the storage of packages in the ships provide important clues to the necessary quality and design of packaging. The commitment includes the two ships MS «Margaretha Bischoff» with 1679 BRT and MS «Erika Bischoff» with 2275 BRT.


    1959

    The 46-hour week is established.

  • 1945

    1940's

    1940

    The frontiers are closed. The supply of raw material becomes a problem. The competition is increasing.


    1943

    The welfare fund for employees is established.


    1944

    Ernst Müller dies on the 18th of October at the age of 59, Karl Müller takes over the sole leadership. Paul Hof, the former authorised officer and later director, is his loyal and active supporter.


    1945

    After the end of World War II a certain stimulation effect sets in. But procurement of raw materials is still a big problem until the end of the year.

    Rudolf Müller, son of Ernst Müller, who is still in training, helps with the business.


    1946

    Confidence rises that purchase and sales will come back into line. With the overall economic upturn, it is becoming more difficult to recruit staff. «We have to deal with the increasing competition» states the Annual Report. The competition includes BMW, Gempp & Unold as well as Stebler-Saner.


    1947

    The company is 50 years old. The economy is picking up pace. The orders of the Basel Chemistry increase. The focus of production is on mild steel packaging; the share of tinplate packaging and stove pipes is around 2 percent.


    1949

    Economy weakens again. The company needs fewer staff, but uses staff turnover wisely so no employee has to be decruited.

  • 1939

    1930's

    1936

    The sole member company turns into a stock corporation with a capital of 100'000 Swiss Francs. As a result a proprietary retirement and survivor's pension is created.


    1939

    The start of the Second World War threatens the existence of the company.

  • 1901

    1920's

    1922

    This year is of particular importance: The premises in Kleinhüningen are too small.

    Ernst Müller buys the manufacture building of the company Ackermann, which produce components for the electrical industry (picture). The sales contract is signed on April the 11th 1922. The property in Münchenstein with 42 Ar has cost 550.000 Swiss Francs. The same year brother Karl Müller joins the company and takes over the commercial management, after working in Basel as a teacher. Ernst Müller can now devote himself more intensively to production and expansion of operation, while his brother takes care of expanding the clientele as well as administration and bookkeeping.

    More than 10'000 pieces of tins and square containers made of white and black steel are produced per year.

  • 1910's

    1910–1919

    With the serial production of white tin cans for the fast growing chemical industry of Basel, Ernst Müller has discovered a market niche. Despite the First World War the manufacturing is being modernized.

  • 1922

    1900's

    1901

    The future plans of the family are destroyed unexpectedly by the death of the eldest son Rudolf. He dies after a short, massive suffering of meningitis. After this, Ernst Müller decides to resign his apprenticeship which he had already started as a Fergger at Senn & Co in Basel and steps into the footsteps of his deceased brother.

  • 1897_1909

    1890's

    1892

    Rudolf Müller dies, his wife Elisabeth leads the tinsmith shop as well as the household business.


    1897 - 1909

    The tinsmith shop hires it's first employee and therefore becomes a company by definition. This makes 1897 the year of foundation of today's Müller AG.
    Picture: Elisabeth, Son Ernst (l.) with Mr. Neuenschwander (r.).

  • 1888

    Rudolf Müller founds a tinshmith shop in Kleinhüningen