Our history

The success story that is SIMONSWERK began in 1889 in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, East Westphalia when the company then known as H. Simons & Co. specialised in the manufacture of hinges and hinge systems.

Today, the SIMONSWERK GROUP employees 850 people and is one of the world’s leading providers of hinges and hinge systems.

2019 The Colcom Group strengthens the Group
2017 SIMONSWERK is a majority shareholder in Anselmi & C. S.r.l.
2009 VARIANT Planum - reduced to the essentials
2002 The concealed TECTUS hinge system comes onto the market
1997 The SIKU 3D hinge system for PVCu entrance doors come onto the market
1997 SIMONSWERK POLSKA and SIMONSWERK UK Ltd. sales companies founded
1992 The production facility in Heiligenstadt opens
1990 The VARIANT VX knuckle hinge system for heavy-duty doors is developed
1986 The new high-bay warehouse opens for the first time
1981 VARIANT VN system comes onto the market
1979 Modernising production
1967 Quality assurance
1963 VARIANT comes onto the market
1958 The BAKA hinge system comes onto the market
1948 New currency, new business
1946 Reboot after the war
1945 Collapse and restart
1930 Introduction of S-lines
1921 SIMONSWERK in World War I
1910 First modernisation measures
1909 Takeover of the company management
1897 The company is already employing 250 people.
1889 Company founded by Hugo Simons


As a corporate group with an international presence and global market leader in the field of high-quality hinge systems, the SIMONSWERK GROUP offers technical expertise that meets the most demanding designs. At the 2023 BAU trade fair in Munich, the SIMONSWERK GROUP had a joint presence for the first time with every member of the group and presented the complete product range under the new SIMONSWERK brand.


The Colcom Group strengthens the Group

As part of the SIMONSWERK GROUP, Colcom, based in northern Italy, combines Italian design with technical expertise. The north Italian company has specialised in glass door furniture and the development of hydraulic hinge concepts over its 60-year history. Today, Colcom is regarded as a leading expert in the field of hydraulic hinges for damping and closing. It provides architectural solutions for a wide range of both interior and exterior glass applications. 


SIMONSWERK is a majority shareholder in Anselmi & C. S.r.l.

The Italian manufacturer of concealed hinge systems and residential door furniture is headquartered in Roncade, Italy. Founded in 1973 by Bepi Anselmi, it has been a member of the SIMONSWERK GROUP since 2017.


VARIANT Planum - reduced to the essentials

The drive for a highly optimised product that maintains its aesthetic appeal also applies to visible hinges. When asked for an elegant solution that can also support extremely high loads, SIMONSWERK comes up with the answer: The elegant knuckle VARIANT, pared down to a mere 15 mm, is particularly suitable for use on high-quality doors with slim, recessed frame facings and shadow gap constructions.

Paring down to just the essentials is characteristic of modern architecture, particularly in non-residential applications. The company is very aware of this and will continue to adapt to it in the years to come. This stylising with reduced lines is emphasised by the functional features of the VARIANT Planum hinge system. It is maintenance-free and can support loads up to 160 kg while maintaining outstanding movement properties. It also has CE certification and can be used as a functional safety door for fire and smoke as well as for soundproofing.


The concealed TECTUS hinge system comes onto the market

The completely concealed TECTUS hinge system is released and successfully launched to market. For the first time, unrebated doors can be optimally integrated into linear and flush room structures using SIMONSWERK hinges. 

The concealed TECTUS hinge system from SIMONSWERK makes day-to-day planning significantly easier for architects, planners, design-oriented developers and concept-driven interior designers. The wall, hinge and door leaf form a flush wall surface – for small-scale to large-scale projects, but always with a minimalist aesthetic, without compromising the technical features.


The SIKU 3D hinge system for PVCu entrance doors come onto the market

The SIKU 3D hinge system allows SIMONSWERK to offer its customers tailor-made solutions for the growing PVCu entrance door market. PVCu entrance doors develop from a niche product as an alternative frame material to what is now the largest entrance door market segment in Europe. New profiles with higher demands on thermal insulation and new infills for greater aesthetic demands are entering the market. This also results in greater demands on the load capacity and the appearance of hinges in this application area.


SIMONSWERK POLSKA and SIMONSWERK UK Ltd. sales companies founded

With the founding of sales companies in Poland and Great Britain, SIMONSWERK finds a route to service these markets in a targeted, customer-focused way.



The production facility in Heiligenstadt opens

Having travelled through all the new federal states in Germany, the management decides to set up a new plant. The intention is to build it in Rheda, the twin city of Heiligenstadt in Thuringia, with capacity for 50 to 80 employees. The large, 1,000 square metre production facility opens in the middle of 1992.

The plant is a major step forward as the production facilities in the original plant in Rheda are at full capacity. This is an impressive period of solidarity between the management and the works council. Potential fears that the new plant in Thuringia might have a detrimental impact on the original facility prove to be unfounded. On the contrary, a new stamping technology production facility is built by 1994 in order to be able to accommodate the jointly agreed growth targets.


The VARIANT VX knuckle hinge system for heavy-duty doors is developed

Ten years after the launch of the VARIANT VN, SIMONSWERK brings yet another innovation to the market. The innovative VARIANT VX, the universal hinge range, becomes an industry standard for heavy-duty doors in non-residential applications, and still leads the market for heavy-duty hinges today. The single positioning of the hinge and receiver across the centre of the hinge ensures architects, developers, manufacturers and processors can work together seamlessly.

The universal three-dimensional adjustment technology provides adjustment of up to three millimetres in three directions, even after installation, and thus compensates any potential inaccuracies. Maximum comfort is provided by the optimised maintenance-free plain bearings. The matched hinge, receiver and cover subassembly provides the correct variant for every application. The hinge portfolio is supplemented by special designs such as the inclusion of FD technology and the development of hinges for burglar resistant doors.


The new high-bay warehouse opens for the first time

The construction of the high-bay warehouse, which complements the cityscape, sets the course for further expansion of business activities at an early stage. In 1986, SIMONSWERK commissions a new high-bay warehouse and a goods distribution centre connected to the rail network.

The 25 metre high, 65 metre long and 8 metre wide building provides storage for approximately 4,000 items in 3,200 bays with a total weight of 850 tonnes – all ready for instant call-off. Gate B was also redesigned so that every type of lorry and goods vehicle could be accommodated here.


VARIANT VN system comes onto the market

The VARIANT VN hinge system for non-residential applications was introduced with 3D adjustable receivers.  The new VARIANT VN (i.e. VARIANT New) has a simpler and slimmer shape due to the maintenance-free plain bearings in the continuous knuckle. The previously visible pins are neatly integrated into the hinge with positive locking.

The trend for developing customised solutions for one-off jobs is now really taking off. There is a constant need for hinge systems to offer unique features and characteristics to satisfy increasingly diverging demands.


Modernising production

Continuous modernisation ensures SIMONSWERK is always operating as efficiently as possible. Constantly growing demands on modern hinge systems, particularly with respect to load capacity, ensure the products have high, quality-assured standards.


Quality assurance

As the product range expands and production levels increase, the subject of Quality Assurance gains importance. As of 1967, every item manufactured is subject to strict quality controls. This is the only way to ensure the high quality of SIMONSWERK products when manufactured in bulk. 


Cold extrusion

The increasing demand for BAKA drill-in hinges and the VARIANT V hinge system require further rationalisation of production. The first multi-stage extrusion machines are purchased in 1967 as an alternative to automated lathes. The BAKA knuckles are now produced in large quantities as extremely dimensionally accurate cold extrusions. No further work is required.


VARIANT comes onto the market

VARIANT is the first standardised hinge range from SIMONSWERK. It allows door leaf and frame parts to be used in many different ways as well as efficient use of fittings in industrial door and frame production. The building hardware offer in Germany becomes increasingly diverse. And this alsoapplies to the end users’ and processors’ preferences and requirements. SIMONSWERK takes the lead amongst hinge manufacturers by producing standards for doors and frames. It is only through the development of this standard with door and frame manufacturers that separate serial production becomes possible. With a new type of ‘universal rebate system’ that complies with the standardised dimensions, it is now possible for door leaves and frames to be rebated separately to save time. Prior to this, doors and frames were manufactured together and the frames and door holes were produced by drilling by hand. The standardised rebate system heralds a new era. The variable VARIANT V hinge system for residential doors takes account of this change in the way door elements are produced.  Receivers for the hinges are also being used for the first time on the new steel and casing frames allowing easy adjustment as well as fastening.


The BAKA hinge system comes onto the market

SIMONSWERK achieves a real coup with the introduction of the BAKA hinge system. Previously, hinge systems had been manufactured for timber entrance doors and had more than proven their worth as a real classic. BAKA is a system for fitting hinges in the shortest possible time. By using an advanced jig system for the rebate any carpenter or joiner is now able to quickly process and install BAKA drill-in hinges for an accurate result.


New currency, new business

The regular production of door hinges takes off again with the currency reform. The German economy changes dramatically overnight as a direct result of the introduction of the Deutschmark. Shop windows are once again well stocked in the retail sector, purchasing patterns are bold and full of optimism for the future, as is the construction industry. To such an extent that SIMONSWERK is barely able to keep up with demand, as can be seen from a report dated 25 November 1949 by the authorised signatory, Karl Heißmann: “The increased demand that began in July continues. All our customers are demanding immediate delivery, are sending us reminders in writing and by telephone, are threatening to cancel, etc. Despite good business performance, not all requests can be met.

A further expansion of Department B and the hanger department would be highly desirable from the perspective of better customer service. We shipped more in November than any other month in the year.” The business soon occupies a good market position in the newly formed state. SIMONSWERK accounts for approximately a third of the door hinge market and almost half of the window frame market. More people are also being employed with 155 men and 71 women working in the factory at the end of November 1949.


Reboot after the war

After the temporary shut down of the company at the end of the war, the first response is to produce tobacco cutting machines. On 25 November 1946, a limited ‘small permit’ which had been issued in December 1945 is replaced by the definitive production licence. Production starts again and by 1947 has already achieved a third of standard peacetime production volumes.


Collapse and restart

After handing over the previous district of Wiedenbrück to the Allies, largely without any fighting, the Allies shut down the SIMONSWERK factory. Company documents and contemporary witnesses reveal that many machines and a great deal of the equipment in the factory were destroyed during this period by the freed prisoners of war.

A resumption of production is out of the question for the time being given the vast amount of damage. Meanwhile, intact machinery is also hidden underneath an artificial pile of rubble so that it is protected from being dismantled. However, the greater problem is that the military authorities have still not issued a production licence.

In this situation, necessity becomes the mother of invention giving rise to a clever, creative idea. At a time when peoples’ first consideration is simply surviving, the most basic questions dominate, such as where to acquire food. People with a garden can at least cultivate some vegetables. But hardly anyone can avoid the flourishing black market, and the hard currency there is cigarettes. Without further ado, quite a few people start growing their own tobacco plants. At the same time, the resourceful people at Simonswerk develop tobacco cutting machines – a fast-moving item among the local tobacco growers!


Introduction of S-lines

Hinges are still being produced largely manually in a step-by-step process. At the start of the 1930s, the so-called S-lines are introduced at SIMONSWERK which make production significantly easier. The “S” stands for the S-hinge which had been patented by SIMONSWERK.

Important stages in the work can now be completed by machines, saving an enormous amount of time. Rolled clamp and butt hinges are now churned out in bulk. In addition to this, the logo is stamped on them. This development secures the company an important technical advantage over the competition.



Paul and Rudolf Simons’ initiative to modernise the plant and convince the workforce at Rheda is halted by an economic crisis, initially in Germany and later abroad as well. Exports to the Far East come to an almost complete standstill due to the crisis in the Balkans as export routes are effectively blocked.

The start of World War I stifles any hope of business improving. Construction activity in Germany drops to almost zero. The Verband der Baubeschlagfabrikanten (German Association of Building Hardware Manufacturers), which SIMONSWERK was a member of, records sales of 8-9 per cent compared to peacetime. This results in SIMONSWERK switching part of its production to items for the armed forces.


First modernisation measures

Initially, the stabilisation of price erosion leads to an improvement in business figures to the extent that in the Annual Report for 1910/1911, some orders have to be declined for certain items as there is insufficient production capacity. In mid-1910, August Thyssen comes on board as the majority shareholder of SIMONSWERK through his Gewerkschaft Deutscher Kaiser with a share of 240,000 Marks.

The shareholders approve 300,000 Marks for more modernisation measures which leads to an upgrade at every level. Office buildings, the pickling shop, the grinding shop, stores for semi-finished goods and raw materials are all rebuilt. The existing stores, packaging area, metalworking shop and the boiler and steam room are also upgraded, including the addition of a new steam engine. New processing machines are also part of the refurbishment work. Almost all the remaining buildings are renovated from the ground up.


Takeover of the company management

First change of management

When Hugo Simons dies on 15 April 1909 following a stroke, he leaves his sons Paul (1880-1931, Commercial Manager) and Rudolf (1875-1946, Engineering Manager) a business in a state of upheaval. The company had suffered from a constant shortage of employees for years as well as high staff turnover which meant the production capacity of the plants was never fully utilised. In addition to this, there is a fierce price war in the sector.



The company is already employing 250 people.

The early years

Towards the end of the 1890s, Hugo Simons, who soon extends his commitment to the company to that of the general public by becoming a member of the city council, has to contend with the onset of a recession in the regional economy for the first time. The demand for hardware drops off, work forces migrate, the number of employees falls from 250 to 180 in the space of two years.

At the same time, international markets are supplied for the first time: the Balkans, Greece, Turkey, Egypt and North America.


Company founded by Hugo Simons

SIMONSWERK is founded in Rheda under the name H. Simons & Co. The range includes door hinges, screw-on hinges and corner plates.

“Rheda 8 July 1889. In today’s [...] urgently convened meeting, the following was decided as part of the agenda: To sell the land owned by the municipality of Rheda, plot 25 No. 200/109, by private sale to the industrialist Hugo Simons from Düsseldorf at a price of 2000 Marks per hectare under the conditions set out in the attached contract, subject to the approval of the district committee [...].”

The businessman Hugo Simons (1847 - 1909) wishes to build a factory. As a producer of door hinges and window brackets, he already has experience in this field. He had already been producing these items by machine for years with his brother-in-law before he left Düsseldorf to set up his own factory. However, this had to make way for the extension of Düsseldorf’s main railway station towards the end of the 1880s.

The small residential town of Rheda welcomes him and hopes industrialisation would benefit the town after a phase of economic decline. The location right on the Berlin-Hanover-Ruhr mainline is certainly a geographic advantage – Hugo Simons is even able to have his own siding. Production begins in October 1889 and really takes off in 1890. By 1894, the company has around 200 employees which grows to 250 by 1897.