Company history

DEHN historySince 1910: DEHN

The company's history of success starts on January 21, 1910, when the master electrician Hans Dehn registers his electrical installation business in Nuremberg. Now, more than 100 years later, the family-owned company, which is managed by the fourth generation, has about 1700 employees worldwide.

The industrial sector of the DEHNgroup, the parent company DEHN and its international subsidiaries, is globally active in the fields of surge protection, lightning protection/earthing and safety equipment. The handicraft sector, DEHN INSTATEC, which is based in Nuremberg, Neumarkt, Hermsdorf and Hamburg, continues the electrical installation activities of the founder Hans Dehn.


A journey through the company's history summarises the most important events:
1910On January 21, 1910, the precision mechanic and electrician Hans Dehn registers an electrical installation business in Nuremberg.
Apart from local network construction, overhead line construction and installation work on buildings, business activities are geared towards the installation of lightning protection systems.
1918Very quickly, Hans Dehn finds himself involved in searching new solutions surrounding lightning protection and is granted his first patent for the invention of a special fixing system for conductor wires on roofs.
1921Hans Dehn sees his chance in Upper Palatinate / Bavaria which has not been fully electrified yet, sets up subsidiary in Neumarkt, about 45 km from Nuremberg, and thus successfully expands business.
1923Based on his pioneering spirit and innovative ideas, Hans Dehn starts the production of lightning protection and earthing components in Nuremberg in addition to his installation business. This forms the basis for the industrial activities of today's DEHNgroup.
1929Lightning protection activities advance and Hans Dehn is granted his second patent for the invention of a test sleeve for lightning protection systems.
1931The first sales agency is entrusted with the expansion of the lightning protection and earthing business in the Berlin area.
1933A co-partner leaves the company. Hans Dehn transfers a part of the responsibility to his sons Walter and Willy. Both become co-partners and the family-owned company is named DEHN & SÖHNE. In 1941, the youngest son Richard joins the management.
1939-1945The Second World War inevitably affects business development. The premises in Nuremberg and Neumarkt are considerably damaged during the war. Highly motivated, the family starts reconstructing the company in 1945.
1945-1950The starting point for post-war activities in Neumarkt is a warehouse built during the last months of the war in the area where the headquarters are located today. During the years of reconstruction, particularly the electrical installation business grows.
1948The demand for lightning protection and earthing components is on the rise again. The decision to build a hot-dip galvanising plant paves the way for turning the Neumarkt-based subsidiary into the main production site.
1952DEHN presents lightning protection and earthing equipment at the Hannover Messe for the first time.
The excellent business development soon requires further expansion of the production facilities in Neumarkt.
Besides lightning protection and earthing, the company starts to develop earthing and short-circuiting devices, which are an integral part of today's safety equipment portfolio. The patented ball pin decisively influences the state of the art.
Hans Dehn, the founder of the company, dies at the end of the year. His sons successfully continue his legacy.
1953Austria becomes the first exporting country.
 1954: DEHN is the world's first manufacturer to develop a surge arrester for low-voltage systems, the legendary J250: With this development, Richard Dehn lays the foundation for surge protection, today's most important product range.
1954DEHN introduces to the market the world’s first surge arrester for low-voltage systems, the legendary J250.
1958The separable earth rod, a pioneering innovation, considerably extends the range of earthing components and is in great demand. DEHN becomes well-known in the field of earthing equipment.
1960The family-owned company celebrates its 50th anniversary.
1960-1980The company’s portfolio is continuously expanded and broadened.
1981Walter, Willy and Richard Dehn relinquish their management role. Hans-Joachim Dehn and Thomas Dehn, members of the third generation, and Dr.-Ing. Peter Hasse assume overall responsibility for the company.
1984The first lightning current carrying arrester, DEHNventil®, enters the market and becomes a synonym worldwide for a new generation of arresters. It allows the company to strengthen its leading position in the sector of surge protection.
1986The success story of surge protection continues with the introduction of the VM 280, the world’s first arrester with a modular width of 17.5 mm.
1988Export activities are intensified: Foundation of the first foreign sales company DESITEK A/S in Denmark.
1990The German reunification also involves major changes for DEHN. A lot of highly trained staff from the former German Democratic Republic is employed over the following years. The sales structures in the newly-formed German states are developed; Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic also become new target markets.
1991-1998The company prepares for the future by developing and implementing the master plan DEHN 2000. National and international success requires comprehensive restructuring, reorganisation and reorientation in the Neumarkt-based headquarters.
1999For transparency reasons, the three electrical installation branches are spun off from DEHN into a separate 100% owned subsidiary. Based in Nuremberg, Neumarkt and Hermsdorf, the new DEHN INSTATEC GmbH as a part of the DEHNgroup, continues the successful and traditional installation activities with 240 employees.
2003A special innovation is added to the external lightning protection range: The HVI Conductor, a high-voltage-resistant insulated down conductor for keeping the separation distance in lightning protection systems.
200450 years of surge protection by DEHN.
Hans-Joachim Dehn and Dr.-Ing. Peter Hasse retire and Dr.-Ing. Peter Zahlmann is appointed Technical Managing Director.
2005The Chinese market, which has been developed by a partner since the 1990ies, is becoming increasingly important for DEHN: DEHN Surge Protection (Shanghai) Co.Ltd is founded in Shanghai to expand DEHN's market presence.
2010DEHN celebrates its 100th anniversary.
The small electrical installation business became a globally active family-owned company. At the occasion of the anniversary, DEHN funds an endowed professorship at the Ilmenau University of Technology to promote fundamental research in the field of lightning and surge protection.
2011Dr. Philipp Dehn, member of the fourth generation, becomes Managing Partner.
2013International presence is increased: Foundation of three new subsidiaries in South Africa, Mexico and Russia.
At the end of the year, Thomas Dehn retires after more than 33 years. In addition to Dr. Philipp Dehn (finances, strategy, HR) and Dr. Peter Zahlmann (technical responsibility), Helmut Pusch (sales/marketing) becomes a member of the management.
2014DEHN invests into the future: Two major projects are started: A new logistics and production centre is opened in Mühlhausen, 12 km south of Neumarkt, and the SAP software is introduced across the company.
DEHN sets up another representative office in Turkey, the fourth in addition to Hungary, Australia and the Czech Republic.
The extended DEHN test centre allows to generate lightning impulse currents up to 400 kA (10/350 μs), an absolute highlight in metrology.
2015DEHN (SEA) PTE. LTD. is founded in Singapore to develop the South East Asian markets.
2016Since the beginning of 2016, Christian Köstler strengthens the management and is
responsible for purchasing, manufacturing, quality management, logistics and building/infrastructure.

In March DEHN founds another subsidiary: DEHN MIDDLE EAST (FZA) in the Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone in the United Arab Emirates. DEHN now has 16 subsidiaries and 4 representative offices in 20 countries and sells its products in more than 70 countries.