ZENNER Corporate History
The founding of the ZENNER company
Karl Adolf Zenner Snr laid the foundation stone for the present-day company, ZENNER International, in 1903 with the founding of a marketing company for water meters. Running water was still a luxury for many people in those days and most households obtained their drinking water from public wells. In order to guarantee the supply of water over a whole region, fees had to be levied, which, via an individual calculation and billing of consumption, was to form the financial basis for this.
The company’s first water meter comes off the assembly line.
In 1924, the Karl Adolf Zenner Water Meter Factory commenced production of its own water meters.
ZENNER continues to expand
The water meters produced by the ZENNER company since 1924 quickly gained acceptance in the market thanks to their high quality and their reliable workmanship.
An innovation called plastic
In the years immediately following the 2nd World War – by which time the management of the company had been taken over by the founder’s son, Karl Adolf Zenner Jnr – many raw materials were scarce. ZENNER had also lost many of its most important suppliers in Germany. Plastic seemed to be a suitable solution that would also be linked with quality and cost advantages. So, the idea of resorting to plastic in the future for the manufacture of the water meters occurred at ZENNER. Although the customers viewed the new plastic products critically at first, the new meters caught on. Even the competition began to emulate ZENNER over the following years.
ZENNER goes international
The internationalisation of the company started in 1987 on the initiative of Dr Peter Zenner, who had taken over the management of the firm in 1980. The first subsidiaries were formed in France and Italy and today are located in Limoges, under the name Compteurs ZENNER, and near Bologna, under the name ZENNER srl Società Unipersonale.
German reunification and expansion
The German reunification with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Eastern bloc opened up new markets for many firms. Enormous opportunities awaited those who had the necessary pioneering spirit at the time. ZENNER, too, seized the opportunity and expanded eastwards.
Subsidiaries were founded in Hungary, Slovakia and Poland in the years following. As of 1992, Spain is the westernmost point on the ZENNER world map, to which Vietnam was also added in the same year.
New product field: heat meters
After 1995, ZENNER broadened its product portfolio. 71 years after the company’s first water meter had left the factory, the first heat meter followed. Its name: multidata S1. The production of heat meters became a successful new field for the company over the following years.
ZENNER in China
ZENNER opened its first branch in China in 1995, in the city of Fuzhou. The political opening up of the country and the so-called “soft” introduction of the market economy is increasingly opening up the Chinese market, with over 1 thousand million people, for manufactured goods from the West. In the first years, ZENNER was successfully able to position itself straight away and opened further branches in Beijing and Shanghai in the following years.
The merger of ZENNER and Minol
A consolidated company emerged from the amalgamation of the ZENNER Group and the Minol Group in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, that, as one of a small number worldwide, provides the whole range of measuring technology and service from a single source – from the manufacture of the measuring equipment, to the reading of the consumption data, right up to the preparation of the statement of consumption. The Minol-ZENNER Group numbers over 2,000 employees across the world. In 2007, ZENNER took over the global sales organisation for both companies and, as from 2008, supplies all the measuring equipment requirements for Minol.
Innovation: multidata WR3 heat meter energy computer
In 2009, ZENNER introduced one of its most innovative products with the multidata energy computer, since the multidata is multifunctional. With connectivity options for M bus, ZR bus or RS232, it is ideally equipped for remote read-out. In addition, its housing can be opened without using tools. It only goes to show that innovation is worthwhile: ZENNER had already sold over 100,000 heat meters worldwide by 2010.
Continuing expansion in South America
ZENNER International followed in the footsteps of Columbus in 2011. The basis for an intensified presence in the South American and Latin American market had already been laid down in previous years. Once a branch of ZENNER had been in existence in Brazil for over 10 years, the white areas on the South American map successively dissolved over 2011. In Colombia, Paraguay, Bolivia and in other countries, ZENNER successfully distributed innovative products specially tailored to “tropical” conditions.
ZENNER enters the U.S. water meter market
2012 ZENNER team looks forward to entering the U.S. market with the opening of a new manufacturing facility. The company’s state-of-the-art meter manufacturing factory produces and distributes meters to the multifamily, municipal and commercial markets throughout North America. With the opening of the Banning location, ZENNER Performance will become the 21st branch to open in the ZENNER Group’s worldwide network.
ZENNER enters the worldwide gas meters market
2013 ZENNER has formed a gas meter joint venture with the FATO group who is producing gas meters since 2009. ZENNER Metering Technology (Shanghai) Ltd. will produce gas meters for the global market. ZENNER now is migrating into a full-service energy metering provider for the utility industry. In combination with existing metering and system technologies for water and heating systems, ZENNER will now offer gas meters as well.
ZENNER worldwide brings the new zelsius on the market. The version IUF is ZENNER ´s first self-developed meter with ultrasonic technology.
ZENNER starts the production of smoke detectors
To complete the portfolio for measuring and billing services, the smoke detector EASYPROTECT is developed. It meets the highest standards of quality and durability and is accordingly awarded with the german “Q-Label”.
New subsidiaries in Myanmar and Turkey
The year 2015 is dedicated to the global expansion of the Minol ZENNER Group. As one of the first European companies ZENNER founds a company in Myanmar. In summer 2015 follows the establishment of the joint venture Kodsan Minol Termosar in Turkey.