Emil Ziehl, founder of ZIEHL-ABEGG, born 22 May 1873, died 1 June 1939.

1886 – Still in the family's possession, the freehand drawing of the girl done by Emil Ziehl represents a momentous turning point in the life of this creative mind, and with it the origins of ZIEHL-ABEGG.

1897 – Emil Ziehl's design drawing of the first external rotor motor – still the foundation for modern drive technology.

1900 – Emil Ziehl obtained the principle patent for this electrically driven gyroscope held in gimbals in 1900. Ships, aircraft and moon rockets would not be able to navigate today without this gyroscope.


1909 – The ZIEHL-ABEGG factory in Berlin-Weißensee got its own spur from the works railway and was fitted out for the series manufacture of electric motors with the latest mechanical engineering systems and a rationalised production line.

1910 – The workshop flooded with light in Berlin was equipped with all the latest machinery and technical advances for the complete, end-to-end production of motors (100 m long and 20 m wide).

1918 – The company's own exhibition space showing products manufactured by ZIEHL-ABEGG in the factory building in Berlin-Weißensee.

1919 – Propeller dynamo on the Graf Zeppelin airship. A letter of appreciation still in the family's keeping from airship builder Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin, documenting the outstanding performance even then of the F.-T. high-voltage generators for the Graf Zeppelin airship.

1935 – After many years of success Emil Ziehl celebrated the company's 25-year anniversary with his employees, customers, suppliers and local representatives.

1941 – Graduate engineer Günther Ziehl took over the management of ZIEHL-ABEGG at the age of just 28. He devoted his life to maintaining and furthering the goals and values passed on and entrusted to him by his father.

1947 – Heinz Ziehl, the younger brother of Günther Ziehl, joined the company at the end of the Second World War and dedicated himself to the success of ZIEHL-ABEGG at Künzelsau. He saw great potential for the ventilation system industry in his father's drawing of the external rotor motor.

1949 – Emil Ziehl's invention – the external rotor – remains the basis for ongoing elevator motor developments

1955 – New start, production resumes and development of the external rotor motor begins in rented premises on the first floor of elevator company Stahl in the Schlossmühle in Künzelsau.

2006 – FE2owlet – Unique bionic profile takes the world by storm

2008 – Opening of the visionary InVent Technology Centre at the Künzelsau site with its globally unique test chamber for fans.

The wing housing the air performance and acoustic test chambers assumes overwhelming proportions: the 1,250 ton concrete structure is supported by springs to reduce vibrations and external noise during the sensitive noise measurements carried out on the fans.

Huge, oversized air ducts convey the vast air mass needed to test the fans in the test chamber through the building.

2011 - The Formula 1 Royal League meets the Royal League of industrial fans
Cpro ZAmid technology (from left Dennis Ziehl, ZIEHL industrie elektronik GmbH, Peter Fenkl, Chief Executive ZIEHL-ABEGG SE, Formula 1 World Champion Niki Lauda, Norbert Schuster, ZIEHL-ABEGG SE Executive Board).

2012 – ZAwheel – Gearless electric in-wheel hub drive for commercial vehicles, with unbeatable efficiency (90%) and emissions (0%) stats, has been successfully developed for the electric urban bus market.

2013 – Ground-breaking ceremony for the new 16,700 m2 ZIEHL-ABEGG drive systems plant. The new production site will be located right next to the A6 Kupferzell exit.

2014 – Hannover Messe: Chancellor Angela Merkel visits the ZIEHL-ABEGG stand at the fair.

2014 – The new visionary production facility, next to the A6 European arterial route, at the Kupferzell exit, is complete. ZIEHL-ABEGG opens the new facility for the Drive Technology and Automotive business areas.

2015 - ZIEHL-ABEGG further reinforces the Blue idea and its connection to sustainability and responsibility for future generations. To emphasize this, the company names 2015 a Blue Year. Among other things, it will put more Blue technology on the market through the ZAvblue high-tech fan development, which is based on bionic findings.

2015 - ZAvblue high-tech fan - energy-saver and high-volume-performer. With its bionic blade design, it is unbeatable for high volume flows with a now-reduced size. ZIEHL-ABEGG presents the innovative fan at ISH 2015 which will give a spectacular show.

2015 - Also in the scope of the Blue Year, to reinforce the message of sustainability, ZIEHL-ABEGG has renowned performance artist Konstantin Dimopoulos design the trees in and around the company's headquarters in Künzelsau. They have been designed with an environmentally friendly blue color. This art installation is accompanied by the inauguration of the Blue Tower at the site of the company in Künzelsau.

2016 - ZIEHL-ABEGG is the main sponsor of the National Horticultural Show in Öhringen, Baden-Württemberg and presents Blue bionic high-tech fans in a ultra-modern building with blue active flowers in the outdoor area. The Blue presentation is the highlight among visitors of the horticultural show. The company emphasizes its regional commitment with the ZAwheel bus, and its revolutionary drive, which provides emission-free, clean, silent driving.

2016 - Ground-breaking ceremony to show the future of the new production plant at the Kupferzell site. At the moment, only the ECblue high-efficiency motors are produced in the new state-of-the-art factory, but its unique plastic production for bionic high-tech fans creates the need for a new production branch.

2017 - For ISH 2017, ZIEHL-ABEGG presents the revolutionary new ZAbluefin steel impeller to the market. The radial impeller, based on a bionic example, offers the benefit of unbeatable fan output with its delicate and extraordinary blade design.

2018 - Inauguration of the new hi-tech production site for high-efficiency fans ECblue motors and plastic fans are shown at the Kupferzell site with guests from political and economic sectors. 

2018 - Opening of the new factory in Kupferzell, along with a dedicated high-tech plastic production branch, for high-efficiency bionic fan impellers. The entire board, supervisory board and all shareholders of ZIEHL-ABEGG personally sign the first plastic impellers that come off the production line to express their strong commitment to the pioneering project.

The blue era | History

On 2nd January 1910 Emil Ziehl founded ZIEHL-ABEGG in Berlin Weißensee. This marked the beginning of the blue era, and from these early beginnings the company went from strength to strength. This story of success is founded on Emil Ziehl's pioneering inventions, such as his patented developments in the field of electric gyroscopes and the gyroscopic compass that formed the basis for the external rotor motor developed by Emil Ziehl at the turn of the century.

This educated, highly gifted engineer and creative mind achieved worldwide recognition for his developments.