The History of HANNING & KAHL

With an established reputation for innovative technology and managed by responsible-minded people: we would like to present major milestones of our company history.


125 Years of Shared History

One impressive milestone we can look back on is 125 years of entrepreneurship, filled with growth and expansion, changes and innovations, and, above all, the ongoing support of our loyal customers and committed workforce. Here’s to the next 125 years of success and shared experience.


First Order Placed for GripMaster®, Implementation of SAP in our Business Processes

Our GripMaster® sanding system ensures safe braking and acceleration. Pneumatic supply of coarse-grained quartz sand into the wheel-rail contact enables best possible friction properties even when weather conditions are adverse.


N.E.U.denken - A new Sustainable, Successful and Extraordinary Approach to Business Organisation, Market Launch ConnAct®

As of 1 January 2021, HANNING & KAHL has reorganised its operating divisions. The Rolling Stock and Infrastructure divisions focus on our customers and provide them with the complete product range and the associated services. Our in-house Production division comprises all our mechanical manufacturing and assembly departments.

Market launch of ConnAct®, a system for remote monitoring and diagnosis of vital infrastructure and brake components and the implementation of non-safety-related applications.


HVIP – Vital Interlocking Processor

First commissioning of the Vital Processor system HVIP. The HVIP is a modular and networkable two-channel SIL4 processor system for deployment in typical rail applications with integrated monitoring for light signals and can be adapted to the scope of the control task and scaled to the systems.


Type approval for point machine H715

HANNING & KAHL’s point machine H715 has qualified at Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) as our trailable point machine has been granted ÖBB approval for service all across the Austrian Federal Railway network. We are also delighted to report that we have gained type approval for our point machine H715 from the Swiss Federal Office for Transport (BAV).


Rail Certification ISO/TS 22163:2017

TÜV-Nord certified HANNING & KAHL for compliance with the new ISO/TS 22163:2017 standard which was specifically drafted for the rail industry. To comply with this new global benchmark for the highest quality in the development and manufacture of safety systems for rail transportation, our operational processes in product development, production and life-cycle management of rail safety systems were revised. These areas were inspected externally by TÜV-Nord and certified.


HZM-IIS setting-force measuring device approved for use

The HZM-IIS measuring device, used to test force on point setting systems, has been approved for use by DB Netz AG. The setting and holding forces of point machines and the setting resistance and holding force of points can be measured accurately, easily and quickly and electronically documented. With the help of the HZM-IIS coupling module, data is exchanged between the HZM and the integrated inspection system (IIS) database system used by DB. With the certificate of quality, the HZM can now be used everywhere in the Deutsche Bahn network.


Launch of Hydraulic Levelling

To avoid differences in height and ensuing danger spots between platform and tram while passengers are boarding and alighting, HANNING & KAHL added a system for levelling tram vehicles to its product portfolio. First series vehicles have already been equipped with this system and are working successfully in passenger operation.


Foundation of HANNING & KAHL Transportation Systems and Braking Technology (Suzhou) Co. Ltd in China

Following years of successful supply of brake systems, point machines and controllers to the rapidly growing Chinese market, we set up our own subsidiary in China, the HANNING & KAHL. Transportation Systems and Braking Technology (Suzhou) Co. Ltd. Major expansion plans for inner-city rail transportation and the speed at which they advance also hold further growth potential for HANNING & KAHL. 


Idea Management: first in the engineering sector

The creative ingenuity of our staff, their ideas and their proactive thinking take us forward. We have received several awards for our culture of trust and an employee suggestion scheme which encourages empowered employees, and we were ranked in first place in the engineering sector for our idea management by the German Institute for Business Management (Deutsche Institut für Betriebswirtschaft DIB).


"Excellent Knowledge Organisation" award

Well-educated and highly trained staff are the backbone of our company. Our organisation and corporate culture are geared to conveying skills and information and promoting exchange of know-how, all of which are vital for HANNING & KAHL. We have been presented many awards for our achievements including the “Excellent Knowledge Management“ prize from the Society for Knowledge Management e.V. (gfwm).


Market launch of maintenance management system TuneQ

Only 5 years after product launch, the 5,000 th electro-mechanical brake for wind turbines was supplied. This year, too, VAB introduced the equipment management software TuneQ, making it possible to reduce the costs of the management and upkeep of infrastructure equipment, and rapidly detect and remedy malfunctions. TuneQ is vital for set-up of an “Infrastructure Control Centre“. 


Awarded a place in the “Land of Ideas“, take-over of the remaining shares in Ver- kehrsautomati- sierung Berlin

On the occasion of the World Cup in Germany, the Federal President launched an initiative called “Germany – Land of Ideas”. Throughout the country, 365 locations were sought with outstanding creative imaginativeness, a cosmopolitan outlook and social commitment. Applications were open to companies, research institutes, universities, and other corporate / social institutions. HANNING & KAHL was one of the 365 locations in Germany and one of the winners.


IRIS Certification

UNIFE (Union des Industries Ferroviaires Européennes) and the rail vehicle industry created a new quality standard IRIS (International Railway Industry Standard). IRIS goes beyond the ISO norms and takes account of the high quality requirements in the rail industry. HANNING & KAHL, as manufacturer of safety products for rail applications, was the first company in the world to be successfully certified for compliance with the new IRIS standard. 


Supply of the first electro-me- chanical brakes for wind turbines

HANNING & KAHL brought the world‘s first electro-mechanical braking system for wind turbines and other industrial applications onto the market. Today, modern and environmentally-friendly wind turbines are equipped with our electro-mechanical braking system which provides greater safety and are much more economically efficient over their life cycle than hydraulic brakes.


Foundation of the HANNING & KAHL L.P. in USA /acquisition of the majority holding in Verkehrsautomatisierung Berlin

We founded our own subsidiary in the USA, the HANNING & KAHL L.P. The step was the logical conclusion of the huge success of our products on the North American market – prompt service and maximum proximity to customers have enabled us to strengthen our position there. In this year, HANNING & KAHL also took over the majority holding in Verkehrsautomatisierung Berlin GmbH. The company develops typical traffic-software solutions e.g. depot and infrastructure management as well as control and information systems.


Market launch micro-processor controller

The first, in-house developed, railway-suitable, fail-safe microprocessor controller which complied with AK 6/SIL 3 was launched. This vital processor system replaced the relay technology and the industrial PLC controllers common in the railway sector at that time. Today, this microprocessor controller is available in SIL 4, and is used to construct controllers, signalling installations and interlocking controllers. This in-house, rail-specific controller is a vital tool when it comes to mastering the crucial issue of obsolescence management. 


The company moves to Oerlinghausen

HANNING & KAHL moved to new and modern premises in Oerlinghausen when the buildings in in Bielefeld could no longer accommodate the company's rapid growth despite repeated extensions.  


Market launch hydraulic brake system

HANNING & KAHL was the first company in the world to launch a hydraulic braking system for rail vehicles … decades ahead of other suppliers. Today, our hydraulic brake systems are in operation in trams and LRVs and also in metro vehicles and people movers all over the world. 


Market launch point machines/controllers

Saw the market entry of the electro-magnetic point machine, the legendary “HW 200“, and of the first point controller. Both products have been continually advanced over the decades. Today, electric and mechanical point machines and controllers are available for virtually all point types and rail transportations systems up to safety integrity class SIL 4, and are in service worldwide. 


Market launch track brake

Saw the market launch of the electro-magnetic track brake, the first safety product for rail-based public transport. Today, electro-magnetic track brakes are still a key component of our braking systems. 


Company foundation in Bielefeld

The company which constructed motors and generators was founded by the Hanning family and the Kahl family in Bielefeld. Over the decades, HANNING & KAHL developed into the Hanning Group - a global corporate group with several independent companies which today is still 100 % owned by the Hanning family now in the third generation.