The history of LAPP

Those who wish to shape the future should know their own past. For us at LAPP, our roots and the values of our company founders Oskar and Ursula Ida Lapp are inspiration for our actions both today and in the future. Throughout our history, our values have determined who we are: customer-oriented, success-oriented, family-oriented and innovative. These are the values for which the Lapp family stands. These are the values that allowed LAPP to develop from nothing to a global market leader for integrated connection systems.

Milestones of success

1957 ÖLFLEX®: The beginning of our story

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It is the age of West Germany’s economic miracle, and industry is booming. But in factories, workers still have to manually insert wires individually into sheaths when cabling machinery. This is a complex and time-consuming process. Oskar Lapp has a better idea. He develops the first flexible, industrially manufactured control cable with different coloured cores. Oskar and Ursula Ida Lapp name the oil-resistant and flexible cables ÖLFLEX®. By doing so, they create the first branded product in this sector. In the beginning, the company is based and stores its products in the couple’s house in Stuttgart’s Vaihingen district.

1959 A dream come true

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Ursula Ida Lapp registers the company U.I. Lapp KG, named after herself. For Oskar Lapp, it is the realisation of his long-held dream. The company begins operations with a bank loan of 50,000 marks. Oskar Lapp focuses on the technical side, while his wife Ursula Ida takes care of commercial matters.

1963-1966 The company grows

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The Lapps found further companies, including Lapp Kabelwerke GmbH in 1963. Even at this early point in its history, the company produces cables to customer requirements. In 1965, the company headquarters moves from the couple’s house in Vaihingen to its current location just a few kilometres away on Schulze-Delitzsch-Strasse.


1976 Lapp goes international

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The Lapps found Ölflex Inc. in the USA, the company’s first international subsidiary. Back then, this was an unusual step for such family-run businesses. But their courage is rewarded with success, as American customers appreciate the customer orientation and excellent service.

1983 The second generation

Siegbert Lapp, the son of the founder, sets up S. Glaskabel GmbH. Known today as Lapp Systems GmbH, it offers customised connection systems.

1987 - A new era

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The death of Oskar Lapp marks the end of an era and the start of another. Together with her sons Andreas and Siegbert Lapp, Ursula Ida Lapp continues to run the business in the spirit of its founder.

1992 - The Oskar Lapp Foundation

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The Oskar Lapp Foundation is set up to honour the memory of the company founder. It is dedicated to research into heart disease. The Oskar Lapp Research Prize supports young scientists.

1995-2005 Becoming a global player

The number of international subsidiaries continues to grow. The group is now represented in the main markets in Asia, Europe and America. The Lapp Group employs 2,500 people in 50 businesses and has over 100 national partners around the world.

2006 Going online

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LAPP becomes one of the first companies in the connection technology sector to offer its customers an online store. The print catalogue continues to be published to this day, however.

2010 ÖLFLEX® World Tour

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An ÖLFLEX® cable drum is sent around the world. On its journey, it visits eleven LAPP sites, travels over 51,000 km and is signed by over 2,500 People.

2013 New logistics centre opens

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LAPP sets new benchmarks with its new service and logistics centre in Ludwigsburg near Stuttgart. With over 320,000 square feet of floorspace, it stores up to 90,000 cable drums that can be loaded onto trucks via 30 ramps. The warehouse is fully automated and customers in Germany receive their goods within 24 hours.

2015 From components to systems

LAPP increasingly offers system solutions, including pre-assembled servo cables and power chains. This range of products is bundled under the new name ÖLFLEX® CONNECT.

2017 The third generation

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Matthias Lapp assumes responsibility for the businesses in Europe, South America, Africa and the Middle East. The baton is therefore handed over to the third generation of the Lapp family.

2018 A new name

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The company is gaining a reputation as a systems supplier with seamless international service, having long ceased to be solely a cable producer. To match this, the company renames itself as simply LAPP. The new name is used around the world for all group companies.

2022 Transfer of managerial responsibility

Matthias and Katharina Lapp

Matthias and Katharina Lapp

LAPP is managed entirely by the third generation. Matthias Lapp takes over as Chairman of the Board at Lapp Holding AG. Katharina Lapp is appointed to the Supervisory Board. This means that there will still be one member of the family on the Board of Directors and on the Supervisory Board and LAPP will remain a family company in future as well.