SurTec Celebrates its 25th Anniversary

From start-up to global specialist for surface technology

SurTec, the specialist for surface technology celebrated its 25th birthday in Bensheim on September 28, 2018. In the context of a major, international conference, the company looked back on 25 years of innovative solutions in chemical surface technology. Among the guests were employees and former colleagues, long-standing customers and the founders and friends of the company.


SurTec emerged in 1993 under the name of 'SurTec Produkte und Systeme für die Oberflächentechnik GmbH' through a management buy-out (MBO) by the Unilever concern. The basis of the rapid internationalization and expansion that followed — at the end of the 90s, SurTec was already represented in Eastern Europe, Asia and America — was the high commitment level of the employees and the loyalty of important major customers.

In the course of focusing on systematic market cultivation on the one hand and, on the other, management of what had become a strong internationalized group, German activities were divided in 2000 between SurTec Deutschland GmbH, as a market organization, and SurTec International GmbH, the latter as a holding for international management. Because it was through takeovers and joint ventures in the 2000s that SurTec expanded further and became the only specialist in chemical surface technology to serve all four fields of application: Industrial Parts Cleaning, Metal Pre-treatment and Functional and Decorative Electroplating.

2000 was once again a special milestone year: today’s headquarters of SurTec Deutschland GmbH was established in Zwingenberg as a Passive House with integrated production. This exceptional building, which was unique in Europe at the time, still represents today SurTec’s commitment to sustainability.

Since 2010, SurTec has belonged to the globally-active technology group Freudenberg. In the course of integration into the company group, through which synergetic benefits and international resources could also be used, the surface specialist developed its market position further, strengthened its portfolio and was able, for example, to effect acquisitions in Portugal and Japan most recently and purchase a new state-of-the-art plant in Brazil.

SurTec Today

Today, SurTec has subsidiaries in 22 countries with around 400 employees. Customers from nearly all branches of the surface finishing segment put their trust in SurTec’s solutions, among them, the automobile and aircraft industries, applications for renewable energies and machinery and plant engineering. In the area of surface finishing, the specialist covers the entire portfolio with its four fields of application.

“Our customers value the outstanding cost/usage ratio of our products, which also put as little strain on the environment as possible, such as, for example, our chromium (VI)-free passivations SurTec 680 and SurTec 650. Still today, we are changing the branch with groundbreaking solutions like our new zinc/iron technology Ferronium/EARTH and a high-performance Metal Pre-treatment process in the manufacture of smartphones,” says Dr. Karsten Grünke, CEO of the SurTec Group. “We are also deeply exploring the topic of digitalization.”

Through the strong growth in sales of recent years, increased profitability, record investments in research and development as well as committed and outstandingly trained employees, the SurTec Group is better positioned than ever before in 2018. The company is well armed to master the challenges of the branch yet again: here, phosphorus, boron and monoethanolamine-free products, intelligent cleaning with the inline measuring system, innovative coating techniques and implementation according to the REACH Regulation can be counted, just to name a few.

“Our celebration was a complete success and handsome recognition of the dynamic development of SurTec since its earliest days,” says Dr. Karsten Grünke, CEO of the SurTec Group. “We are looking forward to an exciting future and the next 25 years.”




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