white arrow icon left back
100 years Marbach Group
7. July 2023

100 years of Marbach (Part 10) Three Generations: the family business.

We celebrate our 100th anniversary in 2023. Such a long company history cannot be taken for granted. But how did Marbach manage to grow from a small craft business to a globally operating, world market-leading group of companies with 1,600 employees?

It takes tireless commitment, good decisions and certainly also a bit of luck. In our case, the course of the company's history is above all also linked to the Marbach family and thus to the people who founded, expanded and made this company successful. Those whose endless commitment and wealth of ideas ensured the continued existence of the company even in times of crisis. The last part of the series "100 years of Marbach" is about the family behind the company, which has done everything through three generations to make the company become, be and stay successful.


The first generation: Karl Marbach Senior.
On July 16, 1923, Karl Marbach Senior founded the company with two partners. He probably never dreamed that he would be the first generation in a family business that 100 years later would employ 1,600 people and be a major force in the global packaging industry. 

Karl Marbach Senior was born in Unterheinriet in 1898 and grew up there. He lost his father at the age of 2. After his apprenticeship as a locksmith and mechanic – during which he lived with his master craftsman and had to pay for his apprenticeship, food and lodging – he went on the road.  He set up transmission towers in the overland line construction business. In Gerstetten, he met Marie Bühler, a daughter of an inn-owner, whom he married in 1923. He then worked for a camera manufacturer in Heilbronn-Sontheim, where he assembled cameras. The third station was Kupfer-Asbest-Co, which manufactured seals. There he also learned about the technology for manual top knives, which would later become the first Marbach product. 

His tireless efforts helped the company through the difficult early years (More about this in the first part of this series: "100 Years Marbach. 1923 - 1927: The founding years.") as well as the war years (More about this in the second part of this series: "100 Years Marbach. 1939 - 1945: The war years.") and brought the company out of these crises stronger than before. In 1955, he asked his son Karl Marbach Junior to join the company. 

The founding couple, Karl Marbach Senior and his wife Marie, died in 1979 at the age of 80, shortly after each other. Both had worked for the company until the end. Karl Marbach Senior worked in the shipping cutting-die department, his wife Marie rubberized cutting-dies. Willi Schweiker, a long-time Marbach employee, later remembered Karl Marbach Senior: "That's how he was: plain, simple and without much free time or vacation, living with his Marie completely for the company."

On June 30, 2005, a part of the "Karl-Marx-Strasse" in Heilbronn-Böckingen was renamed "Karl-Marbach-Strasse" in honor of Karl Marbach Senior. In the meantime, the company headquarters are now located at Karl-Marbach-Strasse 1.


The second generation: Karl Marbach Junior.
Karl Marbach Junior was born on March 30, 1927. During the Second World War, he helped out in his parents' company and eventually did an apprenticeship there. Afterwards, he studied and worked in various other companies at the beginning. 

On July 1, 1955, Karl Marbach Junior joined the parental company after his father told him to do so with the words: "... either you come now or I'll do it my way!". Karl Marbach Junior came back to the parental company. Initially, his duties included updating the manufacturing facility by designing, building and using handling equipment.

In 1955 he married Hermine Hofmann, one year later daughter Ingrid was born. In 1959 Karl Marbach Junior became managing director of the parental company together with his father, and in 1960 son Peter was born.

With his wealth of ideas and his innovative spirit, he brought the company steadily forward. Thus, it was he who made Marbach a trade fair exhibitor (More about this in the third part of this series: "100 years of Marbach. Successful exhibitor: The trade fairs."), achieved an enormous increase in productivity with laser production (More in part 4 of this series: "100 years of Marbach. A major milestone: The use of lasers in die-cutting technology.") and also advanced the expansion from a small family business to an international group of companies.

Karl Marbach Junior received various awards for his achievements: in November 1998, he was awarded the Business Medal of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, and in 2001 he received the "Diemaker of the year" award from the IADD (International Association of Diecutting and Diemaking). A year later, he was awarded the Golden Coin of the City of Heilbronn.

In 2003, at the age of 76, Karl Marbach Junior retired from the management of the company and handed the steering wheel to his son Peter Marbach as managing partner. In an interview, he told journalists, "From this year, I only work four days a week." This shows, once again, how much he lived for the company. 

On his 80th birthday, March 30, 2007 – after more than 50 years of successful work in his own company – Karl Marbach Junior retired from active business life. On March 01, 2012, Karl Marbach died at the age of almost 85.


The third generation: Peter Marbach.
Peter Marbach was born in March 1960 as son of Karl Marbach Junior and his wife Hermine. He has known the Marbach company all his life, as he literally grew up there: the workshop was his playground. Actually, Peter Marbach would have liked to become an archaeologist. But because the prospects in this job were limited, father Karl Marbach Junior said: "Son, you have to learn something useful." Peter Marbach therefore completed an apprenticeship as a toolmaker and then trained as a Refa technician. A job at a consulting company was followed by a 1-year stay abroad in France. In 1995 he married Beate Kurz.

In 1988 he joined his parents' company. Only 4 years later, he became managing partner with a one-third share in the company alongside his father. Thus, the third generation of the Marbach family took over responsibility in the management of the family business. With Peter Marbach also a fresh wind came with respect to the strategic direction of the company. His motto was from the very beginning: to think outside the box, to look into areas outside the industry and to get inspiration for his own company from it. What characterizes Peter Marbach is a mixture of down-to-earthness – he also likes to lend a hand himself – forward-looking investments and expansion – in combination with the Swabian love of economy. 

Today Peter Marbach is managing partner. Together with his three managing directors, he directs the fortunes of the Marbach company: Stefanie Schier, as commercial director, takes care of the financial aspects of the management, Bernd Klenk is responsible for the die-cutting technology division and Markus Britsch for the toolmaking department. 


An incredible story over three generations: From a 3-man operation to a world market leader with 1,600 employees and 20 subsidiaries worldwide. From forged knives to a one-stop store for die-cutting and thermoforming tools. Today, Marbach not only supplies tools through all levels of difficulty – from simple to complex – but also software, workshop equipment, materials through to various services such as the Performance Package or CONNECT|M. Three generations, one vision: performance for the customer, always one step ahead, looking to the future.

And there is one thing these three generations – from Karl Marbach Senior, to Karl Marbach Junior, to today's managing partner Peter Marbach – have in common: their foresight in recognizing the changing times and to act accordingly. With these virtues, the three generations of the Marbach family have turned the company from a small handicraft business into what it is today: a world market leader in the production of tools for the packaging industry.

Weitere interessante Neuigkeiten

Please accept preferences-cookies to watch the contact chat.