HP GmbH (Boeblingen)
|Address: 703 Herrenberger Str 110, Boeblingen West Germany
|HP Boeblingen Campus
In 1958, HP decided to build a manufacturing operation in Europe in order to have better market access to the European Economic Community, created by the Treay of Rome in 1957. The original members of the EEC were Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and West Germany. In August of 1959, Ray Demere established HP’s operation in Boeblingen Germany. HP started in a leased building at the rear of a garmet factory. The plant began shipping voltmeters and oscillators the following month. According to the Aug/Sep 1979 edition of Measure Magazine, early production saw PC boards soldered in frying pans heated by a wood stove. Initial shipments out of the facility were easy. Employees simply picked up the box that had been ordered and carried it to the train station across the street. English teachers were brought in to teach German employees English because translating manuals into German would have been too big a task. HP hired 40 employees in Boeblingen in the first year. Boeblingen was HP’s first manufacturing facility outside on the United States.
In 1967, the Boeblingen Division became the first HP plant to implement HP’s flexible working hours program. In the middle of 1969, Boeblingen began manufacturing the first HP computer products in Europe. The plant started producing 9100B calculators for sale in Europe. Production of the 9810A in 1971 began simultaneously in Boeblingen and in Loveland. By June of 1974, the Boeblingen plant employed over 1000 people. David Rose was the division’s general manager. The calculator operation in Boeblingen was headed by Srini Nageshwar in 1976.
In February of 1979, the calculator operations in Boeblingen were upgraded to division status- the Boeblingen Desktop Computer Division (BDD). David Rose was the first general manager of the new division. “Boeblingen Commercial Systems” (CSB) was the new name given to the HP 250 related activities on the site. This operation was headed by Klaus-Dieter Laidig. CSB began manufacturing 3000/33 computers in May of 1979 and 300 computers in July of 1979.
Boeblingen Commercial Systems got promoted to become the Boeblingen General Systems Division (BGD) in April of 1980. In November of 1980, BGD built the 1000th HP 250 to be manufactured in Europe. Boeblingen manufactured 9876A printers and 9874A digitizers in 1980 and 1981 for the European market. This manufacturing was transferred back to the Greeley Division in August of 1981. In October of 1981, Karl Grund became the general manager of the Boeblingen Desktop Computer Division.
In 1982, BGD built the 2000th HP 3000 to be manufactured in Europe.
BDD began building 9915A computers for the European market in 1981. In April of 1983, worldwide manufacturing of the 9915A was consolidated into BDD.
In June of 1983, the Boeblingen Desktop Computer Division combined with the Boeblingen General Systems Division to form the Boeblingen Computer Products Division (BCD) under Karl Grund. The Boeblingen Engineering Operation (BEO) was responsible for design software for 500 Series computers.
On July 8 of 1983, Boeblingen shipped the 12,000th HP 3000 computer made by HP.
In August of 1984, the computer activities in Boeblingen were again split in two. Grund headed the new Boeblingen Computer Division. This division made 200 Series and 500 Series computers. Klaus-Dieter Laidig was general manager of the Boeblingen General Systems Division which made HP 250 computers for worldwide shipment and HP 3000 computers for shipment within Europe.
By 1985, all of the HP manufacturing divisions in Boeblingen together employed more than 2000 people (in addition to the 1500 sales and service employees in Germany). The Boeblingen General Systems Division introduced the HP 260 to replace the HP 250 in 1985. By this time, the installed base of HP 250 users had reached 8000. The 260 was sold almost exclusively to original equipment manufacturers who bundled the computer with their software.
In October of 1987, the Boeblingen General Systems Division was renamed “Commercial Systems Boeblingen” (CSB). Its general manager was Robert Hoog.
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