100 years of Hellma

A Century of Competence, Cohesion and Passion 

Hellma celebrates 100 years of company history and looks back on an outstanding chronicle of success. Since its foundation in 1922, Hellma has evolved from a glass cell manufacturer in South Baden to one of the world's leading manufacturers of precision optical products and provider of integrated solutions for optical analysis. Numerous customers in the fields of molecular spectroscopy and photonics value Hellma products for their exceptionally high reliability and quality. Since the company's foundation 100 years ago, the name Hellma has stood for excellent precision, competence and passion.

Karl Mayer, founder (right) and Paul Mayer, co-owner (left)

100 years ago, Karl and Paul Mayer develop the desire to transform the latest findings in science and technology into something practical and useful. This vision and a courageous pioneering spirit lead the two men to found Hellma (formerly known as "Glaswerk Müllheim") at a time marked by the trauma of the First World War and the hardships of reconstruction.

In the first years of the reconstruction, the founders are confronted with the economic consequences of the war, such as high unemployment and an historically unprecedented inflation. But owing to the loyalty of the company's employees at that time and the prudent and competent management of the owners Karl and Paul Mayer, the "Glaswerk Müllheim" survives the following years of crisis and war.

All managing directors over time (from left to right): Karl Mayer, Paul Mayer, Peter Mayer, Lothar Mayer, Lutz Mayer

The founders are fully devoted to Hellma and the well-being of the people working in it. Thanks to the skills, vision and hard work of the pioneers Karl and Paul Mayer, Hellma quickly becomes the market leader in its field. The managing directors provide exemplary social benefits for their employees, true to the principle of being more employee than entrepreneur and having an open ear to the concerns and needs of his fellow human beings.

Founded one century ago, Hellma is still owner-managed by the third generation and employs more than 450 people worldwide.

Cohesion, transparency and reliability are values that still characterize the corporate philosophy today and represent the basis of success for the entire corporate group . Learn more now:

Culture & Values


»All these years of achievements and development have been possible thanks to our business partners, but above all thanks to our employees. They are the heart of the company, the heart of Hellma.«

- Lutz Mayer, managing partner

Hellma grows: Milestones from 1922- today

The original Kogermühle in Müllheim 1922 (top left), the Kogermühle after the expansion 1962 (top right), Relocation of the employees to the new company building (bottom left) and the new Hellma building in Müllheim 1965 (bottom right)

1922 - 1965: The company's first production facility is located in the disused Kogermühle mill in Müllheim, in the south of Freiburg. Due to the growing success, the steady growth of the company and the modernization of the production process, the Kogermühle has to be extended in 1955 and 1962. Progressive developments of new methods in research and technology and an ever-increasing order volume soon make it necessary to expand again. Thus, a new factory that includes technical offices is built in the industrial area of Müllheim. Hellma's headquarters are still located in this building complex today.

Lothar Mayer (right), Peter Mayer (left)

1946 - 1960: 1946 "Glaswerk Müllheim" officially becomes "Hellma GmbH". In 1960, the circle of active shareholders is expanded and the sons of the two owners, Lothar and Peter Mayer, as well as Wolfgang Hufenreuter, join the management as limited partners. Together they contribute significantly to the immense growth of the company in the years to come. Today, Lothar Mayer is still one of the main shareholders of Hellma GmbH & Co. KG. 

1963 - 2001: Hellma has now long been one of the most important companies in the field of cuvette production and convinces worldwide with precision and competence. With the foundation of its first foreign subsidiary Hellma France, the worldwide expansion begins. In the following 8 years, Hellma USA, Hellma United Kingdom, Hellma Switzerland, Hellma Canada, Hellma BeNeLux and Hellma Italy follow in chronological order. In 2001 follows the foundation of Hellma Asia Pacific. In 2006, Lutz Mayer takes over the sole management of the company, a position he still holds today.


2000 - 2015: The product areas become wider and Hellma satisfies more and more of its customers' needs. The product portfolio now ranges from crystalline materials and cuvettes to optical probes and measurement cells for the process. By integrating Axiom products, the company now also produces particularly robust and high-performance process and laboratory probes. And not only that: Hellma also opens the only calibration laboratory in Germany accredited according to DakkS for the measurement of UV/Vis reference materials. This guarantees with certainty exact and reproducible measurement results when using Hellma products.

Today: In the age of virtual realities and quantum computing, the world and science are evolving faster than ever. This requires innovative foresight, constant adaptation and perseverance. Hellma has always kept pace, making a lasting contribution to scientific practice and industry. Its products and services set standards and are key factors in the research and advancement in the fields of spectroscopy and photonics. This, among other things, is one of the success factors that make up Hellma's 100 year history.

"Made by Hellma"- a quality feature that lasts

The Hellma Way into the Future

It is the enthusiasm for a meaningful activity that drives us day after day.

The know-how, creativity and passion for research and industry, then as now, are core elements of the company's success, which has now lasted a century. Innovative ability as well as pioneering spirit make "Made by Hellma" a quality feature of the first order. Today it is more important than ever not to dwell on success: the world moves fast and we move with it. That is why it is so important to always react competently, quickly and flexibly to new requirements and to develop solutions for our customers today for the challenges of tomorrow.

And in this respect, the employees represent Hellma's core competence, who, with their highly qualified expert knowledge, creativity and hands-on mentality, always produce the optimal solutions for the individual needs of the customers. We live a corporate culture full of transparency, recognition and tolerance. With mutual trust and appreciation, Hellma takes care of every single person working for the company by promoting individual strengths in a variety of ways, for example, or by offering attractive social benefits.

Last but not least, it is anchored in Hellma's values not to lose sight of responsibility for people and the environment. We care about the social and ecological environment and ensure that we give something back to society and that we use natural resources responsibly.

We do not rest on our status quo but strive to become a little better every day. For our employees. For society. And for a tomorrow worth living.

Hellma turns 100 years- this is a reason to celebrate!