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At the age of 26, Friedhelm Rose began working independently as an entrepreneur. He initially focussed on building switchgears. Sales increased year on year. The company was profitable as soon as 1964.
1967 marks the beginning of the "age of enclosures". One of Friedhelm Rose's customers was looking for an empty enclosure for a switch. At the time, nothing of its kind existed. No one had invented it yet. So, Friedhelm Rose gave it some thought and developed the original idea for sealed enclosures. He modified a limit switch box, integrated a small terminal block into it and added cable glands on the outside of the enclosure. The first enclosure was born. The new "enclosure" product group developed progressively.
At the beginning of 1970 the Rose company moved into a new, bigger building. That same year, the company's founder Friedhelm Rose developed an ingenious concept for sealed enclosures with fastening channels that are separate, yet still integrated into the enclosure. This idea constituted the cornerstone for a market segment that was the first of its kind anywhere. Since then, this idea has been copied many times all over the world. Today, it has become the unwritten standard for mass produced enclosures.
The company's rapid growth made new investments necessary, which Friedhelm Rose was only able to make in conjunction with a strong financial partner. He merged the company with Industriegas of Cologne. Today's Phoenix-Mecano originates from that business. The partnership initially progressed splendidly, and business was better than ever. However, more and more differences arose. There was a great deal of friction regarding questions of how employees should be managed and treated. While motivating employees though personal, humane treatment and participation in company achievements represented an important factor to success for Rose, his partners saw things another way. With a heavy heart, Rose signed an exit agreement, which also laid out a competition ban. This departure looked like it might end Friedhelm Rose's work as an inventor of industrial enclosures.
Friedhelm Rose used his unplanned freedom to discover the world. First, he travelled through the USA for eight months. In that time, he saw more states than most Americans do in their lifetime. After that, he undertook a great adventure. Commencing in Porta Westfalica, he began a one-year journey through Africa, some of which was not very well developed at the time. He crossed the Sahara, the Congo and East Africa. After his trip, he returned to the USA. In Florida, he founded "Rose of Vero Beach, Inc.". The company erected and sold turnkey homes. At times, he also operated a plantation of orange trees and familiarised himself with life as a farmer.
However, despite all his success in the USA, his heart still hung on developing new enclosure ideas. Thus, the enclosure pioneer registered a new patent in 1985: An enclosure with only one channel in each corner, which could be used for both wall mounting and lid fixing. However, the patent would do him no good without a company to produce the enclosure.
So, he sold everything he had in Florida and invested the majority of his capital in a new company: ROLEC Gehäuse-Systeme GmbH. He made the daring move to start all over again at the age of 51. Decisive for his decision to get back into the enclosure business was a conversation he had with his son Matthias. The latter joined the new company in 1986 as an equal partner.
In 1987, ROLEC moved into the newly built premises in Rinteln. In 1989, his daughter Betty Rose joined the family business. She had learned her craft with the company Bernstein in Minden. And so began the story of a company that rewrites itself over and over again.
The Rose family decided to explore new paths in enclosure technology right from the start with its new company ROLEC Gehäuse-Systeme GmbH. Developing and delivering new user-friendly technical solutions has always been top priority at ROLEC. And thus, ROLEC has set numerous milestones in enclosure development since its foundation.
Together with carefully selected employees, each one of whom lives his and her job one-hundred per cent, several new products were developed and registered for patent right in the first decade after the company was founded.
Thanks to the company's positive development, things quickly became cramped at the headquarters. New staff in administration, expansion to the machine pool and new product developments led to ROLEC massively expanding its headquarters. A new office wing and new production halls were created. Simultaneously, the development of new enclosures, suspension systems and control enclosures did not remain idle. Numerous new developments displayed the family company's innovative prowess.
At the turn of the year 2010/2011, ROLEC's development department presented an entirely new product under the leadership of the father of enclosures, Friedhelm Rose. This was the first series of round industrial enclosures. Its name: aluDISC. An enclosure featuring a form reminiscent of a wristwatch. A highlight of technical design. But that's not all. A short time later, product developers revealed another hit design: profiPLUS – a designer suspension system that uses the shape of the Earth and its rotation around its own axis as the basis for a ball joint system.
ROLEC has also always enjoyed experimenting and innovating when selecting materials. After originally starting with aluminium, programmes using ABS and polyester were added over the years. However, it was an entirely different material that Friedhelm Rose had disregarded: stainless steel.
Of course, there has been a large market for stainless steel enclosures for many years. However, they are usually anchored using holes in the enclosures wall, which can lead to leakages. Another anchoring method consists of mounting straps on the exterior side of the enclosure, which is not particularly aesthetic. The idea: ROLEC's proven single-channel technique. Thus, Rose developed inoCASE together with his team. An enclosure concept featuring four fixing channels in the enclosure corners which are separated from the sealed interior. These fixing channels are used to mount the enclosure and fit the lid simultaneously. An idea that is as ingenious as it is simple. And inoCASE has yet another highlight: its size. At 70x100x50 mm, the smallest series production model in the inoCASE series is surely the smallest stainless steel enclosure in the world. Thus, this ROLEC product is finally providing the corresponding space for the technology of the smallest dimensions. Thus far, the enclosures available on the market were often much too large. ROLEC has already announced a new product innovation, which is likely to be yet another landmark in control enclosures. Another design highlight from the innovators of Rinteln.
Rapid development has always been a part of industrial electronics. Since its very beginnings, ROLEC has been developing modern industrial enclosures meeting newer and newer demands. Constant innovation has translated into ROLEC offering a selection of aluminium enclosures unbeatable when it comes to technology and design.