Company history

DEHN historyFascinated by the force of a lightning strike, Hans Dehn decided to specialise in lightning protection. Since the foundation of the company on January 21, 1910 in Nuremberg, Germany, he was engaged both in the installation of electrical systems and lightning protection systems.
 

In the early 1920s he started manufacturing lightning protection and earthing components. Over the following decades, electrical and electronic devices found their way into all aspects of life and work. It became more and more apparent that conventional lightning protection alone would not be sufficient to provide protection against fire. The importance of internal lightning protection, also known as surge protection, became evident. As a result of intensive development work, we launched the world’s first indoor surge arrester for use in low-voltage installations at the beginning of the 1950s.
Shortly afterwards, we extended our portfolio by safety equipment for protecting of persons working on electrical systems and persons installing and maintaining these systems.
More than 1,500 employees of the DEHN group proudly look back on more than 100 years of continuous development, tradition and experience.


More detailed information on our company‘s history

DEHN is an innovative, globally active family-owned electrotechnical company with more than 100 years of experience and tradition.


  • 1910: Registration of an electrical installation business in Nuremberg. Apart from local network construction, construction of overhead lines and installation work on buildings, mounting of lightning protection systems on buildings is an integral part of the business activities.

  • 1918: Very quickly, Hans Dehn finds himself involved in the complex problems surrounding lightning protection. In 1918, he is granted his first patent on this subject.

  • 1921: A subsidiary is set up in Neumarkt, about 45 km from Nuremberg.

  • 1923: Hans Dehn starts to produce lightning protection and earthing components.

  • 1933: The company grows. Hans Dehn transfers a part of the responsibility to his sons Walter and Willy. Both become co-partners and the family-owned company is named DEHN & SÖHNE. In 1941, the youngest son Richard becomes a co-partner.

  • 1939-1945: The Second World War inevitably affects business development. The premises in Nuremberg and Neumarkt are considerably damaged during the war. Highly motivated, the family starts reconstruction.

  • 1945: The starting point for post-war activities in Neumarkt is a warehouse built during the last months of the war in the area where the headquarters are located today.

  • 1948: The decision to build a hot dip galvanising plant paves the way for developing the subsidiary in Neumarkt into a production site.

  • 1952: DEHN + SÖHNE presents lightning protection and earthing equipment at the Hanover Fair for the first time.

  • 1952: The increasing market demand requires a further expansion of the production facilities in Neumarkt.

  • 1952: Besides lightning protection and earthing, the company starts to develop earthing and short-circuiting devices, which are an integral part of our safety equipment portfolio today. The patented ball pin decisively influences the state of the art.

  • 1953: Austria becomes the first exporting country.

  • 1954: DEHN is the world's first manufacturer to launch a surge arrester for use in low-voltage installations, the legendary J250.

  • 1956: The KS connector that reliably connects circular conductors to flat profiles is developed.

  • 1958: The separable earth rod, a pioneering innovation, considerably extends the range of earthing components and is in great demand. DEHN + SÖHNE becomes well-known in the field of earthing technology.

  • 1960: The family-owned company celebrates its 50th anniversary. On this occasion, a new administration building is constructed in Nuremberg.

  • 1970 – 1980: The company’s surge protection portfolio is continuously amended and extended. New protective devices such as VA 280 and BLITZDUCTOR are developed.

  • 1977: The safety equipment portfolio is considerably extended: Voltage detectors of type PHE and PHG, which are no longer purchased from other manufacturers, but developed in-house, are introduced to the market.

  • 1981: Walter, Willy and Richard Dehn relinquish their management role. Hans-Joachim Dehn and Thomas Dehn, members of the third generation, and Dr.-Ing. Peter Hasse assume overall responsibility for the company.

  • 1984: The first lightning current carrying arrester, DEHNventil®, enters the market and becomes a synonym worldwide for a new generation of arresters. It allows the company to strengthen its leading position in the sector of surge protection.

  • 1986: The success story of surge protection starts with the introduction of the world’s first arrester with a modular width of 17.5 mm, VM 280.

  • 1988: Foundation of DESITEK A/S in Denmark - the first of today‘s 11 international sales companies.

  • 1991-1998: The company prepares for the future by developing and implementing the master plan DEHN 2000. National and international success requires comprehensive restructuring, reorganisation and reorientation in our head office in Neumarkt.

  • 1993: The new energy-coordinated arresters of the Red/Line family for low-voltage consumer‘s installations is launched. Surge protective devices such as DEHNport® and DEHNguard® start their story of success.

  • 1996: The new energy-coordinated arresters of the Yellow/Line family for the protection of data and automation systems are presented. BLITZDUCTOR® CT stands as milestone in the development in the field of lightning and surge protection.

  • 1999: For transparency reasons, activities in the field of installation of electrical systems are spun off into a separate subsidiary called DEHN INSTATEC GmbH based in Nuremberg, Neumarkt and Hermsdorf.

  • 2002: The master plan is continued by moving into new production facilities for surge protective devices.

  • 2003: Completion of and move into a new administration building in Neumarkt.

  • 2003: The HVI® conductor stands as milestone in external lightning protection. The separation distance can be easily maintained by using the new high-voltage-resistant down conductor, even in case of challenging architectural design.

  • 2004: 50 years of surge protection by DEHN.

  • 2004: Hans-Joachim Dehn and Dr.-Ing. Peter Hasse retire and Dr.-Ing. Peter Zahlmann is appointed Technical Managing Director.

  • 2006: Safe and functional arresters with a unique design. The new Red/Line and Yellow/Line product families are launched.

  • 2007: A three-storey production facility is built to expand the production capacities.

  • 2008: The new DEHNrecord MCM XT condition monitoring system acts like an early warning system, generating a fault message already in the event of imminent arrester overload.

  • 2009: DEHNguard SCI, a surge protective device for use in PV systems, is introduced to the market. It combines effective surge protection with personal and fire protection.

  • 2010: DEHN celebrates its 100th anniversary. The small electrical installation business became a globally active family-owned company.

  • 2010: We fund an endowed professorship at the Ilmenau University of Technology  to promote fundamental research on modern methods, technologies and materials in the field of lightning and surge protection.

  • 2011: Foundation of our subsidiary DEHN INDIA in Gurgaon (New Delhi).

  • 2011: The fourth generation takes control of the family-owned company: Dr. Philipp Dehn becomes Managing Partner.

  • 2012: DEHNvenCI, a coordinated spark-gap-based lightning current and surge arrester with integrated backup fuse, is introduced to the market.

  • 2012: In the field of safety equipment, DEHN presents a new arc-fault-tested protective suit. DEHNcare® consists of a safety helmet, protective gloves, trousers as well as jacket or coat.

  • 2012: Spark gap technology and d.c. extinction circuit of the DEHNlimit PV 1000 V2 combined arrester protects PV systems.

  • 2013: Active arc fault protection system DEHNarc protects persons against the effects of arc faults and prevents damage to installations, downtime as well as the resulting costs.

  • 2013: Establishment of three new subsidiaries DEHN PROTECTION SOUTH AFRICA (Pty) Ltd. in Johannesburg, OOO DEHN RUS in Moscow and DEHN PROTECTION MÉXICO, S.A. de C.V. in Mexico City.

  • 2013: The high-voltage-insulated HVI®power Conductor is an ideal solution that makes lightning protection even more efficient. It ensures an equivalent separation distance of 90 cm in air.

  • 2013: DEHNconnect DCO SD2, an efficient surge protective device that increases the safety of, for example, automation systems.

  • 2013: DEHNcombo YPV SCI type 1 and 2 combined arrester with SCI technology for PV systems.

  • 2013: DEHNcube YPV SCI the first type 2 d.c. surge arrester for PV systems to be installed outside of enclosures up to IP65 and is thus ideally suited for protecting string inverters.

  • 2013: Foundation of three new subsidiaries in South Africa, Mexico and Russia: DEHN now maintains subsidiaries and offices in 17 countries and serves customers in more than 70 countries.                                                                                          

      At the end of the year, Thomas Dehn retires after more than 33 years. In addition to Dr. Philipp Dehn and Dr. Peter Zahlmann,       Helmut Pusch becomes Managing Director.


  • 2014: Change of management: Thomas Dehn retired after more than 33 years as Managing Partner. Besides Dr. Philipp Dehn, who joined the DEHNgroup in 2011 as Managing Partner, and Dr. Peter Zahlmann, Helmut Pusch took over the managerial responsibility.

  • 2015: DEHN (SEA) PTE. LTD. is founded in Singapore and serves the South East Asian market.