The “field near the paper mill between Christian Quentel and richard Zorn,” as it was described in old documentation, was where Adolf Mohr wanted to build his company. It cost exactly 8,448 german marks (around 59 600 U. S. dollars) in 1906. Mohr had no idea that precisely 111 years later, machines that are unique worldwide would be produced on the site, covering an area of around 21,500 square feet (2,000 sq. m). Yet even back then, the company was one step ahead of its competitors. While at the start of the 20th century most factories ran their machines using steam, Mohr was already converting his equipment to electricity.
First and foremost, it was the commitment to innovation that fueled the success of Mohr’s machine factory. various patents were recorded, ranging from a “cutter head for planers” and a “wedge fastener for planer blades” to blade-adjusting devices. In 1929, some 40 safety cutter blocks left the factory each week. The name of the machine? Polar. At that time, of course, the company specialized in wood working and processing. It wasn’t till 1947, some years after the death of the founder, that Adolf Mohr Maschinenfabrik moved into the new “graphic arts” industry. The company was now run by the two sons Rudolf and Karl. They focused completely on the new sector and soon launched the first electrically controlled cutter onto the market.
Demand for print products at that time was high, and this was also apparent in the sales of Polar cutters. The year 1949 saw the first contact between Alfred Mohr Maschinenfabrik and Heidelberger Schnellpressefabrik AG – a productive relationship for both sides that continues to this day. Word soon spread among specialists about the quality of the cutters, and when drupa was held in 1954, more than 2,500 Polar high-speed cutters had already been installed in Germany and the rest of the world. Continuous innovations have underpinned Polar’s position as market leader. At drupa, it has regularly showcased new developments that time and again have caused a sensation. Polar is also a pioneer in digitization. Since 1986, its Compucut technology has provided programming outside the machine. In 1992, the Polar 2000 systems offered a complete postpress solution that kept data up to date online – a first at that time. Polar also set new standards in 2002 with the first fully automated Pace Cutting System. This was followed in 2006 by expansion onto the Chinese market with the company’s own production plant. Like everyone else, Polar was affected by the financial and economic crisis in 2008. A number of challenges had to be overcome. And yet developments such as the takeover of packaging technology manufacturer Dienst in 2011 secured new customer segments for Polar. In 2015, the company was stronger and well placed to assert its role as world market leader. The 111th anniversary this year is the icing on the cake for a success story that continues to this day.
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