A long tradition of success

The DORMA History

Despite its rapid growth in the past few decades, DORMA has remained a family-owned company.

1908 - 1950

Rudolf Mankel and his brother-in-law, Wilhelm Dörken, founded Dörken & Mankel KG in Ennepetal, Germany, on July 1, 1908. The first products to come out of the factory were double-action door hinges and milled screws. Right from the start, the two partners imposed the very highest quality standards on their products. The principle that applied even at that time - "Better the best at a good price than to disappoint our customers" - was destined to influence significantly the path adopted by the company.

In 1913, Dörken & Mankel KG break ground on a new production facility in Ennepetal growing its manufacturing space to more than one million square feet.

The brand name DORMA, an acronym formed from the two surnames of the company founders, was registered with the German Patent Office in 1927. Then, in 1936, Wilhelm Dörken left Dörken & Mankel KG and Rudolf Mankel set about running the company as its sole proprietor.

1950 - 1970

In 1950, after the upheavals of the Second World War, the company began manufacturing the TS 50 door closer, taking us into a sector in which - in revenue terms - we are today the world market leader. The product range was also extended to include, for a period, the "Mekanik" metal construction kit, and punched components for the radio and television industry. By 1962, DORMA had begun production of a range of door operators and so took its first steps into the automatics market. And here too, the company is among the world elite.

1970 - 2000

In 1970 saw the establishment of DORMA GmbH + Co. KG and in the same year Karl-Rudolf Mankel, grandson of the co-founder, joined the company. The ensuing period saw increased emphasis on global alignment and further extensions to the product segments. In 1976, the company moved into the field of glass door furniture and fittings, and 1977 saw the creation of a subsidiary specialising in this sector, DORMA-Glas. Also in 1977, we established our first foreign sales company in the form of DORMA France. And just one year later, our first foreign manufacturing facility was opened in Singapore.

DORMA gained access to further new markets by entering into the security and emergency escape technology sector in 1987. The year 2000 heralded a new management structure comprising a holding company, five divisions and 13 sales regions, established with the purpose of further improving DORMA's global position and better preparing it for the challenges of the future.

2000 - 2011

2008 saw celebrations at many of DORMA's sites around the world to mark its 100th year of existence. And at the beginning of 2009, the fourth generation of proprietors assumed a share of the responsibility for managing the company, with sole proprietor Karl-Rudolf Mankel passing on a majority of his participating interest in DORMA to his daughters Christine and Stephanie Mankel.

In order to be even better equipped to meet present and future global market demands, in 2010 DORMA introduced its strategic programme "DORMA 2020" and, on January 1, 2011, a new management structure aligned to this new commitment. The new organisation, consisting of a 14-member international management committee and five sales regions with P L responsibility, reflects the strategy adopted for growth through to 2020.

2011 - 2013

For the first time in its corporate history, the DORMA Group generated revenues in excess of one billion euros in fiscal 2011/12 (June 30), thus successfully continuing the growth program. In 2012, research and development centers in India and Singapore were established with a view to meeting the local and regional requirements. DORMA received numerous awards including the “Axia Award 2012” and the “Hidden Champion 2013” accolade.

2013 - 2015

DORMA once again demonstrated its innovative capacities with the Group launching more product innovations than ever before. At the international BAU fair in January 2015, DORMA presented six new products. In addition, there were numerous local innovations, for example the ITS 900 and ITS 915 door closers for the entry segment in Asia. For these new products, DORMA has received 12 design awards since the beginning of the year. And as a company, DORMA was recognized in June as one of Germany’s most innovative SMEs.


The DORMA Group has improved sales and profits in fiscal 2014/2015. According to IFRS figures, Group sales rose by 9.8% to € 1,109.2 million (previous year: € 1,010.3 million).

The Dorma Group and the Kaba Group, from Rümlang in Zurich (Switzerland), merged to form dorma+kaba in September 2015. The merger has created one of the top three companies in the global market for security and access solutions, with pro forma sales of more than CHF 2 billion and around 16,000 employees. dorma+kaba is active in over 50 countries and has a presence, through both production sites and distribution and service offices, in all relevant markets.

Together, the two companies offer their customers a comprehensive portfolio of products, solutions and services for security and building access, so these customers can get everything relating to access and opening and closing doors from a single source. The portfolio includes locking systems – from cylinders, keys and locks right through to fully networked electronic access solutions – but also physical access systems and automatic door systems, as well as a comprehensive range of door hinges and fittings,  door controls. These are augmented by products for time and enterprise data recording, high-security locks, horizontal sliding walls and movable partitions.