Canadian Packaging

Dorner celebrates 50 years of conveyor excellence

By Canadian Packaging staff   

Automation General Conveying 2200 Series conveyor 4100 Series industrial conveyor AquaPruf Dorner Manufacturing Dorner Manufacturing history FlexMove SmartFlex conveyor

Originally a tool and die shop, Dorner evolves with the times to become a leading conveyor designer and manufacturer.

HARTLAND, WI—What started out as a little tool and die shop has evolved to become an industry powerhouse in the design and building of low profile conveyor platforms—and 50 years later, Dorner Manufacturing is still going strong.

Although the brand has become a household name within numerous industries, the company originally founded by brothers Wolfgang and Horst Dorner looked very different back then.

The Dorner brothers first opened their doors for business on Jan. 14, 1966, as a tool and die shop.

Their reputation for quality and responsiveness was born out of their philosophy: catering to the customers, which meant building a high quality precision product, making sure customers were satisfied, providing responsive service—followed by a belief that in return customers would reward them with their business.


The transition to conveyors in the early 1970s happened out of necessity.

The Dorner brothers were looking for a conveyor to efficiently remove scrap and parts from under their dies, but couldn’t find one that fit in such a tight space.

Manufacturers they spoke with said conveyors could not be built that small because a bearing of that size would not be durable, and belts would not wrap around such tiny diameter rollers.

The Dorner brothers set out to prove them wrong.

(From left) Horst Dorner, Werner Dorner, Wolfgang Dorner.

(From left) Horst Dorner, Werner Dorner, Wolfgang Dorner.

Soon they developed and patented a new radial thrust bearing and worked with belting companies to obtain a flexible, durable belt, and in 1973, the 4100 Series industrial conveyor was born.

Word of this conveyor began to spread, and within a few years conveyor sales were greater than the tool and die business, which was then phased out of production.

From that point forward, the brothers focused on conveyors… and the company hasn’t looked back since.

“Our philosophy today mirrors that of the one set forth by the Dorner brothers 50 years ago—a philosophy based on being responsive to our customers,” says Dorner Manufacturing president and chief executive officer Terry Schadeberg. “Carrying the torch forward and continuing to live up to the ideals established by the Dorners is something every employee embraces. We’re very excited for what the next 50 years holds for Dorner.”

While the company has enjoyed many noteworthy accomplishments through the years, the past year has been marked by several major milestones:

  • Opening its first office in Canada to better serve the Canadian market;
  • Acquiring FlexMove, a Malaysian-based manufacturer of flexible chain conveyors for food, beverage, automotive, electronic and other industries;
  • Adding staff aimed at establishing brand recognition and growing sales to international markets;
  • Expanding its Hartland, Wisconsin, headquarters by adding a 25,000-square-foot expansion to its manufacturing area to meet future production goals and anticipated growth;
  • Major expansions to many of its conveyors, including its AquaPruf sanitary, SmartFlex and 2200 Series platforms.

Dorner is observing its 50th anniversary with an open house and other celebratory events in June of 2016. For more information about Dorner’s 50th anniversary, or its conveyor platforms, visit or call 1-800-397-8664.


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