ULMA: 60 years of history
It was in 1957 when six young working men launched what we now know today as ULMA. They started under the name Talleres Ignacio Maiztegi, dedicating themselves to maintenance and auxiliary work for the then burgeoning chocolate industry in Oñati.
That first business activity then led to the establishment of Máquinas Envolvedoras, originally for chocolate, and later evolving into other applications. Meanwhile, the brother of one of the founders, brought back some new product brochures following a trip to the United States. The product was metal modular scaffolding. At the time, this was something completely new and it was quickly integrated into the production. In 1961, they decided to convert the company into a cooperative under the name Talleres ULMA S.C.I, signing the Act of Constitution of 8 September in that same year.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the cooperative began to expand its product range: machinery for the food industry, machinery for the automotive industry, wrappers for soap and canned food, adjustable metal props under the brand name JJEIP, and ULMA metal fencing, in addition to JJEIP forklifts. In the 1980s and 90s, the cooperative started the internationalisation process and began to take its first steps towards creating what would, years later, become the ULMA Group, with the amalgamation of ENARA and OINAKAR.
Throughout the 1960s, there were boom times as well as periods of prosperity, but also challenges and difficulties that ULMA had to deal with. The serious crisis that shook the international economy in the 1970s, the Basque industrial restructuring in the 1980s and the 2008 financial crisis, were all overcome thanks to the efforts of the whole group, a key step in getting over these difficulties and continuing to create jobs.
60 years later and ULMA is a Business Group made up of nine Businesses with very diverse operations. Close to 5,500 professionals work in over 80 countries the world over, providing the most advanced systems and services on the market. Today, in 2021, coinciding with an unprecedented global health crisis, ULMA is celebrating its 60th anniversary and continues to strengthen its position as a Cooperative Group with the same values that saw its creation and growth; participation, cooperation, innovation and competitiveness.
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