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ULMA: 60 years of history

Jun 24, 2021
Back in 1957 when six young working men launched what we now know today as ULMA. They started under the name Talleres Ignacio Maiztegi, primarily focusing on maintenance and auxiliary work for a burgeoning chocolate industry in Oñati.

That first business activity then led to the establishment of Máquinas Envolvedoras, originally designed for chocolate manufacturingwhich later evolved for additional applications. Meanwhile, after a trip to the United States, one of the founder’s brothers, brought a new product brochure with him. The product was: metal modular scaffolding. At the time, this was something completely new and innovative. This lighted up the idea of creating this type of solution and integrate it into 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 the 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 internationalization 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 periods of prosperity, but ULMA had also dealt with challenges along the way. The international economic crisis in the 1970s, the Basque industrial restructuring in the 1980s and the 2008 financial crisis, were all overcame thanks to the efforts of the whole group, which managed to successfully continue to create jobs.

60 years later, ULMA is a solid Business Group conformed of nine businesses entities with very diverse operations. With a work network of over 5,500 professionals, across over 80 countries, ULMA is in a leading position as a manufacturer and provider of the most advanced systems and services on the market. Today, we are extremely grateful for our customers and everyone who is part of this group around the world, for their trust and dedication throughout these unprecedent times. ULMA is celebrating its 60th anniversary and continues to strengthen its position as a Cooperative Group with the same values as when it was first created: social and environmental responsibility commitment, cooperation, innovation, and competitiveness.