on the move

We have learned one thing during all the decades of our existence: a solution exists for everything

Engineering competence since 1919

The beginnings of ZAE go back to 1919. In that year, the gearing department was spun off from the machine factory KROENERT to create an independent company in the form of the gearwheel factory Altona-Elbe Hans Meyer Kommanditgesellschaft. Today, ZAE is one of the leading manufacturers of innovative drive technology solutions with a worldwide customer base.

The driving force. Since 1919.

To remain successful over many years, you have to keep moving and work with the right people. We celebrated our 100th anniversary in September 2019. Against the background of our centenary, we would like to thank our customers, partners and employees for their trust and commitment. Without them, ZAE would not be where we are today.

Unsere Geschichte


Our history starts with gear wheels

ZAE originates from the gearing department of the MAX KROENERT Maschinenfabrik founded in 1903. The first order book:


The first sample case for field sales

This empowered field sales team to present bevel gears, helical gears, worm drives, spur gears, threaded rods and toothed racks.


Multi-stage spur gear unit for 50 hp

With a 90:1 gear ratio. We also manufacture large helical gears with a diameter of up to 5,000 mm.


A real milestone:
Worm gear units

Even Hermann Kronseder from Krones raves about the principle of "worm gear units".


Start of series production

ZAE was no longer a pure contract manufacturer at the time, but was already building complete gear units, some of them in series production.


The legendary Deutz gearbox

Fitted into 4-cylinder tractor engines, this gearbox was delivered to Deutz over many decades.


The block housing conquers the market

With the block housing, a standard gear unit range is created at ZAE with many variants via various attachments.


Successful with worm gear units

The ZAE worm gear unit is introduced to the market in large quantities in the early 70s and is a success.


Generational change at the company

Burkhard Meyer takes over management of the company and focuses the work of ZAE on complete gear units and block housings


The company reinvents itself

Between 2003 and 2008, many of the Group's buildings are renewed during ongoing operations.


Support of cancer treatment for children

To maintain the family character of ZAE in the future, nearly all company shares are transferred to foundations.


ZAE SERVO DRIVE sets new standards

In 2018 and 2019, ZAE developed a SERVO gear unit series to meet the highest demands.


New shareholder

Dacapo2 becomes ZAE's new shareholder and separates the company from the ATH Group.


New managing director

Severin Pesch becomes commercial director.


Technical director

Benedikt Wensch will be technical managing director of ZAE and will take on the roles of CSO and COO.

100 years of ZAE –
Our Anniversary Brochure for download

Always on the move – that's the best way to describe the story of ZAE. You can discover the events and innovations that turned us into a successful mid-sized company and recognised experts in innovative drive technology in our Anniversary Brochure.


Custom engineering –
Our core competence

The decision to select a (new) drive system partner needs to probably be considered. Our long-term experience and expertise in practical solutions give customers all over the world the security they have selected the right partner in ZAE. Whether you require high-performance standard gear units or special solutions – we take on every challenge.

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Moving more together –
Our mission statement

Our customers quite rightly expect the best drive technology solution. For us that means with every order we fill, we need to inspire with fast, precise and flexible and innovative output. This is achieved with a workforce that is one of the best in the market in terms of expertise and lives its common values every day.

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So what can we do for you? 

Do you have any questions or suggestions, or do you need expert advice about our products? We are more than happy to help you further. 

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