The BKS brand is celebrating its birthday
BKS – one of the best-known brands in the field of locking technology and security – was 115 years old in May 2018. BKS GmbH is internationally renowned for the manufacture of locks, locking cylinders, master key systems, and door hardware for projects and escape doors.
BKS GmbH is internationally renowned for the manufacture of locks, locking cylinders, master key systems, and door hardware for projects and escape doors. From individual locking cylinders to large series, the company focuses on adding value in a competitive way and on high-quality production. Approximately 590 employees work in development, production and administration at the main plant in Velbert in the Rhineland, in a modern production facility covering around 60,000 m2.
Foreman Adolf Boge and locksmith Fritz Kasten founded the Rheinische Türschließerfabrik in Solingen on 8 May 1903. They developed a door closer that allowed doors to latch with virtually no noise, setting the first milestone in the history of the company. Further developments have made the company the European market leader. This was clear to overseas competitors, too: in 1928, the American firm Yale & Town acquired the door closer factory and merged it with the companies Damm & Ladwig and the Vereinigte Riegel- und Schlossfabriken to form BKS GmbH, based in Velbert.
In 1938, BKS developed the round cylinder, revolutionising the design of security locks – it was the first modular lock cylinder system in the world. Another innovation in Europe was the panic lock in the 1950s, which could be used to open locked doors from the inside. The first electronic cylinder was invented and marketed in 1989 – a product fit for the future, that BKS is still developing and improving today. In 2005, the MasterKeySystem provided the first internet-based planning and ordering platform for master key systems. In 2012, BKS developed the SE lock, the first lock with access control integrated into the lock, enabling free choice of door hardware. The tried and tested reversible key system janus was newly launched and patented in 2015 – taking performance to a whole new level. ixalo – the electronic locking system by BKS – was launched on the market in 2017. This is a flexible system that combines a variety of electronic products and technologies into a state-of-the-art, sustainable overall system.
Since 1983, BKS has formed part of the international Gretsch-Unitas group, a complete supplier of window and door technology, automatic entrance systems and building management systems. As a brand of the GU group, BKS primarily develops and produces panic locks and escape door safety devices for escape and rescue routes. Harmonised mechanical and electronic system solutions are available for access control.
The slogan "The ultimate in Security" has become established among customers of the many lock and security equipment stores that sell BKS products and solutions.
Environmentally responsible behaviour that gives the next generation a secure, green future is very important to BKS. The company has therefore been certified to DIN EN ISO 14001:2009 (international standard for environmental requirements) and DIN EN ISO 50001:2011 (international standard for energy requirements) since 2015.
The products and system solutions from BKS are found in privately owned homes, in projects and in architectural highlights. The Elbphilarmonie concert hall in the west of HafenCity in Hamburg, completed in 2016, is equipped with products including system solutions for escape and rescue routes and mortise locks from BKS. Dresden Hauptbahnhof station, the European Central Bank in Frankfurt and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao are likewise fitted with BKS solutions.
History is the key to success. It effectively demonstrates that BKS has been continually refining and improving organisational processes and production methods for 115 years in order to continue to develop and produce future-oriented products and system solutions for customers.