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From a retailer to a full service manufacturer

A clean success story

In 1982, Ernst Nölken founded a trading company for moistened toilet paper which developed into one of the most successful cosmetic care product suppliers for industry and trade.

Soon after its founding in 1982, more than just Nölken’s product portfolio was growing. The company itself was also continuously expanding and growing thanks to its own production facilities.

In 1997, Nölken expanded its product range with the production of nursing pads, the company entered the liquid filling sector in 2005, and in 2008 it established its own formulation and mixing department.

What began as a small company with a few products developed into one of the largest suppliers of cosmetic care products and hygiene products in Germany. Construction of the Windhagen site began in 1991, and just two years later Nölken opened another production facility in Nowogrodziec in Poland.

Since 2010, Ernst Markus Nölken and Ulrich Daniel Nölken have been the second generation to lead the family company.

U. Daniel Nölken and E. Markus Nölken, Managing Directors of Nölken Hygiene Products GmbH.

Nölken Hygiene Products GmbH – more than four decades of experience


Founding of the trading company

On 1 January 1982, Barbara and Ernst Nölken founded Nölken GmbH as a trading company with the business purpose of “the sale of moistened toilet paper and oil cloths”. The first company headquarters was the family home in Rheinbach.


Start of in-house production

On 1 January 1988, the first in-house production began in Bad Honnef-Rottbitze for make-up removal cloths under the brand name of BarbaraN. From there, the “Nölken family” grew steadily. Alongside the production of moistened toilet paper and wet wipes from prefabricated stacks of cloth, nursing pads were also packaged.


Founding of the Polish subsidiary

At the beginning of the 90s, Nölken, like so many companies in that era, seized the opportunity for expansion into Eastern Europe. The Polish subsidiary was founded in 1993. In particular, activities with intensive manual labour such as the folding and cutting of stacks of cloth were carried out here.


Start of nursing pad production

Expansion continued apace: on 1 January 1997, Nölken started production of nursing pads in Windhagen.


Start of liquid filling

The filling of liquid products started in 2005. This made it possible to significantly expand the product portfolio and it became possible to supply customers with a complete baby care range (consisting of wet wipes, nursing pads and baby care products) all in one place.


Establishment of the formulation and mixing department

2008 saw another milestone with the establishment of an in-house formulation and mixing department. From this point on, it was not just the contents for the pots, tubes and bottles that could be developed and produced in-house. The impregnation solutions for the wet wipes, which had previously been bought in, slowly but surely moved over to in-house production.


Change of generation

The family business enters the second generation: Ernst Nölken hands the business over to his two sons Ulrich Daniel and Ernst Markus Nölken.


Expansion of production

In 2014, the production of nursing pads at the Windhagen site is expanded into a new production hall thanks to the acquisition of new machines.

Expansion of liquid filling followed in 2015, made possible by the acquisition of an adjacent building.

The mixing department was expanded in 2018 in order to be able to cover the increasing demand, particularly for impregnation solutions. In 2019, investments in additional wet wipe machines were made at both sites (Windhagen and Poland).


RHEOSOL/NW-Chemie becomes part of the NOELKEN GROUP

Formerly Wachendorff GmbH, the company joins the Noelken Group as NW-Chemie. NW-Chemie GmbH is a brand manufacturer and, at the same time, a complete supplier with the necessary accessories in the hygiene and disinfection sector.


Founding of the new production site in Neustadt

Acquisition of a new hall, along with offices, in Neustadt/Wied made it possible to expand the production capacities. Additional wet wipe production began here in 2021.

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