Otto Dunkel’s revolutionary idea

The invention of the spring contact

There is magic in every beginning. The inventor Otto Dunkel quickly recognized the magic behind an everyday observation – and used it to develop the world’s first spring contact.

His observation

Otto Dunkel experienced one of his most profound flashes of inspiration when he observed a man sweeping leaves with a twig broom. This moment was nothing less than the birth of the springwire contact.

The idea

Analogous to the individual brushwood branches of the broom, Otto Dunkel divided the contact surface into individual feathers, resulting in a multitude of contact points.

The result

The result was a revolutionary contact – characterized by consistent contact resistance and pressure. Thanks to the new connector, a major shortcoming of the message transmission equipment in use at the time, namely the unreliable plug‐in contacts, had finally been overcome.

1942 ODU in Mühldorf

Founded by Otto Dunkel

1985 ODU in the USA

Founding of the subsidiary ODU USA

1987 ODU in the United Kingdom

Founding of the subsidiary ODU UK

1996 ODU in France

Founding of the subsidiary ODU France

2001 ODU in Shanghai

Founding of ODU Shanghai Manufacturing

2006 ODU in Romania

Founding of the subsidiary ODU Romania

2012 ODU in China

Founding of the Product Development Center (PDC) in Shanghai, China

2014 ODU in Denmark

Founding of the subsidiary ODU Denmark

2014 ODU in Italy

Founding of the subsidiary ODU Italy

2015 ODU in Japan

Founding of the subsidiary ODU Japan

2016 New overseas production facility: ODU Mexico

ODU opened a new production facility near Tijuana, Mexico. The background to this was the successful American project business, which involved both application‐based and customized products. As in Europe, fully assembled connectors are increasingly being distributed in North America.

2018 New production facility at ODU Romania in Sibiu

The new production building in Sibiu was completed on schedule in September 2018. The new 48,000 m² building offers the company’s 550 employees additional production space (+30% in Phase 1), shorter lines of communication, and a clear structure that provides plenty of flexibility and room for further expansion. Thanks to its high‐quality production processes, the company also continues to develop as a center of excellence for connector and cable assembly in Sibiu.

2019 ODU in Korea

Founding of ODU Korea Inc.

2020 ODU in Hong Kong

Direct sales in Taiwan, South East Asia and New Zealand via ODU Hong Kong

The history of ODU Connectors


Otto Dunkel GmbH receives the patent for producing the „spring‐loaded plug pin“ – inspired by a twig broom – known today as „ODU SPRINGTAC®“.


ODU now also develops electronic connectors. The ODU CARD series is added to the product range.

1975 PCB connector

Foundation of ODU Steckverbindungssysteme GmbH & Co. KG as a marketing and sales company. The first PCB connectors are produced.

1986 ODU‐MAC®

The ODU‐MAC® Modular Rectangular Connector System takes off and quickly becomes an important pillar of the product range.


The ODU MINI‐SNAP® Circular Connector series celebrates a successful market launch.

2010 High-current connectors

Just 6 years after ODU Automotive GmbH was founded, the company’s first high‐current connectors for eMobility are developed.

2011 ODU AMC® Circular Connector system

The new ODU AMC® Circular Connector System is launched.

2020 Mass interconnect system

ODU unveils its proprietary mass interconnect solution – the ODU‐MAC® Black‐Line.