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3M Company

legal form Corporation
ISIN US88579Y1010
founding 1902
Seat Saint Paul , Minnesota , United States
United StatesUnited States 
management Mike Roman
Number of employees 93,516
sales $ 32.8 billion (2018)
Branch Conglomerate, chemistry
Website www.3m.com
As of December 31, 2018

The house in Saint Paul, Minnesota where 3M was founded is now a museum.

3M ( M innesota M ining and M anufacturing Company ) is a global American multi-technology provider headquartered in Saint Paul in the US state of Minnesota . For example, the company makes adhesive products. 3M is known to consumers for its registered brands Post-it and Scotch, among other things .

The group produces more than 50,000 different products based on 47 technology platforms and over 25,000 patents.

For the full year 2018, the 3M Company generated sales of 32.8 billion US dollars. The profit was around $ 5.3 billion.

The enterprise

Founded in 1902, 3M initially dealt with the mining and processing of minerals for the production of sandpaper for the automotive industry . In response to customer demands, the company gradually expanded its product range. For example, the company's own researchers developed the first masking tape for the two-tone painting of automobiles that were then in fashion.

On this basis, the company soon began to diversify and position itself internationally. Today it has branches in over 70 countries.

State intervention and war economy

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, 3M's production of medical protective equipment became the focus of US politics. US President Donald Trump ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to secure 3M's production of N95 protective masks for the USA. In addition, on April 2, 2020, the President ordered 3M to produce face masks on the basis of the Defense Production Act . Presidential Advisor Peter Navarro noted that it was not certain that 3M's production facilities around the world would actually ship enough of the masks it produced to the United States. When the epidemic broke out in early 2020, China initially prohibited the export of all masks.

In addition to the instructions to increase production, a regulation was also adopted through which the US government protects mask manufacturers from lawsuits. For example, manufacturers will be exempted from liability for the use of certain industrial masks by medical personnel in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic until 2024, although the masks, in contrast to medical masks, may filter fewer particles from the air.

After the US national reserve of N95 protective masks was only around 12 million pieces in March 2020, 3M is to supply 31 million protective masks for medical personnel in April 2020 alone, instead of the 5 million protective masks that were previously produced per month.

A little later a 3M protective mask delivery of several hundred thousand pieces, which had come from a factory in China and was intended for Berlin authorities, was confiscated in Bangkok and diverted to the USA, according to press reports.

Markets, brands, products

The company name 3M is also the best-known brand and acts as the umbrella brand for most products.

Umbrella brand
3M 3M wordmark.svg
Strategic brands
Surname logo Products
Post it Postit-logo.svg Office supplies
Scotch Scotch-logo.svg Glue and craft supplies
Scotch Brite Scotch-Brite Logo.jpg cleaning supplies
Scotch print Scotchprint Logo.jpg Advertising graphics
Scotchgard Scotchgard Logo.jpg Impregnation materials
Nexcare Nexcare Logo.jpg Healthcare Products
Tegaderm Tegaderm Logo.png Plasters and bandages
Command Command Logo.jpg Fastening systems
Futuro Futuro Logo.jpg Bandages
ACE ACE Logo.png Bandages
Scotch blue Scotch-Blue Logo.jpg Painter's tape
Peltor ear protection

There are also over 1,000 product brands such as Vikuiti , Scotchlite , Littmann , Tartan and Thinsulate .

Noticeable is the combination of two major product lines from 3M: The so-called nonwoven (often made of polyester) and the coatings ( coatings ). So exist z. B. the removable Post-It sticky notes made of paper (carrier), partially coated on one side with adhesive, as well as sandpaper (paper or fabric as carrier, abrasive grain as functional coating), magnetic tapes or disks (carrier with magnetic coating), blank CDs (Polycarbonate as a carrier with a photosensitive layer for burning) or films (carrier with a photosensitive coating). An example of the nonwovens are the abrasive fleece of the Scotch-Brite sponges. These nonwovens are available from very fine without abrasive grain (air filter for hard drives in the micrometer range) to very coarse with abrasive grain (grinding disks for steel construction). In medical products, both technologies are combined: Fine nonwoven as a carrier with a skin-friendly adhesive as a coating results in a plaster. This material combination can also be found in many other 3M products.

Automotive, marine and aviation

Sponsorship in NASCAR : Colin Braun's car

3M supplies a wide range of high-performance adhesives, polishing and abrasive materials, painting systems, pollen filters, protective glass films and insulating materials to the automotive and supplier industries as well as to shipbuilders and aircraft manufacturers, as well as components for fuel cells .

Office and communication

Among the best known among consumers trademarks of 3M are certainly the Post-It - Sticky Notes and Scotch - tapes . The success of the Post-It notes contributed to the fact that the term Post-it is often used generically instead of sticky notes as a generic name , even if they are from a different brand.

In addition, the company offers a. Ergonomic products as well as projectors and beamers . 1960, the world's first 3M overhead projector ago, product name overhead projector ; this term is still used as a generic name in western Germany.

Electrical, electronic and telecommunications

In addition to a range of connectivity components for copper and fiber networks, connectors and Camera Link cable accessories, the company offers the Volition Network Solutions system as a complete solution for the expansion or modernization of computer - networks . Flexible printed circuit boards are also an important product area .

3M originally provided data carriers such as B. floppy disks and streamer tapes. This area was taken over and expanded in 1996 by the Imation group founded for this purpose .

The 3M Cantata 700 was a 1965 futuristic cassette player with its own format of magnetic tape media specifically designed for background music .

Household and leisure

Scotch tape

For household and leisure z. B. fiber protection, plasters and thermal insulation fleece are part of the 3M product range

Industry and craft

Other products for industrial manufacturing processes or manual work are, for example:

Medicine and health

The company is one of the world's leading suppliers of single-use medical products for infection prevention in hospitals and nursing homes. This includes surgical gowns, covers and masks as well as plasters, bandages and products for wound care. Other well-known products are Littmann stethoscopes and the dental products of the 3M ESPE AG branch . The company is also a partner for many clinics with advice and software for the introduction of DRGs . There has been a joint venture with Fresenius Kabi since 2009 .

Safety: work, people and traffic

Retroreflective foils and fabrics are used in road traffic that reflect incident light back to the light source and thus make traffic signs, lane markings, clothing, etc. visible in the dark.

In addition, occupational safety products are offered, ranging from hearing, head and face protection to modular compressed air and blown breathing protection systems. In public transport and buildings, security films protect against glass breakage or vandalism.

Advertising and design

Graphic foils are available for the presentation of advertising messages on vehicles, buildings or on floor surfaces. Other products on this market include Vikuiti films for mobile displays, which provide scratch protection and privacy protection or improve readability, as well as touchscreen and touch monitor products.


Between 1962 and 1976 3M produced high-quality board games (including Acquire , Schach , Ploy and TwixT ) and was one of the larger game publishers at that time. This includes the Bookshelf Games series , whose outer box was modeled on a book so that it could be stored on the bookshelf. In 1976 the entire game line was sold to Avalon Hill .

3M in Germany

In 1951, the German branch in Düsseldorf was founded under the name "Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Company GmbH", and since 1972 the company has operated under the name "3M Deutschland GmbH". 3M Deutschland GmbH employs around 6,700 people at a total of 18 locations, who achieved sales of € 2.25 billion in 2017. The company has had its headquarters and the largest European research center in Neuss near Düsseldorf since 1973. In the Hilden and Kamen plants , reflective materials, hygiene products, graphic foils, vehicle cabin filters, abrasives and medical products are manufactured. From the European goods distribution center in Jüchen, the company supplies Germany, the Benelux region and northern and eastern European countries. 3M Medica with locations in Neuss, Berlin and St. Ingbert, the 3M dental division (formerly 3M Espe) in Seefeld and 3M Unitek in Landsberg am Lech , which sells orthodontic products, also belong to 3M Deutschland GmbH .

The following companies belong to 3M in Germany:

  • 3M Deutschland GmbH , Neuss, also the parent company of the German 3M Group
  • Dyneon GmbH , Burgkirchen , manufacture of fluoropolymers
  • 3M Services GmbH formerly Quante Netzwerk GmbH , Hanover , system house in the telecommunications sector
  • Top service for Lingualtechnik GmbH , Bad Essen , development, production and sales of orthodontic products
  • 3M Technical Ceramics Branch of 3M Deutschland GmbH , Kempten (Allgäu) , production of high-performance ceramics for components, powders and surfaces

In addition, the Winterthur Technology Group , which belongs to the global 3M Group, is represented with its location in Reutlingen, as well as the associated Wendt GmbH in Germany.

3M in Austria

In Austria, 3M Österreich GmbH was founded in 1961 as a subsidiary of the 3M Company and was based in Perchtoldsdorf , on the outskirts of Vienna , with around 150 employees . 3M Österreich GmbH has been based in Vienna since January 1, 2014, in the Europlaza Business Park in the 12th district.

In addition, there is the Winterthur Technology Group , which belongs to the global 3M Group, and the associated Rappold Winterthur Technologie GmbH with around 350 employees at the Villach location . The plant in Villach-Seebach produces grinding wheels and was affected by a major fire on March 13, 2018.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Annual Report 2018. Retrieved on February 17, 2020 .
  2. Information on the "Post-it" trademark  in the register of the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA)
  3. Information on the "Scotch" brand  in the register of the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA)
  4. Jordan Fabian and Rick Clough: "Trump Attacks 3M Over Mask Production, Drawing Company Pushback" bloomberg.com April 2, 2020
  5. Reuter: "Trump Says 3M 'Will Have a Big Price to Pay' Over Face Masks" nytimes.com of April 2, 2020
  6. ^ A b c Jeanne Whalen, Rosalind S. Helderman, Tom Hamburger: "Inside Americas Mask Crunch" Washington Post of April 3, 2020
  7. Julius Betschka, Alexander Fröhlich: "Berlin's Senator for the Interior speaks of" modern piracy "" Tagesspiegel.de of April 3, 2020
  8. 3M game collections. esgeu, accessed December 21, 2009 .
  9. 3M Bookshelf Games. dazolgames.com, accessed December 21, 2009 .
  10. Abrasives factory in Villach in Vollbrand orf.at, March 13, 2018, accessed March 13, 2018.