HAMLAR / Germany. In 2021, the international Grenzebach Group, headquartered in the German town of Hamlar, saw one of the most successful business years in the history of the company. Dr. Steven Althaus, CEO of the Grenzebach Group, announced that the volume of order intakes was doubled compared to the previous year, thereby exceeding the set company goal by 30 percent. “This means that Grenzebach has not only emerged stronger from the pandemic but is also optimistic about the future,” Dr. Steven Althaus adds. “The success of this last business year demonstrates that we are on the right track with our strategic approach of using sustainable technology in all business units.” The global company has supported customers from all sectors with its automation technologies and solutions for over 60 years now. “As a globally operating company we are confronted with various challenges every day and always have to develop further. However, as a family company we always live and stand up for our values and observe the war in Ukraine and thus in Europe with the greatest concern. We keep a close eye on the situation and act considerate and with foresight together with our partners and customers.”
Increased demand from solar and building materials sectors
Grenzebach has especially benefited from the huge demand for glass production technologies and solutions for photovoltaic plants in Asia. For example, using various Grenzebach technologies, new drawing glass lines for the production of photovoltaic panels were built in China. There were similar projects in India. In connection with this, Grenzebach comprehensively revised their drawing glass portfolio and added a state-of-the-art production line to their range of products.
Orders also increased in the building materials sector as the investment backlog in the plasterboard industry was cleared. “Grenzebach was able to respond promptly to market demand thanks to proven production technologies and in-depth process knowledge, which resulted in numerous new orders,” Dr. Steven Althaus says.
The increasing importance of e-mobility and the resulting enormous rise in demand from the automotive industry for heat exchangers and battery trays produced with friction stir welding technology from Grenzebach is another factor in the Group’s success. “The automotive industry is currently experiencing a radical change. Grenzebach provides them with significant support using visionary technologies for innovative manufacturing processes and future-oriented materials, such as aluminum,” Dr. Steven Althaus continues.
Last year, the Group strengthened its market presence as a global automation and intralogistics systems provider, particularly in the areas of intralogistics and additive manufacturing. New software solutions and product innovations, such as the award-winning omnidirectional automated guided vehicle OL1200S, see a strong demand worldwide.
Service promise kept
The Group has kept its service promise in 2021, even under difficult pandemic conditions. Dr. Steven Althaus states: “Our customers know that they have Grenzebach as their reliable partner at their side, throughout the entire lifecycle of their equipment and solutions, from development to commissioning and beyond.” Around the clock and around the world, customers were able to reach their contact persons via 24/7 (remote) support. Grenzebach also boosted their after-sales service offering with the Lead Time project, which was completed in July 2021.
A look into the future: planned projects, sustainable technologies, and investments
In 2021, the Grenzebach Group invested a record-breaking sum of over 14 million euros in the research and development of new products and digitalization solutions, as well as existing future projects. The group will continue to support these in 2022.
Grenzebach heavily invested in sustainable products and technologies in 2021. These are, for example, the development of an in-house process of recycling phosphorus from sewage sludge, a process that was promoted by Grenzebach last year in collaboration with CUTEC, the Environmental Technology Research Center of the TU Clausthal. Thus, the Group is making an important contribution towards establishing the circular economy on a regional basis. Cities and municipalities will be able to recover the vital resource phosphorus in a sustainable way directly on-site with the phosphorus recycling process from Grenzebach.
The newly founded Grenzebach Envelon GmbH also opened up another business field for the Grenzebach Group: solar active building facades that provide aesthetic, functional, and economical solutions in the field of ventilated active color facades and active element and curtain wall facades. This business is expected to be successful in the long term: the photovoltaic facade area in most European countries is twice as large as the usable roof area.
The Group also expanded its location in Iasi, Romania. “Made in Europe” continues to be a highly sought-after and conscious quality promise. This is why Grenzebach is striving to strengthen its European locations and expand its presence. Here, another Manufacturing & Engineering center for several business units will be created. The plan is to create around 70 new jobs this year.
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