The Schunk Group, with its headquarters in Heuchelheim, Germany, celebrates its 100th Jubilee this month with its approximately 8,300 employees at more than 60 locations worldwide joining in the celebrations. Open Days will be held at all Schunk facilities aimed at giving visitors a unique opportunity to have a look behind the scenes at Schunk, and some of the companies in the group will also hold “Schunk Innovation Days” for their customers and long-term partners with tours of the production facilities.
The company was founded by Ludwig Schunk and Karl Ebe as Schunk & Ebe in Fulda in 1913 for the production of carbon brushes for dynamos and engines. After Karl Ebe passed away, Ludwig Schunk led the company successfully until his death in 1947. In his will Ludwig Schunk stipulated that the company be preserved as a Foundation for the employees, and the Ludwig-Schunk-Stiftung e.V. Foundation was established.
“Ludwig Schunk’s will still shapes our corporate culture,” stated CEO Gerhard Federer. “It obliges us to continually develop and maintain the company’s independence. Our business strategy geared towards long-term growth makes Schunk a secure and attractive employer throughout the world. This is also evident in the extraordinarily strong loyalty our employees have to the company.”
Schunk sees its large investments in its facilities, which the company makes all over the world, as also being an investment in and for the employees. “With a great deal of commitment and creativity, our employees have continually developed Schunk into what it is today, a successful globally operating technology corporation. The many exciting jubilee events being held this year at all our facilities are first and foremost a way of thanking all our staff,” says Federer.
In the hundred years since its establishment, Schunk & Ebe has become a globally operating corporate group with four divisions; Schunk Materials, Schunk Sinter Metals, Weiss Group (environmental simulation and climate technology) and Schunk Sonosystems (ultrasonic joining technology). The original product range covering carbon brushes are today produced in the Group’s Materials Division along with technical ceramics, pantograph contact strips, etc.
The Powder Metallurgy products are produced at three main plants in the Schunk Sinter Metals Division, two of which are located in Thale and Giessen, Germany and another in Mexico. Thale specialises in larger PM parts produced on powder presses ranging from 150 to 1500 metric tonnes force and also Metal Injection Moulded parts, whilst the PM plant in Giessen produces smaller PM parts, PM bearings and sintered filters with powder press capacity up to 150 tons.
As was recently reported in Powder Metallurgy Review, Schunk’s Sintermetal S.A. de C.V Powder Metallurgy plant in Mexico recently underwent a major expansion with an investment of some $6 million at the facility in Ocoyoacac. The Schunk Sinter Metals Division contributed around €140 million to Group sales of €930 million in 2012.
The Schunk Group recently reported that Gerhard Federer, Chief Executive Officer of the Schunk Group, will retire from his position as CEO with effect from October 31, 2013 due to health reasons. He will be succeeded on November 1, 2013 by Dr. Arno Roth, a long-time member of the Management Board who is currently responsible for the Weiss Group and Sonosystems divisions.