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75 years of Heinrich Georg

75 years of Heinrich Georg

Customer day on the occasion of the 75th anniversary

Kreuztal, 29 June 2023 Exactly 75 years after its founding, on 20 June 2023, Heinrich Georg GmbH celebrated the company's 75th anniversary with a customer day at the plant in Kreuztal-Buschhütten, attended by more than 130 customers and business partners from all over the world. The company had already organised a family day with employees and their families on 10 June, which was attended by over 1,100 visitors.

Today, GEORG is a globally active, highly diversified and yet still medium-sized high-tech company. As a globally recognised technology leader for machines and lines in the metal industry, it offers a wide range of products with digital solutions and services. Lines from Kreuztal process strips of steel and aluminium, which are used, for example, to produce sheets for vehicles or particularly energy-efficient transformers for energy supply. GEORG manufactures fully automatic, computer-controlled systems for grinding the rollers used to produce the strips.

Heinrich Georg founded his company on 20 June 1948, the day of the currency reform, when every citizen received 40 DM. The first, then still manually operated machine, the "Liliput", straightened and cut rebar for the construction industry.

Today, its customers include the world's leading manufacturers of steel and aluminium strip, as well as service centres that process the coils. The "transformer systems" division is the recognised market leader and the company also sets the industry standard with roll grinding machines. With subsidiaries in almost all continents, GEORG is present worldwide with innovative line technology and service "made in Germany".

Rooted in the region

As a medium-sized family business, now run by Mark Georg, the grandson of the company's founder, the company has been connected to Siegen region since the very beginning. The vast majority of employees come from the region. Many of them completed their training at GEORG or studied at the University of Siegen, and several are already in the third generation. Some have studied in other cities after completing their training at GEORG and have returned to Kreuztal. Many suppliers and partners are also based in the Siegen region.

Marketplace for innovative lines

In the production halls, Georg engineers presented lines. Most of the market stands were, of course, initially about mechanical engineering, but at many market stands the focus was on software solutions that digitise production processes. Mostly it was about automation and digitalisation of complex production processes: fully automated lines, digital twins, robotics or intelligent software solutions for increasing efficiency in production. The automation solutions met with great interest among the visitors, because companies are suffering from the shortage of skilled workers not only in Germany.

Mark Georg, the managing partner of GEORG and spokesman for the management, spoke about the company's transformation from classic mechanical engineering to the digital world of its customers: "Yes, as a traditional mechanical engineering company, we struggled with software and digitalisation at the beginning. For many years, however, we have been the ones who have consistently set the new standards in our industry in the direction of digitalisation. Digital twins, fully automated processes, optimisation of production lines with dashboards or remote maintenance with "augmented reality" are as commonplace for us today as a 28 mm open-end spanner used to be."

Looking beyond the horizon

For this exceptional occasion, Mark Georg had invited prominent guest speakers to talk about current and future developments.

Prof. Dr. Michael Grömling, head of the Macroeconomics and Business Cycle Cluster of the German Economic Institute, spoke about the challenges facing our industry in an environment of multiple crises, for example, due to Corona, climate change, wars or the growth of the world population: How are companies repositioning themselves against this background? For mechanical engineering companies in particular, he sees an important task in the production of capital goods that offer the growing world population a liveable environment and supply them with vital products.

The director of the CAR Center Automotive Research, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, known from many television interviews, described, among other things, revolutionary upheavals in vehicle production in which dozens of steel sheets and hundreds of welding spots are replaced by a single component pressed from liquid aluminium.

Dr Alexander Hoffmann, founder and CEO of Siegen-based statmath GmbH, turned the inflationary use of the term "artificial intelligence" (AI) from its head to its feet in his presentation: with Siegerland pragmatism, he described practical, functioning solutions: "The autonomous driving vehicle is still a challenge, but simple processes in the optimisation of industrial processes AI can do very well."

Tim Kleier, the head of "Green Steel" at the SMS group, spoke about the world's first steelworks that will be CO2-neutral. However, he also emphasised that in the long term we have to adapt to a lifestyle that consumes less steel, and that each and every individual is called upon to do this. With its new lines, the SMS group is focusing both on decarbonisation in the production of steel and on the recycling and reuse of metal products in a circular economy.

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