29/04/2021 – Fuhr is celebrating 75th anniversary
Flat and profile cold rolling mills
This year, Fuhr is celebrating their 75th anniversary. It was not easy to research the exact date, because in 1946, the year the company was founded, the administrative apparatus was just being rebuilt and responsibilities were not always clearly assigned.
The archives of the town of Horn did not contain any documents from that time, and the state archives in Detmold were also unable to help. Finally, some documents were found in the Lippe District Archives that suggest March 20, 1946 as the official date of foundation.
It was in spring 1946, when Germany had just experienced the first winter of peace after the Second World War, the 33-year-old chief engineer Karl Fuhr wrote another application to the mayor of Horn, a small town in East Westphalia-Lippe. He asked to be entered on the register of craftsmen so that he could finally manufacture his self-sharpening mower blades in larger quantities.
He had already applied to open a mechanical workshop at the Detmold Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the district administrator and the British military administration. The district farmers' association certified the great demand for his mower blades and supported his request. And so his efforts to set up a business were finally granted.
For more than a year now, we all have been living in and with a pandemic that has permanently changed behaviour in society and thus also within family and relatives. One consequence of this is that larger gatherings of people cannot take place for the foreseeable future and therefore any anniversary celebrations cannot be planned at the present time.
On a business level, the general conditions have also changed fundamentally. It is often not possible to approach business partners in person, so most meetings nowadays are moved to the virtual space.
The company founder Karl Fuhr had to face the challenges of his time: How do I develop, produce and sell a product that, on the one hand, meets market and customer needs and, on the other hand, steers the company in an economically healthy and profitable direction?
Karl Fuhr thought a lot about this, which lead to a lot of surprises during Fuhr’s research. Who would have thought that he had a patent for a „keyless lock with variable opening code”? Or that he was tinkering with the development of a treadle roller, a chuck and an electric lighter without a cable? Finally, he achieved a breakthrough with a rolling mill. And as we know today, he laid the foundation for a company that sells its products all over the world.
But it is precisely the global business activities that present us with unexpected challenges, especially in the current situation:
Container ships have been sailing less frequently to Asia or America for a year now, which means that promised delivery dates are more difficult to keep. At the same time, procurement times are lengthening throughout the supply chain. Equipment that has already been shipped is unloaded at the customer's site, but in some cases is not assembled and put into operation until months after it has been delivered. For some countries, entry is ruled out for an unforeseeable period of time.
But all these problems also come along with new opportunities. For example, today's means of communication make it possible to invite representatives around the world to a video conference and present a complete rolling mill to them; contact-free and live from the assembly hall. And in India, a video camera is installed in the production hall of a customer, who remotely assembles and commissions the delivered machine.
Such kind of solutions are maybe only the beginning. The development and optimisation of Fuhr's product portfolio for the typical needs of customers is complete, and the production technologies are considered to be mastered.
Today, Fuhr is considered the technology leader in the segment of flat and profile cold rolling mills. The global challenge of the next few years will be in the areas of environment, energy supply and mobility in particular: energies will be generated regeneratively, electrified drives will replace their conventional predecessors. Many products in the supply chains are being modernised, and it is not uncommon for precision-wound rectangular copper wires to be used here. With its modular systems, Fuhr is already in a position to respond precisely to the needs of its customers in these special industries and to develop solutions together with them.
Continuous innovation in all areas is essential to continue keeping pace with growing technical requirements and global competition. This requires a competent team of dedicated employees, both at the headquarters in Steinheim and in the agencies around the world.
Therefore, Fuhr’s management particularly thanks all the employees who, with all their professional and human competence, commitment and loyalty, create the conditions to remain successful in the long term and to maintain entrepreneurial decision-making freedom in the next 75 years!
“Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.” This quote by the famous car manufacturer Henry Ford also describes quite accurately the "secret" of the company's success, especially in view of the past decade:
Whenever the business environment presented itself as extraordinarily challenging, Fuhr moved even closer together and, with even more personal commitment and despite all adversities, often also of a financial nature, managed to manoeuvre the company back into calmer waters.
That is why the company is doing so well economically in its anniversary year and can look to the future without worry thanks to sustained growth.