Table of contents:
- A company with humble beginnings
- Picture gallery
- Lateral thinkers with the heart of an engineer
- A person with a sense of responsibility
- Continuation of life's work
Video: For The 100th Birthday Of The Schaeffler Company Founder
Dr. Georg Schaeffler, who together with his brother laid the foundation stone for the company of the same name, was born 100 years ago on January 4, 1917 in Marimont, Lorraine. His family ran an agricultural business there, but moved to Saarland after the First World War in 1921. After work and conscription, Georg Schaeffler began studying business administration in Cologne in 1938. After the outbreak of the Second World War, he was drafted into military service in 1940 and during a stay in a hospital in 1944, he graduated with a degree in business administration.
A company with humble beginnings
In 1940 Georg's brother Wilhelm Schaeffler acquired a carpenter's and carpenter's factory in Katsch in Upper Silesia. In order to be able to do this financially, the family members also participated in the company, including Georg Schaeffler. Due to the war economy plans, the company had to be converted to the production of war-essential products. In 1943 a needle bearing production started.
Picture gallery with 9 pictures
After the end of the war, the Schaeffler brothers moved the production of their company to different locations until they landed in Herzogenaurach in 1946. The city sold them a suitable piece of land against the promise to create 120 jobs within a year. A year later, the newly founded Industrie GmbH employed 193 people. This initially produced wooden articles for everyday needs such as ladders, children's scooters, belt buckles and buttons. Metal products such as tapping jaws, universal joint bushes and needle bearings for spare parts were soon added.
Lateral thinkers with the heart of an engineer
Georg Schaeffler had been thinking about improving the needle bearing for a long time. In 1949 he had the idea of a cage-guided needle bearing. The new design was more compact, lighter, more reliable and enabled higher speeds than the needle bearings previously used. The company's rise began with the invention of the cage-guided needle bearing. Schaeffler manufactured the product in large quantities, especially for the German automotive industry. From 1953, there was no newly built car in the young Federal Republic that did not have Schaeffler bearings installed as standard.
Modern office concept
Schaeffler inaugurates new headquarters in Homburg
This invention was followed by others - mainly products from the field of motor elements such as bucket tappets, needle bearings and cylindrical roller bearings. In the course of his creative career, Georg Schaeffler himself applied for a patent for 70 inventions.
A person with a sense of responsibility
The intensive work in his company and the concerns of the workforce determined his life. The well-being of his employees was of particular concern to him, which was shown by social benefits, company celebrations, joint excursions, a company-owned kindergarten and the construction of apartments.
Schaeffler has received numerous awards for its achievements. He received, among other things, the Grand Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and the State Medal for special services to the Bavarian economy. On August 2, 1996, Dr. Schaeffler at the age of 79. He left his wife and son a company with around 20,000 employees.
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Continuation of life's work
His wife Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann and his son have been running the company since his death. "The competitiveness of Germany as a location declined more and more in the 1990s," says Schaeffler-Thumann. “My husband died in the midst of this difficult development phase. I had promised him to lead the company into the future. It was not an easy task. Some people advised us at the time to sell the company, but that was never an option for my son and me.”
Today, the Schaeffler Group is a globally active, integrated automotive and industrial supplier with around 85,000 employees worldwide. With approximately 170 locations in over 50 countries, Schaeffler has a worldwide network of 75 production locations, 17 research and development centers and sales companies. (kj)
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