The Graebener® Story

In 1921, Theodor Gräbener, together with eight other shareholders, founded the company Gräbener & Comp. located in Netphen-Werthenbach, a company for heavy iron and steel plate constructions. The beginning of a success story – from manufacturer to internationally renowned machine builder.

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Foundation of the Gräbener & Comp.

In 1921, Theodor Gräbener, together with eight other shareholders, founded the company Gräbener & Comp. located in Netphen-Werthenbach, a company for heavy iron and steel plate constructions. In the middle of the 20ies, the company already had 150 employees. The basis for the success: a wide product range, for instance pipes of all types for blast furnaces and steel works.

The birth of the Graebener machine construction

The production program was extended continuously: Civil engineering and bridge construction, high-pressure steam boilers and vessels were added to the production program. Henceforth, the machine construction was added to the product range: among other machines with hoisting machines for pipe mills, roller conveyors and barrel extruders.

Railway transport vessels during the war years

During World War II, Gräbener & Comp. mainly manufactured railway transport vessels. Over the years, more than 16,000 vessels were built. The post-war period above all was characterized by vast efforts of reconstruction so that the first heavy goods trucks loaded with vessels left the workshop in 1948 already.

The final years of steel and vessel construction

In the beginning of the 50ies, steel and vessel constructions as well as assembly works were the main business. However, the machine construction already achieved considerable turnover. Until then, it was exclusively based on customers' drawings but this was to change soon. In 1955, the number of employees increased to about 310.

Gräbener brothers lay the foundation for an independent machine construction

In 1955, company founder Theodor Gräbener passed away. His sons Theodor and Hermann established a machine construction according to their own technical designs. The independent machine program soon comprised heavy plate shears, eccentric presses, press-brakes and toggle lever presses.

Significant increase of export share of the machine construction

Gräbener constructed single and double column presses of various designs. The company soon established a reputation as specialist for toggle lever presses and offers presses with automation and transfer units. In the middle of the 60ies, the export share of the machine construction was at 42 percent. The absolute bestseller was the minting press.

Gräbener ventures into new directions, at home and abroad

1974 is the start of a new area: Gräbener started manufacturing large pipes. At the same time, the machine construction was continued successfully. In 1980, Dr. Theodor Gräbener, representing the third generation, joined the company. In the same year, the sales of apparatuses and vessels was stopped the first foreign sales company was founded: in the U.S.

Additional know-how for a successful future

Gräbener continued to optimize the production of large pipes consistently. In 1983, Dr. Theodor Gräbener acquired a share of 52 percent in the company Wilhelm Schäfer GmbH & Co. KG, a renowned manufacturer of 3-roll bending machines.

Worldwide success prompts competitors' interest

In 1985, the Theodor Gräbener KG was separated into the Theodor Gräbener Großrohr GmbH & Co. KG and Theodor Gräbener Pressensysteme GmbH & Co. KG. Gräbener toggle lever presses had achieved an equally strong market position as the marked leader Schuler. In 1988, this company branch was ultimately sold to Schuler.

Gräbener gives up the production of large pipes

In view of the disappearance of the Eastern borders and the starting globalization, Dr. Theodor Gräbener decided to drop out of the production of large pipes. In 1996, he sold all pipe mill equipment to Indonesia and purchased shares in the newly founded pipe manufacturing company PT DSAW on Batam island.

From production comapny to the "virtual factory" Graebener®

Shortly after that, Dr. Gräbener and Dieter Kapp founded the Graebener® Group. New companies were established: Hydroline Schrupp and Graebener® Maschinentechnik. In addition to this, Graebener® became the principle shareholder of H. Kleinknecht. The essential cornerstones "hydraulics", "mechanics" and "electrics" within the network of the "virtual factory" Graebener® Group were set.

Graebener® is established on the markets rapidly and revolutionizes shipbuilding

Graebener® special solutions were quickly established as renowned brand on international niche markets. In 2001, the company initiated a revolution in the shipbuilding industry by supplying the new TWP technology to the Meyer shipyard for the manufacturing of ship deck sections. At the beginning of 2004, REIKA joined the group, a manufacturer of machines and lines for the pipe and bar processing.

Facing the financial crisis with international orders and new ideas

Graebener® braved the financial crisis and implements special solutions for four core markets worldwide: Pipe production, shipbuilding, automotive industry and wind tower manufacturing. In 2006, the Graebener® the PowerBoxx®. A unique press for the production of metal microstructure plates – the course for a new technology field was set.

Award for innovation and acquisition of new workshops

The state NRW awarded Graebener® the "Promotion prize for innovative medium-sized companies". Shortly after that Graebener acquired the former Schuler-Hydroforming production site in Wilnsdorf. The Prototyping Center could be extended to four hydroforming presses, including a 10,000 ton press.

Hidden Champion secures succession in 4th generation

The encyclopedia of world market leaders listed Graebener® as frontrunner in several market niches – above all with special machines for the pipe, wind tower and ship deck production. In 2016, the shares in H. Kleinknecht were sold. At the same time, Fabian Kapp stepped up as the company successor and paved the way for the foundation of the Graebener Inc. in the U.S.

Close milestones

Foundation of the Gräbener & Comp.

In 1921, Theodor Gräbener, together with eight other shareholders, founded the company Gräbener & Comp. located in Netphen-Werthenbach, a company for heavy iron and steel plate constructions. In the middle of the 20ies, the company already had 150 employees. The basis for the success: a wide product range, for instance pipes of all types for blast furnaces and steel works.