Franken Guss GmbH & Co. KG - From battleship to frigate

The successful mutation from a stock corporation to family business

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Franken Guss will be 100 years old in 2022. In an interview with Wirtschaftsforum, managing director and shareholder Josef Ramthun talks about the "road to freedom" and how his company is adapting to the change in the automotive industry towards e-mobility.

Nowadays, medium-sized family businesses are usually incorporated into a corporate group in the course of their existence, but at Franken Guss GmbH & Co.KG it was just the other way round.

Iron casting and aluminium die casting for customers all over the world

The company was founded in 1922 as Metall- und Schrott AG.  After that, it was inseparably linked with the name Sachs, now ZF Friedrichshafen, as a foundry for that company for many years. The forging and casting division was spun off in 2004 and taken over by the American company Metal Technologies. In 2009, the foundry went bankrupt in the wake of the Lehman Brothers crisis. In the same year, Ramthun bought it in a management buyout and continued to run it under the name Franken Guss Kitzingen. "We were able to shed the corporate burden as a result and mutated from a battleship to a frigate, so to speak. Since 2013, we have had a second location in Chemnitz, Sachsen Guss. It is the former foundry of the Siemens Group," says Josef Ramthun in the interview.

Today, Franken Guss has iron and aluminium castings under one roof. For the most part, the company is a supplier to the automotive industry and supplies OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers and end customers worldwide, whereby everything is possible from batch size 1 to series production. The foundry processes punching waste in iron casting, which is sand casting and secondary aluminium in die casting. In the company's technology centre, all possibilities are available to create functioning castings from ideas. Close cooperation between the customer's developer and the foundry enjoys the highest priority. Under the motto "in dialogue to the solution", Franken Guss also offers subsequent finishing, machining and coating as well as partial assembly.

The transformation in the automotive industry becomes clear - High vertical range of manufacture in the company

After the COVID-related lockdown and the associated production losses, things are now gradually picking up again and the order situation is so positive that extra shifts are being run in some cases. The company has taken advantage of the Corona period to acquire new parts for e-mobility and enquiries are increasing in this environment. Franken Guss supports its customers in the transformation and benefits from the high vertical range of manufacture in the company. A lot has been invested in recent years in order to have the value chain under one roof, which is proving to be a great advantage and plus point, especially with regard to developments for e-mobility, because it enables fast and versatile developments.

In addition, Josef Ramthun praises the ambition and commitment of his employees, who are always working on the best solution for customers and also offer special processes and materials for both iron and aluminium. Franken Guss has also taken a big step forward on the key topic of digitalisation and offers a tool named PROLUTION communication tool, that maps the entire value chain from the initial idea to series production capability. Especially in the pandemic period, they have already had very good experiences with this.

The course for the future has been set

Franken Guss wants to continue to be a valued company in the region where people enjoy working. For Josef Ramthun, it is part of the self-image of the successful medium-sized company to manage the company independently and flexibly and to be well prepared for all challenges. This also includes the constant search for suitable skilled workers such as pattern makers, foundry mechanics or plant electronics engineers and training in the company. The children of the Ramthun family are now also working in various positions in the company, a good signal for forward-looking action.

A hearty "Glück Auf Franken Guss" in the anniversary year 2022!

Company Info

Franken Guss GmbH & Co. KG

An der Jungfernmühle 1,
97318 Kitzingen

Telephone: +49 9321 932-0