Grenzebach celebrates 25 years in Newnan
by Clay Neely
This October marks the Grenzebach Corporation’s 25th year in operation in Newnan. While the company was initially founded in Germany in 1960 by Rudolph Grenzebach, the first subsidiary of Grenzebach founded in the U.S. was the Newnan branch in 1988. Since its original opening, the company has expanded its manufacturing area to 85,000 square feet.
At present, more than 70 percent of its workforce lives in Newnan and the surrounding areas and has partnered with the Coweta County School System’s Central Educational Center along with Georgia Tech and other local schools and colleges to help foster awareness of the needs of modern manufacturing.
For National Manufacturing Day last Friday, Grenzebach hosted a special event with Georgia Tech Institute of Industry Outreach, CEC and the local schools where teachers from Coweta County schools were invited to get an insight into the world of modern manufacturing. The aim was to help teachers implement real practical ideas into their curriculum.
Their close-working relationship with CEC is one of the most notable aspects of the community involvement between Grenzebach and Coweta County.
Martin Pleyer, vice president of operations of Grenzebach, is on the board of CEC, a Coweta County School System charter school. For CEC’s technical center, Grenzebach donated a KUKA robot to train students working with high tech equipment.
Grenzebach also sponsors an apprenticeship program with CEC where the company provides an internship for two students for a total of six weeks to gain an insight into the various departments of the company. Afterwards the students can decide in which department they will continue their apprenticeship for a year.
In this year’s STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) Education Awards, Grenzebach was nominated for the two categories: “High-School” and “Industry Outreach” for their special apprenticeship program together with the CEC. Grenzebach also takes pride in their involvement with the local community, participating in a variety of activities such as Earth Day, where Grenzebach employees are released from work to help participate in an organized “Earth Day Event” to clean the streets of Newnan.
A local blood drive was also organized by Grenzebach for the first time this year where a mobile blood station came to the Grenzebach facility so that their employees could donate their blood.
One of the more notable aspects of working for Grenzebach would be their opportunity to allow their employees to work on a global level. While Grenzebach is a primarily German-based company, American employees also get the same possibility to live abroad.
The various Grenzebach locations around the globe have welcomed American workers while the company strives to give the employees a sense of security in a foreign country — supporting them to integrate with applying for a visa, finding accommodations, buying a car, and other essential tasks to make their stay more comfortable.
Since the opening of the Newnan facility in 1988, three of the original employees are still working at Grenzebach: spare parts manager Allan Burkett and installers Johnny Hosmer and Bruce McGuffey.
Burkett currently works in the spare parts department and sells parts to Float Lines, Solar Glass as well as electrical components. In his daily work, he contacts other subsidiaries of Grenzebach and their international customers.
Hosmer is a field installer, installing equipment at various locations throughout the country. When he isn’t on the road, he works in the assembly area producing machines.
McGuffey was hired at Grenzebach as a machinist, but with his expertise has also worked as an installer. The majority of his time is spent in the field installing equipment on various locations worldwide.
When asked about his longevity at the company, Burkett commented, “Vast changes have been made over 25 years — building the high bay areas, buying more modern equipment, and improvement of our computer system. This company has grown from three people to what it is today.”
Hosmer added, “I’ve never thought I would stay in one company for over 25 years. Grenzebach is a really big employer in Newnan and I’m proud that I have stayed with this company until the present. Grenzebach is like a big family with friendly colleagues and a good working atmosphere. I feel comfortable working at Grenzebach and I plan to stay on board until I retire.”
“The years have gone by fast,” said McGuffey. “Grenzebach gave me the opportunity to move from a machinist to an equipment installer for customers on-site. Working for Grenzebach over the years has improved my knowledge and expertise of installing machines. I’m grateful to have collected so much experience.”
“My travels have taken me to Mexico, Brazil and most of the U.S. I enjoy seeing all the different countries and cultures,” he said.
Hosmer has always been fascinated by machinery and enjoys that the company’s products have improved with advancements in technology. “The best part of my job includes learning how to build different machines,” he said.
Talking to customers on a daily basis and dealing with different people from across the globe are some of the things that Burkett enjoys about working for Grenzebach. “Being part of the big Grenzebach group and building good relationships with colleagues throughout the years. That’s one of the things I like most,” he said.
Grenzebach is an internationally operating, expanding family-owned company focusing on plant engineering, construction and automation. Grenzebach provides customized equipment based on cutting-edge technologies designed to perform highly sophisticated processing and automation tasks.
The group currently has companies in Germany, the USA, China, Belgium, Brazil, Indonesia, Italy, Russia, and Taiwan and currently employs 1,600 workers globally.