Festschrift 25 Jahre GFM

History of GFM In autumn, 1945, shortly following the end of the second World War, the company was founded with a minimum of starting capital by the two partners, Dr. techn. h. c. Dipl.-Ing. Bruno Kralowetz and Dipl.-Ing. Dr. techn. Kurt Ottitzky. The firm was first established in the form of an ordinary partnership (OHG), and later in the year 1952 was changed to a limited liability company under the name "GFM Gesellschaft für Fertigungstechnik und Maschinenbau Gesellschaft m.b.H.". The partners set up shop in three wooden barracks on leased land just outside of the town of Steyr. At first, GFM concentrated on designing machines and tools for small business and had them manufactured by subcontractors. In this way GFM was able to sell in the years until 1955159 eccentric presses, 760 crimping and flanging machines, 423 band saws, 13.028 circular saw shafts and many other machines and tools such as cabbage cutting machines and ring presses for shoemakers. At the same time it was begun to build an own plant with the possibility to produce own machines and tools. Well-knowing that the unusual post-war demand could only last a short time, we began to develop new machines and processes in order to have competitive products as a program for GFM ready when conditions on the world market returned to normal. The development of such machines was concerned on the one side with a new forging technique called precision-forging, and on the other with a new milling process, which is especially applicable to crankshaft production. The excellent reception that these special processes found on the international market compelled us to steadily enlarge our own production capacity, and in particular to create proper working space with crane and transportation facilities. In the year 1951 a larger building site on the outskirts of Steyr was purchased, where the first workshop for our own production and the, by this time, absolutely necessary office rooms would be erected. Later, through additional purchases of land, our plant site was substantially ex- panded and rounded off: today, it covers an area of about 14 acres. In the following years the firm's physical plant was steadi ly built up and expanded, so that at present GFM has an area of 43,400 sq.yds. in manufacturing plant and office rooms at its d isposal. This growth in production capacity has meant a corresponding increase in per- sonnel from the original thirty persons to approximately 700 employees today. Always carefully planned by management, the development and expansion of the firm would not have been possible without the help of the public authorities con- cerned. This refers not only to the city administration of Steyr, where GFM found