Kai Greten, the nephew of Ernst Greten, assumes control of the family enterprise in the 5th generation. As before, Kai Greten, as a managing director, is responsible for the technical management; Uwe Kahmann remains in charge of commercial affairs which he has been managing for several years. The Fagus division (shoe lasts) continues to be managed by Claus Topp.
Ernst Greten remains with the company as a consultant and will especially drive forward innovation projects. The topic “innovations” has been the main focus of Ernst Greten for many years. “To ensure that a company will survive on a long-term basis, it has to produce innovative solutions that offer a benefit to customers.” Driven by this cardinal rule, it is not surprising that his professional career was accompanied by important developments in the area of fire protection and measuring technology that are nowadays an integral part of the wood based panel industry. They are the basis of the company’s success story: the first weight per unit area gauge, the first thickness gauge, 1974 the presentation of the first industrial spark extinguishing system, 1980 the first blow detection system, the first scanner for automatic detection of defects in solid timber, milled high-precision shoe lasts for fully automatic shoe production, the first x-ray scanner for foreign object detection in chip mats, FORMATOR with x-ray scanner and segmented scalper for perfect forming, networking of spark extinguishing systems to name only a few of them. In 2006, the company was honoured selected place for „Germany - Land of Ideas“.
As if that were not enough: between 1982 and 2002, the whole Fagus building was restored. The masterpiece of the world famous architect and founder of the Bauhaus style, Walter Gropius, should be maintained and accessible to the public. The glass front of the building with its trussless, translucent corners paved the way for simplicity in high-rise construction. Nowadays, it is regarded as the forerunner of the modern age architecture. The restoration was rewarded: in 2011, the Fagus Factory was declared UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site!
The name Greten is closely related with the wood based panel industry. From 1954, Ernst Greten sen. developed the first particleboard line and made BISON the key global supplier of particleboard lines from the ‘60s to the ‘70s. The factory was the playground of his sons Berndt, Gerd and Ernst who thus learned how to produce particleboards during their childhood. Berndt Greten continued BISON from which today’s company BINOS emerged. In 1970, Ernst and Gerd Greten founded the engineering company Greten Consulting (GreCon). Being an electrical engineer, Ernst Greten specialised in measuring systems for particleboard factories (GreCon Electronics), his brother Gerd constructed special machines for furniture factories (GreCon Plant Engineering).
In 1974, the two brothers took over the management of the Fagus Factory in Alfeld in the 4th generation. The Fagus Factory, founded by their great-grandfather Carl Benscheidt in 1911, was in a condition that urgently called for improvement. At that time, the company produced shoe lasts on obsolete machines on a market that had been decreasing for years. The economic situation of the Fagus Factory was tight and the production buildings were in need of renovation.
The two brothers tackled this challenge. They integrated GreCon into the Fagus Factory, thus saving Fagus and in turn founded the company Fagus-GreCon. Today, the company is the leading manufacturer of spark extinguishing systems worldwide and supplies complex measuring systems for different applications in the wood based panel industry as well as numerous other industries. By combining shoe last production and mould fabrication, Fagus developed into an efficient and competent partner for the international shoe industry. The machine building division is the market leader in the production of finger-jointing lines, trades under the name of GreCon-Dimter and is operated in a joint venture by Weinig and Fagus-GreCon.