History

Tradition and Duty

Bold new business start in the most modest of circumstances, spurred on by success and, often enough, slowed in its progress by troublesome events, ultimately made Gontermann-Peipers the important company that it is today. In this connection, the company's turbulent history clearly shows that human cooperation has always been the focus of all events. It is people who bring about innovation, shape the future by drawing on their experiences in the past, and must face the cycle of promising and discouraging perspectives again and again.

Thus we have an even deeper sense of gratitude and satisfaction when we consider all that has been achieved to date. We are especially grateful to our numerous customers around the globe: for they are, in the truest sense of the word, our employers; in partnership with us, they make a decisive contribution to Gontermann-Peipers business activities today.

We also owe a debt of gratitude to all our employees present and past, who contributed to our shared success in good times and in bad. Last, but not least, we are grateful to our shareholders, who have staunchly preserved and reinforced Gontermann-Peipers' medium-sized business structure at its Siegen location for more than five generations. In this sense, we hold a sense of tradition to also be crucial for our actions in the future.


1825 Foundation at the "Sieghuette" Location

The business was founded as a modest cottage industry by Johann Heinrich Breidenbach.

He had previously worked as a loam molder in Marienborn. In his cottage industry, he began manufacturing mainly ovens and annealing pots for annealing wire.

Historical floor plan of the Breidenbach house - in this view, already with extensions - the foundation of the later "Sieghuette" works.

Portrait Gustav Gontermann
Portrait Gustav Gontermann

1847/55 Gustav Gontermann Joins the Firm

In 1847, J.H. Breidenbach's youngest daughter married businessman Gustav Gontermann, who immediately joined his father-in-law in business and gave the company his name.

Starting in 1855, castings and also the first rolls are manufactured.

Peiper family
Hain foundry
Peiper family
Hain foundry

1883 Emil Peipers AG founded

On the site of the present-day "Hain" works, Emil Peipers took over a foundry in the immediate vicinity of the Hain Metallurgical Plant. This foundry became a joint-stock company in 1883.

Emil Peipers was one of the leading roll experts of his days and worked on innovative manufacturing processes and products.

Total annual production in 1883-84 was 701 tons, of which 325 tons were already cast rolls.

patent
chilled casting
patent
chilled casting

1894 Patent on Chilled Casting

This innovation, also known as the "Peipers Patent", pertained to the inside surfaces of the mould, which were positively influenced by chilling.



1899 New Construction in Marienborn

Construction of the new Marienborn works began in 1898.

The first rolls were cast at the new works on 15 July 1899.

The Gontermann firm produced heavy rolls in Marienborn, while lighter rolls continued to be produced mainly at the Sieghütte location, until 1914. After this, rolls were manufactured only at the Marienborn works.


1920/30 Casting Processes

In the late twenties and early thirties, the company formed by the merger of the two previous firms experimented with double poured centrifugal casting, which has remained a core competency down to the present day. The first successful experiments with vertical centrifugal casting equipment were also conducted during the thirties.


1927 Merger as "Gontermann-Peipers GmbH"

Peipers & Co. AG and the family-owned Gustav Gontermann GmbH merged to form "Gontermann-Peipers GmbH" in 1927. The company name has been known in the industry worldwide ever since.



1939-45 War, Destruction, and Reconstruction

During the Second World War (1939-45), besides the company's traditional products, heavy shells were also cast in continuous forms at GP. Near the end of the war, aerial bombing raids damaged both the Hain and Marienborn works.

At war's end, the sometimes very difficult job of reconstruction began. In the fifties, management moved into the newly erected administration building at Hauptstrasse 20.



1950 Development of the GP Composite Steel Casting Process "DPS"

This method, developed by GP in 1950, permits use of two different grades of steel for roll shell and roll core respectively. Casting temperature, casting rate, composition, and the quantities of core and shell materials essentially determine roll properties.


1950/60 Refinements

GP began marketing composite steel back-up rolls in 1960.

During the same decade, the first arc oven entered service at Marienborn in 1958.


1965 Development of the GP Vertical Spincasting Process

The GP vertical spincasting process (VPS for short) permits mold rotation rates of up to 800 RPM. The high centrifugal forces and flexible possibilities for adaptation offer exceptionally good material properties, flawless connection between the shell and core layers, solidification without shrink holes, and a high level of homogeneity.


1970 Refinement of Rolls for Rolling Mills

Customer demand for increasingly wide plates required correspondingly wide rolling mills. GP met these demands in its own roll production with expanded dimensions and increased weights of up to 265 tons per piece.


1978 Development of the ECM Process

Electro-chemical measuring point preparation or "ECM" has been used to determine tension, hardness, and residual austenites at GP since 1978. This inspection and testing method has made a decisive contribution to improved quality.


1985 Production of Large Cast Blocks Begins

Especially for the hydraulics industries, large cast blocks of for example a cubic meter in size are cast in different grades of material.


1989 Refinement of Back-Up Rolls

Thanks to the development of composite steel back-up rolls manufactured from CrMoV-alloy, it was possible to reduce back-up roll wear particularly in hot strip mills considerably.


1992 Development of HSS work rolls manufactured using double-poured centrifugal casting

This new generation of extremely long wearing work rolls set new standards for roll consumption in hot wide strip mills.


1993 New Construction

This year marked construction of a new metal and casting plant at the Hain works. Production of pulverizing rolls began here in the same year.

The Nineties – New Aspects

Since the mid-nineties, the whole company has undergone rapid modernization in terms of customer service, technical organization, and human resource management. These efforts serve to meet the growing demands of our customers.


2000 Reconstruction Hain Works

From summer 2000 until autumn 2001 the administration building of the Hain works was renovated and the office surface has been increased.


2001 New construction – extension “Hall D”

To expand production capacity, Gontermann-Peipers had one hall expanded by a total of 800 square meters of useable floor space.

Three production machines have been located here:

  • one CNC lathe
  • one CNC boring machine
  • one deep drilling machine.

2002 Extension of hand-mould shop

Due to foreseen production increases the hand-mould shop of the Hain plant has been extended.

2006 GP ships the 1000th roughing stand working roll in the high-tech quality HCS-H


HCS-H also stands for a new roll generation, which is used in more than 70
customer plants in 24 countries by virtue of its outstanding
characteristics with piece weights of up to 37 tons.

2007 Composite cast high-chromium steel backup roll: GP ships the 2000th roll


The 2000th composite cast high-chromium steel backup roll manufactured at GP was completed on 4 June 2007. GP developed this backup roll type, which is manufactured using the composite casting process with 5% chrome and 1% molybdenum in the jacket material, in the nineties under the designation AST70X. Since then, GP has produced a total of 2000 rolls with piece weights of up to 100 tons for almost 100 customer plants in 27 countries.

2007 New crane

UCA Trac

New crane increases flexibility in GP annealing shop and makes it possible to transport even large rolls with piece weights of up to 200 tons each.

2007/2008 Expansion of Hall Space at the Hain Works


Because of the high volume of orders and the concomitant space requirements, the storage areas at the Hain Works were expanded by 1900 square meters. For this purpose, the existing "model hall" was extended by 80 to 120 meters.

2008/2009 Investments in the Marienborn Plant

UCA Trac
UCA Trac
UCA Trac

With 12.5 meters length, 3.5 meters width and 2.1 meters height the new GP heat treatment furnace can accommodate easily a heavy plate mill back up roll of 200 tons annealing weight or several smaller back up rolls.

For revamping the mould lathe „KDB1000“ GP invested in the business year 08/09 1,300,000.- Euro.

The new GP-Two-track-vehicle with an own weight of 18.5 tons can drive on roads and on rails.

2009 Further GP-Investments

The biggest roll lathe of the world which is operating at GP since 1975 was revamped during the year 2009 by the manufacturer, the German Company Herkules, and got a new Siemens-CNC-Control-Panel.


In the Hain Plant a new boring machine for the machining of moulds was installed.


For better transport and storage capacities GP bought and reconstructed the old rail way station of Kaan-Marienborn.