WorldWide Drilling Resource®

36 SEPTEMBER 2020 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® Innovation is Key to Rapid Growth Adapted from Information by Fronius International On June 20, 1945, Günter Fronius placed the following advertisement, “ I have established a specialist repair shop for radio and electrical equipment at the ‘Rankleiten’ inn. I am available to repair devices at any time, both at the workshop and elsewhere. I look forward to hearing from new customers willing to entrust me with their repairs .” This was the beginning of a success story which continues to this day. The history of Fronius began in the Austrian market town of Pettenbach, where the company’s headquarters remain. Günter lived and worked in an old military barracks given to him in exchange for repair work he had done. At the time, charging a car battery was far from simple, a fact Günter wanted to change. Using his skills as a qualified electrician, he wanted to find a solution to extend the service life of batteries, which led to the creation of simple battery chargers. In 1950, he expanded the company’s product line to include welding transformers. With this technology as its focus, the company grew into a successful medium-sized com- pany. By 1980, Günter decided to hand the company over to his children Brigitte Strauß and Klaus Fronius. The siblings managed the next phase of growth which included establishing subsidiaries around the world. In 2012, the baton was passed to Günter’s granddaughter Elisabeth Engelbrechtsmüller-Strauß, who has continued on the course of growth while encouraging the company’s commit- ment to innovation, quality, and service. Fronius may have started as a small repair shop, but today it includes three large business units: welding technology, photovoltaics, and battery charging systems. At first, these three areas may appear separate, but the common mission over the last 75 years, uniting more than 5400 specialist staff in 30 countries, is clear: to research and analyze opportunities for electricity as the fuel of the future. With more than 1264 patents to its name, a culture of innovation runs like a golden thread through Fronius’ 75-year history. From the world’s smallest portable manual metal arc welding system (also available with the option of a lithium-ion battery in recent years); to Austria’s first green hydrogen refueling station; and the thermal fusion of steel and aluminum known as Cold Metal Transfer, it’s clear why this company is considered an international innovation leader. “What we are and what we stand for is a continuation of my grandfather’s sustainable vision,” stated Elisabeth. At the beginning of the 1990s, the two CEOs, Klaus Fronius and Brigitte Strauß, began focusing on the pioneering topic of solar energy. Written off by some at the time as nothing more than dreamland, this sector has since become an important branch of the business. Günter Fronius was 107 when he passed away in 2015. C&G