A company makes history

The GfE success story began in 1906. In a workshop in Fürth, the founders manufactured their first products: ferrotungsten and ferrochrome as alloy elements. What started small has developed into a global company known today as GfE Gesellschaft für Elektrometallurgie mbH.

 

1911–1918 Discovering modernity

1911 Founding: On August 4, the Articles of Association for the Gesellschaft für Elektrometallurgie mbH (GfE) are signed.
Head office: Nuremberg. Managing Directors: Dr. Paul Grünfeld, Dr. Jakob Forchheimer, Max Loewi.
Employees: 10
1913 Development of a double refining process and founding of ABF in Sweden.
1914 Move to Höfener Str., which was still a green meadow back in the day.
1916 GfE enters into steel production and metal recycling by processing slag containing vanadium into ferrovanadium. Start of operation of the first electric furnace.
1917 Production of ferrochrome and ferromanganese at the newly founded Elektrowerk Weisweiler (EWW).

 

1919–1932 The Roaring Twenties

1919 New raw material sources are being investigated in the USA.
1920 The GfE administration moves to Blumenstraße in Nuremberg (today, the Kunstvilla Nuremberg is located at this address);
Employees: approx. 70
1923 Founding of Metallurg.
1925 Expansion of the GfE product portfolio.
Employees: approx. 150
1929 The well-equipped main laboratory is the heart of quality assurance at GfE.
1930 The European ferroalloy market crashes. Many employees have to be laid-off.
1931 The company headquarters move to Berlin.

 

1933–1945 Under Nazi rule

1933 Product portfolio in Nuremberg is expanded by ferrotitanium, ferroboron, ferroniobium. 
The policy of self-sufficiency makes it increasingly difficult to procure adequate raw materials.
1935 The situation becomes increasingly difficult for the Jewish founding family. The founding family and many employees flee Germany.
1937 Founder Paul Grünfeld dies; his wife Margarete and their son Herbert continue to run the company.
1938 During WWII, GfE is integrated into the autarchy and oppressive system of the Nazi wartime economy. The company is taken over by Vereinigte Stahlwerke and Reichswerke Hermann Göring. In addition to vanadium, tungsten, molybdenum, ferrotitanium, ferromolybdenum, chromium, and manganese are also manufactured for the steel industry. Herbert Grünfeld founds the London & Scandinavian Metallurgical Co. Ltd. (LSM) in London.
1940 GfE files several patents for different methods for the processing of vanadium-containing slag.
1944 The GfE main administration returns to Nuremberg.

 

1945–1949 Reconstruction

1945 The GfE facilities are rebuilt and new products are being developed. Instead of ferroalloys, fertilizers and pesticides are produced. GfE can resume the manufacturing of ferro alloys in autumn 1945.
1949 After a lengthy return procedure, the founder's sons Herbert und Ernst Grünfeld take over GfE again in October. The main administration moves to Dusseldorf.

 

1950–1985 Economic boom

1950 GfE is allowed to produce their old product portfolio again. Vanadium is still the main product, tantalum and niobium are added as new products. The company expands into the USA and from there into the whole world. The number of employees in Nuremberg increases to more than 200. Metallurg opens subsidiaries for sales, production, and procurement of materials.
1969 In the new port of Fürth, vanadium-containing slag from South Africa is unloaded and processed into ferrovanadium at the GfE.
1970 The plant in Nuremberg is flourishing. The research department of the Metallurg group is located in Nuremberg. In peak times, the number of employees in R&D reaches 70.
1980 The production volume of GfE increases tenfold. The third furnace for the processing of slag containing vanadium is put into operation in Nuremberg.
1985

After exiting the ferrovanadium business, GfE repositions itself on the market. The company develops new, innovative technologies and highly specialized products, such as master alloys and coating materials. The focus on the manufacture of customized products increases.

Forschungsinstitut für Nichteisen-Metalle Freiberg (FNE): Production of sputter targets commences.

 

1990 until today     The new millennium

1990 GfE gets involved in the manufacture of hydrogen storage.
1992 The GfE head office relocates back to Nuremberg.
1995 Development of titanium aluminides.
1996 The company becomes a holding company with several GmbHs as subsidiaries. Founding of GfE Metalle und Materialien GmbH.
1999 Forschungsinstitut für Nichteisen-Metalle Freiberg (FNE): Extension of the product portfolio with tube cathodes of 4 m length.
2006

GfE takes over the Forschungsinstitut für Nichteisen-Metalle Freiberg (FNE; Research Institute for Nonferrous Metals) – the Freiberg subsidiary has been operating under the name GfE Fremat GmbH since 2008.

GfE becomes part of the AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

2011 GfE celebrates its 100-year company anniversary with ceremonies, festschrift and prominent guests.
2013 The GfE companies now also use the AMG logo and carry the affix AMG TITANIUM ALLOYS & COATINGS.
2015 Topping out ceremony of a further new production hall for Titanium Aluminides in Nuremberg.
2017 GfE Fremat changes its registered office to the production site in Brand-Erbisdorf.
2019 70-year company anniversary of GfE Fremat / Forschungsinstitut für Nichteisen-Metalle Freiberg (FNE).

 

The present and future

We have to thank our many, highly-motivated employees for our success – they are the ones who have kept the business running for decades. GfE's past and future are inextricably linked to the great GfE family that has stood for knowledge, innovation, loyalty, and commitment for all these years. At the same time, over the decades a metallurgical competence has been acquired that is unrivaled on the market. Together, they guarantee the success of this traditional company.

Three things have run like a common thread through the history of the company:

vanadium, the high standards for research and development, and the high standards for purity and quality.

Menu