Fresh air from the Lower Rhine, all over the world
If you search the Internet for information about TROX, you find a lot of technical data. The brand "TROX Technik" and the company slogan "The art of handling air" tell you much of what you need to know. The company, based in the Lower Rhine region, is a leader in the development, production and sale of components and systems for ventilation and air-conditioning technology. In 2010, German publication Manager Magazin counted TROX among Germany's global market leaders. In 303rd place out of 1,000 German global market leaders, TROX is extremely well positioned in the area of technical equipment for buildings.
TROX products are used all over the world. The company's references read like a Who's Who of the world's most impressive buildings from the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur to the Burj Al Arab in Dubai or Sydney Opera House. The Frauenkirche in Dresden, Berlin's Central Station, the new Berlin-Brandenburg Airport and the Hamburg Philharmonic count among the company's German projects. TROX products can be found everywhere where optimum ventilation and climate control technology are needed.
Research and development set the pace for the whole company. This is where global knowledge and information about climatic requirements and customer demands come in. About half of the company's R&D tasks are about developing new products; the other half is concerned with model tests that can be used to develop system solutions for specific customer projects. One current example is a hospital in Spain. For this project, a 1:1 model room was used for carrying out measurements and determining how to optimise the airflow in the room in order to improve patients' well-being and recovery. Because ventilation technology also affects acoustics, two very well-equipped echo chambers are available for use. These each weigh 200 tonnes and are balanced on springs in order to eliminate vibrations caused by traffic. The International Center for Fire Protection, which opened in October 2009, is another example of how important research and development are. The core of the centre is a giant fire-testing furnace for testing various wall versions and installation positions of fire protection and smoke removal flaps.
Heinz Trox, the son of the company founder, believes in "thinking ahead" or, as French novelist Victor Hugo put it, in seeing the future "as a chance for the brave". Even founding the company in 1951 was a brave pioneering act. "Constructing ventilation grids in 1951 was an audacious idea on the part of my father," stresses Heinz Trox. "Back then, people wanted flats, cars, fridges and fancy clothes. Air quality was not an issue at the time. On the contrary: smoking chimneys were a symbol of industry and growth."
Company founder Heinrich Trox was already in senior positions in heavy industry at the age of 30. Until the end of the war, he was on the board of Junkers aircraft construction in Dessau. After the Second World War and the ban on German production of aircraft that went with it, Heinrich Trox moved on to the young ventilation and climate control sector. Knowledge of the laws of aerodynamics and metalworking was of enormous benefit. During his time as the managing director of a German manufacturer of air-conditioning units – and, at that time, all components for ventilation and air-conditioning units were produced by the unit manufacturers themselves – he realised the market potential in specialised manufacturing of these components, such as ventilation grids. Together with his brother Friedrich and seven employees, he founded the company Gebrüder TROX GmbH in a 110m² hall on the grounds of his house in the Neukirchen district of Vluyn. The choice of location was determined largely by the father's vision of where his sons, Klaus and Heinz, were to be educated. The local school, Julius-Stursberg-Gymnasium, was one of the first to resume normal lessons after the end of the war in 1945.
Securing both the success of the company and its future in the same tradition started by his father is the primary concern of Heinz Trox, principal shareholder and member of the supervisory board. He joined the company in 1959 after studying machine construction and business and after spending many years abroad. Largely thanks to his experiences abroad, the company began to expand internationally in the 1960's, opening subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Austria, Italy and France. The company's global development was pursued systematically. For example, South Africa and South America (Brazil) followed in the 1970's, Hong Kong and the USA in the 1980's, Malaysia in 1994, Australia in 2000, China in 2001, Dubai in 2006 and India and Mexico in 2010.
The company headquarters in Neukirchen-Vluyn controls operations on five continents. TROX today has 25 subsidiaries and 13 production locations in eleven countries. In 2010, the company, which employees 3,200 staff, made a global turnover of over 350 million euros. In the current year this figure is set to increase to 390 million euros. There are more innovations in the pipeline for 2011, such as the development and marketing of central air-conditioning devices. To this end, the production area of the Anholt plant is currently being increased by 15,000 m². These devices will in future allow customers to obtain everything from a single source. The company has committed itself to the Lower Rhine region with its 20-million-euro investment here. Worldwide investments total 50 million euros. The owner has formed a foundation that will lead the company into the future. Together with Udo Brinkmann and Professor and engineer Dirk Müller, Lutz Reuter, as Chairman of the management board, is today at the helm of the business operations.
This means that Neukirchen-Vluyn will remain the globally important location for innovative ventilation and air-conditioning technology that it has long been. 150 engineers work there on solving tomorrow's problems.
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