Pioneer of modern chemical fibres
In 1950 Glanzstoff Oberbruch began producing nylon. The company was a pioneer of modern chemical fibres. Growth in the synthetic fibres sector sparked a new phase of manufacturing that would completely change the face of the factory. A mere eight years later, the next shooting star in the chemical fibres sector appeared: the polyester fibre Diolen® was spun. Production of nylon was halted in 1971, because it was no longer able to keep pace in terms of quality. In 1969 major production of steel cord, which is used to reinforce tyres, began. The oil crisis in the Seventies halted teh planned investment programme. A Europe -wide chemical fibre crisis of hitherto unknown proportions emerged, which was a setback for Oberbruch.
But the Eighties began with great promise. The plant was operating profitably. In 1985 the foundation stone for the most advanced spinning mill in Europe for Diolen® polyester was laid. In 1986 production of Tenax® – a carbon fibre used as a high-strength fibre in industry and the aviation and sports sectors – was launched. In the early Nineties, the company experienced renewed setbacks. The manufacture of steel chord was halted because it was considered too susceptible to crises. Production of Cordenka® -- a type of viscose manufactured for technical applications – was wound down because of overcapacity. The location felt the effects of a generally weak economy. Severe rationalisation and restructuring measures were the result. Socially compatible cuts in staff numbers became inevitable.
Founding of the industry park
If the company was to remain at this location and provide secure jobs, a change in direction was vital. Management re-assessed the advantages – the excellent infrastructure, attractive opportunities for companies to locate their business, and fast links to the transport system – and decided to found the industrial park. New firms moved in, bringing a breath of fresh air. Oberbruch saw its chance and seized it right away. The spirit of enterprise and cooperation has produced results. As before, the largest industrial employer in the Heinsberg region is expanding and looking towards the future.