Beginnings (1923 - 1942)
In 1923 the enterprise was created. Alex Jost and his brother Walter opened a molten bath and a metal laundry within the today’s museum village of Barendorf. In 1933 the brothers decided to go separate ways. Alex Jost, grandfather of the today’s business owner Michael Winnen, went to Calle/Iserlohn and rented its own enterprise, in order to gain independently in the same industry again. In the paper mill in Calle Alex Jost made first decisive steps towards today’s enterprise. For the first time he started metal preparation and trading with finished products. For the industrious entrepreneur successful business was the basis for further expansion. In the following years Alex Jost` refusal, to join the NSDAP, brought him into conflict with the NS authorities. Finally (in 1942) his courageous withstanding led to the ordered closing down of the enterprise. Only after end of World War II the reopening of the company could be managed.
Foundation in Barendorf
New beginning (1945 - 1963)
In 1945 Alfons Winnen, father of the today’s managing director Michael Winnen, joined the company and after three-years of being closed down production could be started again. For two years the business owners concentrated exclusively on pouring armatures. After the introduction of the new currency, the German Mark, in 1948 the old philosophy of the enterprise was again taken up and continued until 1950. In order to be economically successful in the future the company founder decided to create its own enterprise on his own premises outside the village of Suemmern in the same year. A large building containing a brass- and zinc furnace was erected as well as a house for his own family. Today it still accommodates the office rooms of the enterprise. Nowadays the company is one of many others in the industrial park Rombrock. After the completion it was the only eye catcher in the area. In 1952 Rudolf Hesse joined the enterprise. But other developments took place as well. In 1954 a second brass furnace and a newly built zinc furnace further improved the possibilities to a large extent. The technical progress had great impact on the family owned company. Despite great doubts of his close surrounding, only one year later Alex Jost decided the purchase of a metal carrousel which nearly automated the casting procedure of the liquid metal from the two brass furnaces. In 1963 a new ball mill also extended the production line additionally.
Progress (since 1963)
The founder of the company, Alex Jost, died at the end of 1963. The management was taken over by Rudolf Hesse and Alfons Winnen and as successor he led the company successfully. Under his auspice the firm changed into a limited company in the same year. With the building of a converter in 1964 and the building of a filtering unit for five melting furnaces sketched byhimself, Rudolf Hesse underlined his efficient work as a managing director. Finally the building of a transformer station followed in 1968. The constantly growing business made an additional purchase of new space necessary, which further extended the firm premises in 1971. There the company established a second production-resounds with a large laboratory, which is still in function today and is used as storage room for materials as well. After Rudolf Hesse surprisingly deceased in the 1977, a new managing director was looked for. After a short time, Alfons Winnen, who had to take over as managing director, could hand over to his son, Michael Winnen. He himself had just graduated and had received a degree in engineering (metallurgy). The combination with his economical auxiliary studies proved to be good conditions to match the challenges.
Despite initial economic problems in the first few years Michael Winnen managed to lead the enterprise by a prudent business-policy. The building of a heat recovery installation in the year 1979 was a decisive step into the future as well as the re-equipment of the laboratory with modern analytical devices in the year 1980. That proved to be necessary to keep up competitiveness. From then on Winnen-Metal was substantially more flexible and more efficient in metal production. At the beginning of the 80’s the development of the industrial area Suemmern started. It meant not to be the only existing industrial enterprise at the location anymore and thus provided strong legal rights for the whole enterprise.
In 1983 the company existed for 50 years. The celebration of this anniversary took place two years later (14th of September 1985) and was put under the slogan “Happy recycling”. Despite constant economic success the focus was put on further modernization of machines, on environmental protection, on laboratory technique and optimal analysis technique and – in addition – on the renovation of buildings and in optimizing productivity. Finally, in 1996, Michael Winnen became the exclusive owner of the enterprise Alex Jost until 2017. That step was necessary in order to make the right decisions about future investments.
Enlargement of the company premises
The current development (since 2000)
In the mid-2000s, the company became one of the first market players to specialise in the production of aluminium bronze alloys used in the European glass industry for the manufacture of various glass moulds. In this sector, the company is regarded as one of the European quality leaders in the production of block alloys, especially aluminium bronze alloys according to DIN standards by foundries, mould makers and surface processors. As part of this process, metal waste from the glass industry is also recycled throughout Europe, such as bottle moulds. In 2018, Sven Schulte became the new owner and managing director of the company. With his many years of experience in the technical management of foundries, Sven Schulte brings with him exactly the know-how from the customer’s point of view that has always been the hallmark of Winnen-Metall.