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With its innovative vision and pioneering spirit, polymer specialist REHAU has been helping to shape the construction industry worldwide from its site in Erlangen since 1969. To mark the 50th anniversary of the location, the family-owned company is taking a look at its successful development as a hub of ideas.
ERLANGEN – Polymer specialist REHAU, which has its headquarters in the town of Rehau in Upper Franconia, and the industrial location of Erlangen-Eltersdorf have been closely linked for the past 50 years. One reason for this is the ideal location in the metropolitan area and proximity to the University of Erlangen. On 31 March 1969, construction work began on a new building in Erlangen-Eltersdorf, which was initially designed for 100 employees. Today, more than 400 employees work at the site in the Building Solutions and Window Solutions divisions.
“From those early beginnings, the Erlangen site has been steadily evolving over the past 50 years and has produced many innovations that have set new standards in their fields,” said Dr Roger Schönborn, head of the Building Solutions division, at the anniversary celebrations at the Erlangen site. In the building solutions field alone REHAU offers a wide range of products, from underfloor temperature control and drinking water installations to solutions for local and district heating and renewable energies. It also provides solutions for underground construction, water management and micro duct systems. One of the latest products to be developed is the RE.SOURCE mains-connected drinking water dispenser, which will be available on the market from October and promises to deliver maximum convenience for users. It produces sparkling, cold or hot drinking water straight from the tap at the touch of a button. Another notable example of innovation is REHAU’s pitch heating, which is installed at over 340 playing fields worldwide and ensures the best playing conditions.
The other mainstay of the company in Erlangen is the Window Solutions division. Its expertise in the development of window systems and extrusion technology shapes the industry. REHAU is also a pioneer in the field of sustainability. By 2020, the company aims to consistently increase the proportion of recycled polymer used in the core of new window profiles at its four European plants, all of which have VinylPlus certification. These sustainable windows are marketed as ECO PULS. The division’s most recent product development also comes from Erlangen: the Smart Guard burglary prevention system. It is installed in the window frame itself and deters potential intruders with acoustic and visual warnings. “As a central hub of ideas, we make an important contribution to the success of the company from our base in Erlangen. We are proud of what we have achieved so far and we are looking forward to continuing to shape the future together,” said Carsten Heuer, head of the Window Solutions division in Erlangen.
To ensure long-term success, REHAU regularly invests in the future of the Erlangen site and its buildings, all of which are named after chemical elements. The visitor centre, together with Café Gmöhling, was established in 2015 as a modern venue for visitors and meetings. 10 cents from every hot drink purchased goes to DKMS, a blood cancer charity, as a contribution towards combating blood cancer.
This July, REHAU World opens its doors. The new showroom makes it possible to take a virtual tour through the world of REHAU. It gives visitors the opportunity to explore REHAU City and its special features for themselves.
A commitment to the future
The family-owned company is deeply rooted in the region and committed to the local community. The polymer specialist supports nearby educational institutions with school sponsorships and has been a member of Erlangen Climate Alliance and the municipal art commission since 2017. To help reduce the impact on the environment, the RECUP reusable cup was introduced during the past year and is now used across all locations.