Standing on the street, it is hard to imagine the sheer dimensions of the Düren facility or the many different activities that go on inside. The headquarters of GKD covers an area of more than 55,000 square meters. The halls are home to all manufacturing steps, from production planning, through workshops, laboratories, weaving halls for industrial mesh, process belts and metal fabrics, to the halls for further processing and preassembly . In an introductory speech, GKD Director Dr. Stephan Kufferath offered the guests an initial overview of the many fields of application in which the woven mesh designs are used. Taking various examples, he explained how all of the company’s products contribute to making the world a safer, cleaner and healthier place to live. Whether it is filtration solutions for water processing for local municipalities, industry or shipping, lightning strike protection mesh for aircrafts, filters for exhaust gas purification in motor vehicles, process belts for pressing, baking, freezing or drying foodstuffs, belts for manufacturing hygiene products like diapers, or woven systems for optimizing energy consumption or acoustic performance in buildings, as fall guard protection or media facade, the guests were clearly fascinated by the wide range of applications covered by GKD as market leader. Other much-admired examples included the weaving of metal wires less than a third the thickness of a human hair or robot manufacturing under cleanroom conditions. The visitors were then able to view and experience both of these for themselves during a tour of the ultra-modern production environment at the family business steeped in tradition. In the subsequent discussion, those in attendance learned that the term ‘family business’ not only refers to the founder family at GKD, but also to the many employees that are working here in their second or even third generation. However, job profiles have obviously changed quite radically over the years. Today, GKD not only offers training for twelve different careers, but also regularly employs student trainees that write their final dissertation here. It is not unusual for the next generation of managers to come from this group, as filling these positions internally is an explicit aim of GKD.
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