Trading under the name ‘Westerwälder Thonindustrie’, the company soon gave the town of Breitscheid (Germany) a striking landmark with its tall chimney stack. Generations of locals found work here. The size of the workforce reached a peak of around 350 employees in 1950. The discontinuation of mining activities and increasing automation saw a reduction in the number of employees to the current level of 85.
In 2017, the site was taken over by the Steuler Group (Höhr-Grenzhausen, Germany). The company invested heavily in Breitscheid after the takeover, thereby securing the existing jobs.
Within a few months of the takeover, investment in new hydraulic dry presses brought the production site up to the same technical level as that of the main works in Höhr-Grenzhausen, with production moving towards full capacity. But the story doesn’t end there: a BigBag unloading station for raw material preparation as well as two additional extruder presses are also being planned. The seven-figure investment has been made against a background of healthy Steuler Group sales that recently reached over €434m.