May 10, 2022 marked the 75th anniversary of Ludwig Schunk's death. To mark the occasion, the Ludwig Schunk Foundation and the Schunk Group Management Board commemorated the company founder at his gravesite.
"Today, one would probably speak of a startup." This is how Gunthard Sommer, Chairman of the Board of the Ludwig Schunk Foundation, characterized the early years of his company, today's Schunk Group, during his speech in memory of Ludwig Schunk. For the beginning of the company, which was founded in Fulda in 1913 and then moved to Heuchelheim in 1918, was anything but easy. "In the beginning there was chaos," Ludwig Schunk himself later described in retrospect and quite bluntly the situation shortly after the founding. The first order was received in early 1914, when Schunk's co-founder Karl Ebe died unexpectedly in June 1914 - a blow of fate for the young company.
With drive and foresight, Schunk, who came from Frankfurt, nevertheless quickly succeeded in leading the company onto a stable growth path. The company's purpose was the manufacture and sale of carbon brushes. In the 1930s, products made of sintered metal were added. The site in Heuchelheim grew and grew. This is still the headquarters of the technology company, which today is a leading supplier of products made of high-tech materials - such as carbon, technical ceramics and sintered metal - as well as machinery and equipment - from environmental simulation to air-conditioning technology and ultrasonic welding to optical machines.
For the time after his death - Ludwig Schunk had no children - the company founder established the capital owner and shareholder as trustee of the company's assets: today's Ludwig Schunk Foundation. And he decreed "to keep managing the company in a way which prioritizes healthy further development and maintains independence.” In doing so, the company founder committed his heirs to preserving and growing the assets of the company he founded, even after his passing. To this day, this continues to shape Schunk's corporate culture, which is focused on financial stability and independence, profitable growth and a global presence.
"Ludwig Schunk made wise decisions with his legacy and his directives. He built a successful company and he passed on to us an exceptional, very successful corporate model," Sommer said. "For that, we are very grateful to him. However, I'm also sure Ludwig Schunk would be proud of how his legacy has developed."