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Timeline – 50 years of ebm-papst

The first ec motor, a fleet of company buses and the Federal order of merit for Gerhard Sturm. Discover facts about the history of ebm-papst, that you probably did not know before.


1963: The “Behr fan”

The first product to be launched at ebm was the “Behr fan”. At the same time, radial fans for range hoods were threatening their existence due to bearing failures. The solution was the 68 motor with ball bearing, which was already available as an oil burner motor.

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1972: Expansion of international presence

ebm is already firmly established at the Hannover Messe. Now the company is significantly expanding its presence internationally as well. A booth with the ebm logo can be found at a total of nine trade fairs.

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1975: First EC motor

ebm develops the first EC motor – three decades before official policy makes energy saving a major issue. Although the EC motor is still viewed critically internally due to its high production costs, the computer industry is already demanding energy-saving compact fans – and the efficiency of around 65 percent speaks volumes. By comparison, a comparable shaded-pole motor achieves just 15 percent at this point.

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1977: High volume arguments

In the 1970s, ebm’s business boomed. As a result, space at the plant was becoming scarce. To ensure quick success in tough negotiations for new building land, Gerhard Sturm is forced to use high-stakes arguments. Success justifies the means.

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1980: Own bus fleet

Initially, Gerhard Sturm drove employees to work personally in his Ford Taunus, but now his own bus fleet takes over. This is easy on the employees’ wallets and also on the environment.

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1988: Federal Cross of Merit for Gerhard Sturm

“We have been awarded the Federal Cross of Merit,” chants the entire workforce proudly when Gerhard Sturm is presented with the award to mark the company’s 25th anniversary. He himself emphasizes that he only accepted the cross on behalf of the employees. Everyone celebrates exuberantly together.

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1996: The leap to Asia

Expansion in Hungary is followed by the big leap to Asia: In Madras, India, the new building of the ebm-NADI joint venture celebrates its inauguration. Meanwhile, the first small sales office opens in Shanghai – which will quickly develop into a larger location thanks to the tireless efforts of the employees.

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1999: First ebm marathon

The starting signal is given for the ebm marathon. The company is the main sponsor of the event for the first time. 432 runners start the race. 13 years later, there are already 3,500 – including top athletes. ebm also takes responsibility for the “Jugend forscht” competition for young researchers and hosts the regional event. Both events were largely initiated by Thomas Philippiak.

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2003: Change of name

In October, the management reveals the secret: In the future, all companies of the ebm Group will operate under the name “ebm-papst. The Black Forest company Papst had already been taken over in 1992, and the Alcatel SEL plant in Landshut was added in 1997.

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2009: GreenTech

A new logo as a sign of the corporate culture: GreenTech. The philosophy behind it goes back to Gerhard Sturm’s original company principle: “Every new product we develop must outperform its predecessor economically and ecologically.”

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