Inspiring journey from a one-man operation to an international market leader / Celebrations at the company head office in Grafenberg
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40 years ago, on January 1, 1980, Rudolf Rampf registered the company RAMPF Kunststoffsysteme GmbH. The one-man business has developed into an international group of companies that is managed by his sons, has over 900 employees, and is a global market leader in numerous industries. The 40-year success story will be celebrated at the company’s head office in Grafenberg.
From a meteorological point of view, January 1, 1980, was rather unspectacular. It was cloudy and cold in and around the Baden-Wuerttemberg’s capital city Stuttgart, i.e. typical German winter weather. However, on this day 40 years ago, a bright new star was on the rise in the world of reactive resin systems.
"When I registered RAMPF Kunststoffsysteme GmbH, I had no idea that it would grow into a group of companies that today has a global presence and is a leading solution partner in a great many industries," recalls company founder Rudolf Rampf.
From hand cleaners to polyurethane boards
The trained chemical technician and passionate inventor first developed and produced cleaning agents, hand cleaners, and dishwashing detergents in the former gym in Grafenberg. The products did exceptionally well, but Rudolf Rampf was soon to revolutionize model making with a groundbreaking invention – and lay the foundation for RAMPF's success story, which continues to this day.
While visiting a model making company in March 1980, Rudolf Rampf saw mahogany panels being made into car models. He realized that this was “not a particularly cheap, let alone sustainable method for producing design models. In addition, the models were not dimensionally stable because the characteristics of the wood changed depending on the room climate.”
He immediately set his sights on developing a technically, economically, and ecologically superior alternative to tropical timber. Less than half a year later, the very first modeling board made of polyurethane had been produced, which quickly established itself as the standard material on the market.
Smooth company succession
The polyurethane board developed by Rudolf Rampf is still industry standard today and RAMPF the world's largest manufacturer of board materials. Of course, due to numerous other innovations, the com-pany has long expanded its portfolio of products and services for the model and mold making industry.
The family-owned RAMPF Group is now comprised of six core competencies specializing in reactive resin systems, machine systems, and lightweight construction with composites. The focal point are always reactive resin systems, amongst others sealing foams based on polyurethane and the corresponding dispensing systems, epoxy resin-based mineral casting for machine bed construction, and chemical solutions for the recycling of polyurethane residues.
Since 2011, RAMPF is being managed by Michael and Matthias Rampf, the sons of company founder Rudolf Rampf. They have continued the internationalization of the group and, in 2016, expanded it with the Canadian-based company RAMPF Composite Solutions. “This decision was based on the fact that lightweight construction with carbon fiber and fiberglass composites is a business area with enormous potential. Furthermore, we were able to utilize the existing knowledge, skills, and synergies within the Group right from the start,” says Michael Rampf.
The focus is on people
RAMPF also invests in its employees, the number of which has almost doubled since the successful company succession. In 2016, a group-wide health management program was introduced that includes events and lectures as well as the opportunity to exercise in selected gyms.
“RAMPF grows with its employees,” emphasizes Matthias Rampf. “We invest in our staff and want them to feel comfortable at work and stay with us long-term. In addition to our health management program, this includes modern workplaces, a wide range of training opportunities, and an open appreciation of their achievements.”
The markets in which RAMPF operates have changed significantly over the past 40 years, requiring a great deal of flexibility and adaptability from both management and employees. The Group’s future is, however, determined by a far-sighted management approach. “The sustainability of our entrepreneurial activities is always our number one priority, and we place great importance on the trusting cooperation with customers and partners. We always plan ahead, already some years as ago we defined a detailed strategy for the years up to 2030,” says Michael Rampf.
Celebrations in Grafenberg
The 40th anniversary will be celebrated in Grafenberg, RAMPF's birthplace and the location of its head office. On Friday, July 24, the popular local band “Die Grafenberger” will perform in a big party tent; tickets for the event will soon be available.
The following Sunday, July 26, the traditional Grafenberg village fair will take place on the RAMPF premises. The festivities will include an open day, during which the RAMPF Innovation Center with its large laboratory can be visited.