Josef Schonlau
   company´s founder

Company history

1904  Josef Schonlau (died 1939) set up an engine building and iron foundry company in Geseke. Agricultural machines, as well as the necessary castings were produced.

1950  Production expands gradually to plant construction in the years 1930-1939, in particular for the cement industry. Franz Bartscher (nephew of the founder) enters after his time as prisoner of war. Together with his brother, he takes over company management. A shift of emphasis from the engine building industry to the sole foundry takes place.

1963  As one of the first companies in Germany, Schonlau takes up the production of the new cast material nodular cast iron.

1968  The son-in-law of Franz Bartscher, attorney of law Hanns Peter Dürkes (born 1935) takes over company management.

1986  Schonlau becomes pilot project of the program "redevelopment improvement in conglomerate" of the federal state government North-Rhine/Westphalia. One of the most extensive environmental protection programs of the region is introduced.

1990  Conclusion of the pilot project. The residential environment is clearly improved, jobs are humanized, production aggregates are caught up with the latest state of the art: The existence of the company is assured for the long term. 

2000  After the legal heirs of Franz Bartscher, his wife Elfriede (died 2008) and his daughter Giselheid Dürkes, became shareholders of the company in 1986, now his grandchild enters: MBA Markus Peter Dürkes (born 1968). Starting from 2002 as owner-manager in the 4th generation.

2005  The conflagration
Just in times of economic upswing a blaze destroys more than two-thirds of the buildings, adjacent production halls were also damaged. The heart of the foundry, the melting shop, the sand plant and parts of the automatic molding plant were completely destroyed. The total damage costs were more than 10 million euros.
The chance in the crisis: The owner family decides the reconstruction, manufacturing processes and environmental protection measures were optimized.
After record-breaking seven weeks the first melting furnace is put on stream again - at first only provisionally in the open air. After nine weeks the new sand plant is built-on. An outstanding co-operation between the manpower and the management.
 This means that in a short time we were back to maximum output and with good cause we are proud of it!

Schonlau Industrieguss