Grenzebach stands for high-tech solutions in the glass, solar, and building materials industries. The Grenzebach group, including the US division headquartered in Newnan, Ga has achieved its leading position as an acknowledged specialist in handling and processing technology through intensive know-how and long experience in the construction of processing equipment for material flow. As a global supplier, we design, manufacture, and deliver complete fabrication lines as well as individual components for the production and processing of glass, solar glass, building panels and gypsum. We also are a specialist in equipment used for the cutting and drying of veneer as well as process technology and robotic luggage handling applications for airports. This combination of manufacturing lines with good control technology creates an overall concept of high operational safety and efficient production.
In 1988, Grenzebach entered the American market with the opening of Grenzebach Corporation in Newnan, Georgia to maintain its high level of exports and to gain a better foothold on the American market. Our customers can talk to highly skilled personnel in their own language and in their own time zone. Around one hundred employees provide a dedicated service to the American market.
Grenzebach is registered to ISO 9001:2008 (Quality Management System) ISO 14001:2004 (Environmental Management System), and BS OHSAS 18001:2007 (Occupational Health and Safety Management System). These standards are international standards for quality, environmental, and safety management, which requires documented procedures that are consistently applied to insure that products and services are manufactured to a quality standard in a safe and environmentally conscious manner.
Company Interview on SHARP Designation
Your company has an exemplary safety and health program and illness and injury rate. How did you do it?
The first step was to help top management realize the material benefits to our business to be gained by safety excellence. Once top management was in favor of this program, we needed to get the work force on board. We held several meetings with management then with the line level people, and we made sure to update everyone frequently on the changes being made and our progress. Starting a safety committee not only gave the employees a direct influence on the course our Safety Management System (SMS) would take, but it proved to be a profound source of substantive suggestions for improvement.
The most important element overall however, is perseverance. There is a lot of work involved in shifting a company’s culture from production and profitability to safety. There are always small hurdles that arise when such a fundamental shift takes place. Also, change is disruptive to people’s entrenched habits and they need a lot of encouragement to move forward to the “new ways” of doing things. The safety professionals, top management and the entire management team of a company looking to achieve this level of safety performance needs to persevere through these rocky patches because achieving safety excellence is absolutely the right thing to do.
What has Tech's value been in this process? Are there any differences that you noticed before Tech, and with Tech's involvement?
Georgia Tech has been invaluable. The resources Ga Tech provided would have cost a lot of money if provided by a consultant; if this was the only way to achieve our goal it would have taken a long time in order to fit this goal in our budget. The economies of the consultation program gave me enough leverage to convince top management that striving for SHARP was not only a worthwhile endeavor, but one that was economically feasible even in the down economy we found ourselves in in 2011 when we first started striving for SHARP.
What does SHARP mean to you, your employees, and the company?
Grenzebach management realized through the implementation of our SMS that there was a need for benchmarking our safety performance, and so we have put achieving SHARP status as a goal in front of ourselves. This achievement puts Grenzebach in a very select group because Grenzebach becomes only the 18th company in Georgia to receive this designation. Achieving this goal is not the end or a standard to just be attained; it is only the first major mile stone on our road to safety excellence. We encourage everyone to consider their impact on work safety and really put safety first in everything they do.