Alois Franke (78), founder and partner of Aluminium Rheinfelden in Germany, passed away a few days ago, following a prolonged period of illness.
He had entrusted the management of the company at an earlier date to his daughter Erika Zender. “We all, family and company, are distressed by the news of the death of our father and company founder Dr Franke,” says Erika Zender. “My father has rendered great services to Aluminium Rheinfelden, transforming the company into an internationally renowned solution provider for speciality alloys, semi-finished products and Soederberg pastes. For this we owe him our recognition and deep gratitude,” she says. She continues by saying that thanks to his foresightedness, the timely transfer of responsibilities to the second generation has ensured stability and continuity in the company’s business. “My management team and I will make every effort to build upon the accomplishments of our founder and to lead Aluminium Rheinfelden into a prosperous future.”
The year 1993 was a fateful year for both the town of Rheinfelden and the Alusuisse company based there at that time. Once a leading aluminium smelting works where the European history of industrial aluminium production started in the 19th century, the company was now on the brink of collapse. The high energy prices in the region made the business unprofitable so that the owners at that time cut back production and finally planned to shut down the site altogether. It was only thanks to the courageous intervention of Alois Franke, at that time aged 53, that this fateful decision was averted. He purchased the company’s promising businesses – raw materials processing with speciality alloys, semi-finished products and Soederberg pastes – and founded Aluminium Rheinfelden, saving 300 jobs in the process.
Ever since, the company has evolved into a leading and renowned solution provider in the aluminium industry that has achieved stability in the past years. Aluminium Rheinfelden with its innovative alloys has contributed greatly to transforming aluminium into a raw material that can be found in many of today’s applications such as vehicles. “The knowledge of aluminium and carbon as raw materials that we have established in our business is arguably unique throughout the world,” explains Zender.
It is upon these foundations that the new managing director plans to build together with her management team. “Aluminium offers numerous benefits as a raw material,” says Zender. Its low weight in conjunction with the ease with which it can be processed and recycled make this light metal the material of choice in many applications that is often preferred to steel or plastic. Zender does not doubt for a moment that “the success story of aluminium has only just begun. I believe that to utilise this potential and thus to take Aluminium Rheinfelden to the next level in its business development is my duty towards the region, our employees and our founder.”
Mourners can express their deep felt compassion in the digital book of condolences at www.alurheinfelden.com.