For the average traveler, the passenger boarding bridge is the least noticed part of the traveling experience. When asked, they often reply they didn’t even notice it. Most travelers are also unaware that the bridge, aside from its intended function, is an integral part of the airport’s safety and security system. In addition to protecting them from weather extremes, it keeps passengers safely out of harm’s way on the crowded and hazardous ramp area.
In today’s world it is expected that all products provided for public use are designed with safety and security in mind, in addition to extremely reliable functionality. Passenger boarding bridges need to be designed and installed with the public’s safety, security, and the reliability of its systems always in mind.
HISTORY OF THYSSEN
On September 29, 1891, August Thyssen announced he and his brother Joseph owned all shares in the coal mine Gewerkschaft Deutscher Kaiser. On December 17, 1891, the first steel is tapped at the new Gewerkschaft Deutscher Kaiser steelworks in Hamborn near Duisburg. These two events are regarded as the dates on which the Thyssen Group was founded. The company’s global expansion in the early part of the Twentieth Century was brought to an abrupt halt by the world’s current events. Although August Thyssen lost numerous foreign interests, in Germany his company remained largely intact. Potential market opportunities convinced him to establish a new group in 1925 which comprised of iron and steel companies in Ruhr, Germany. The company was liquidated in the 1940s and in 1953 August Thyssen-Hütte AG was established in Duisburg with the purpose of putting the largely dismantled Thyssen iron and steel works back in operation. By the mid 1960s, August Thyssen-Hütte AG grew to become Europe’s largest producer of crude steel and the fifth largest worldwide.
HISTORY OF KRUPP
On November 20, 1811, Friedrich Krupp (1787-1826), a member of an old Essen family of merchants and two partners, founded a factory for the manufacturing of English cast steel and products made from it. Following his untimely death, his widow Therese Krupp (1790-1850), took control of the small business with just a handful of employees and her eldest son Alfred (1812-1887). Alfred continued with the production of cast steel but shifted the manufacturing focus to finished products and primarily precision rolls. In 1875 Krupp chose three superimposed railway tires as his company logo, which gained worldwide recognition. Alfred Krupp was able to meet the company’s growing raw materials requirements by acquiring ore and coal mines and steel mills. His only son, Fredrich Alfred Krupp (1854-1902), continued to expand the company into both a vertically and horizontally integrated enterprise. After World War I, production operations including construction of locomotives, trucks, agricultural machinery, and excavators were added but it took many years before success was achieved in these operations. At the end of 1943 the company was converted back to a sole proprietorship and to the eldest Krupp son, Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach (1907-1967). In subsequent years the remaining manufacturing operations form the basis of a restructured group. A broad product range was created in an attempt to “crisis-proof” the company and secure job continuity. In the years to follow, activities of the group were expanded with the key objectives of improved customer service, enhanced market presence and concentration on core businesses.
As early as the 1980s, negotiations were conducted on a merger of Thyssen Stahl AG and Krupp Stahl AG. In August 1997, Thyssen and Krupp held talks on expanding their cooperation. They identified immense potential for strategic development and operating synergies in a full merger which was made official on March 17, 1999, when ThyssenKrupp AG was entered in the Commercial Register.