By the age of 30, Heinrich Trox had already taken up leading positions with major industrial concerns. These included the Deutsche Industriewerke in Berlin and the Junkers Aircraft Works in Dessau. After the end of the Second World War he changed from the aircraft industry to the air-conditioning and ventilating industry. Here he pursued the concept of specializing in the production of components. In 1951 this led to the establishment of his own company in Neukirchen-Vluyn in the Lower Rhein district.
Heinrich Trox was born in Essen in 1908, the youngest of six children of senior overman Karl Trox. His sons Klaus and Heinz Trox were also born there in 1932 and 1934 respectively.
After his training as an industrial clerk and a technical inspector of the former Air Force and after working at the Deutsche Industriewerke for several years, he was appointed as head of materials management for this company in Berlin.
In 1942 he was appointed to the board of the Junkers Aircraft Works in Dessau. The ban on the production of aircraft put in place by the Allied occupation forces forced him to settle in Neukirchen-Vluyn in 1945.
It was there that Heinrich Trox became the manager of a well-known German air-conditioning company based in Bonn. And this is also where he first became aware of the opportunity offered by specialization in the design and production of components within the industry. As a result, together with his brother Friedrich, he founded the company Gebrüder Trox GmbH. Here in a shed measuring 110 square meters he took up the production of air flow devices.
Two years later he took over his brother’s shares, thereby becoming the sole proprietor of the company. The reconstruction of Germany and the associated construction boom resulted in high growth rates for the air-conditioning industry and the young company. The company also developed and introduced additional products during this time.
In 1954, with a staff of 75 people, the foundation was laid for a new production site and an administration building in Vluyn.
A trip to the USA in 1959 was an important business milestone for Heinrich Trox. There, he gained first hand knowledge of the country’s highly developed air-conditioning technology and its extremely efficient production methods, and as a result of this experience, he completely restructured his company. Assisted by banks, large capital investments were made. These laid the foundation for the transition to industrial scale production.
At a very early stage, Heinrich Trox had already made plans for the future of the business and its management. In 1959, after having completed their training in business management and engineering, receiving their degrees as Diplomingenieur and Diplomwirtschaftsingenieur, and with several years of industrial experience in Germany and abroad, Heinrich Trox’ sons Heinz and Klaus joined the business. Around this time the company also established its own Research and Development Centre for Flow Engineering, Acoustics, Filter Technology, and Fire Proofing. Today this centre is considered one of the most significant of its kind in the air-conditioning industry in Europe.
Because of his excellent knowledge of human nature and his ability to fill his staff with enthusiasm, Heinrich Trox soon attracted the best specialists from various disciplines. With their help, as well as with the aid of new technology, he was able to discover new solutions and develop new technologies. This allowed him to achieve a near monopoly in Germany. This is why a further expansion of the business could only be achieved outside of Germany.
Subsidiaries were therefore established in Great Britain, Austria, Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, and South Africa in the 1960s. Through supply agreements with import agents and independent trade agents, the company gained a foothold in all European markets and was able to secure significant market shares, often against heavy American competition. This laid the foundation for the establishment of further subsidiaries in Brazil, China, Denmark, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Yugoslavia, Croatia, Malaysia, Poland, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and the USA. Today the Trox Group is manufacturing in three factories in Germany as well as in further plants located in Brazil, Great Britain, Italy, Norway, Malaysia, Switzerland, Spain, South Africa and China.
Along with this geographic expansion, Heinrich Trox also took up a new production programme in 1968. He had recognised the growing demand for convenience and high technology in air-conditioning systems. To satisfy these demands, regulating devices, air filters, high-pressure devices and ventilators were developed and added to the manufacturing programme.
From a very early stage, Heinrich Trox decided to finance these additional investments from the quickly growing profits of the young company by reinvesting them back in the business to strengthen its capital base. The Gebrüder Trox GmbH thus possessed a sound financial base which allowed it to cope with the demands of the 1970s, a period that was characterized by unbelievable expansion rates.
In 1968 Heinrich Trox appointed his sons Heinz Trox and Klaus Trox as company managers. The path laid down by the company founder - Heinrich Trox was to die on 31 July 1970 at the age of 62 - was faithfully followed by his two sons. Early on in the 1970s, the significance of a global presence had already been recognized in Europe. The subsidiaries established under Heinrich Trox were developed further.
TROX's global focus went hand in hand with the company's spirit of innovation. The company set a new course in the air-conditioning industry. The founder's sons were able to expand the company's leading position in Europe as well as its strong worldwide market share in technology and sales. Air-water systems, BUS systems and systems for laboratories were added to the product range. The turnover of the company was to increase more than six fold following the death of Heinrich Trox.
The firm's head office in Vluyn, newly enlarged in 1989, has been widely acclaimed as a milestone in urban architecture
Klaus Trox died in 1988. Since then, Heinz Trox has been acting as the principal shareholder of the company and, until 2001, acted as chairman of the board of Executive Directors.
In 1998 the Gebrüder Trox GmbH took over the companies Hesco (Switzerland) AG and Hesco Deutschland GmbH. With the acquisition of the company FSL (Fassaden System Lüftung) Mannheim in 2000, Gebrüder Trox GmbH extended its product range with decentralized ventilation systems
In 2005 Trox enhanced its position in Scandinavia through the acquisition of the Norwegian market leader Auranor AS as well as the Swedish subsidiary Auranor AB. The companies now operate under the names of TROX Auranor Norge AS and TROX Auranor Svenska AB.
In 2006 the former principal shareholder Heinz Trox holds 90% of the shares of Gebrüder Trox GmbH directly and 10% through the Heinz Trox Foundation. Upon acquiring the shares which used to be owned by the last remaining family partner besides Heinz Trox, it was resolved to change the company name. The former Gebrüder Trox GmbH now trades as TROX GmbH. The worldwide group of companies now presents itself as the TROX GROUP.
At the end of 2007, Heinz Trox has paved the way for a group of managerial employees at TROX GmbH to take a share in the participation programme of the company by means of a rights offering. Eight per cent of TROX GmbH has now been made available for investment. The Heinz Trox foundation has a share of nine per cent. With a share of 83 per cent, Heinz Trox remains the largest shareholder in the company.
After 42 years work for the company, Heinz Trox stepped down and assigned the chairmanship, moving instead to the supervisory board of TROX GmbH. He is particularly engaged in monitoring the risk management of TROX GmbH and its subsidiaries.