1956 - 1966
An electrotechnical office is founded in Trier-Pallien on June 14, 1956. The origins of NATUS lie in a small garage, not unusual in the post-war years of the company’s early history. In the first few years, construction drawings for electrotechnical control systems of any type are generated. This is done for and on behalf of the company Metzenauer & Jung, whose products are also sold. The most important customer at the time is Laeis in Trier - the company has remained a customer to this day. On Christmas Eve 1958, founder Matthias Natus dies suddenly of a heart attack. This was a shock for the family, and normally the end for a company still so small and young. However, the family decide not to give up the business, despite the bitter loss. In 1959, Matthias’ son Wolfgang Natus writes a letter to all the business partners, informing them that the company Matthias Natus will be continuing. By 1960 the first warehouse is needed, and this is located in Theobaldstrasse in Trier. Financial means at the time were still very limited; nevertheless, NATUS was growing very strongly from its modest beginnings. In 1962, the first separate administration and production buildings appear in Loebstrasse, and today the site is still the principal administrative building.
1967 – 1976
In the 1970s, NATUS develops the first low- and medium-voltage switchgear systems with withdrawable unit technology, a technological milestone that marks the basis for the company’s successful growth over the following decades. The establishment of the installation also proves to be future-facing. NATUS products and installation services are not only sold in Germany – the first export successes to the USSR, Libya and Iran are achieved. At this time NATUS exceeds the threshold of 100 employees. One particular project is carried out in Libya – a contract to build a chemicals factory for a company called Siel from Cologne. Work is carried out on the site for four years, from 1978 to 1982. It is extraordinary how times have changed, when you think that six NATUS staff and their families moved to Libya for the entire duration of the project. They were all accommodated in a large camp - hardly even imaginable today.
1977 - 1986
In the 1980s, NATUS continues to develop its products and increasingly becomes an established and recognised switchgear manufacturer. Besides the installation work, the company is also developing the first pioneering skills in the automation technology sector. Business in the 1980s is very good, and there is a positive feeling among the workforce as well. Among other things, men’s and women’s football teams are set up – both successful and a source of fun. The company continually grows terms of turnover and number of employees, in line with the normal fluctuations in switchgear construction work. The factory at Loebstrasse 12 is forever bursting at the seams and is gradually expanded and upgraded.
1987 - 1996
Automation continues to make an impression NATUS introduces the first engineering tool – EPLAN – which revolutionises engineering work in terms of speed. The image on the right shows numerous mini-”Bill Gates” proudly gathering around the computer following the implementation of EPLAN in 1987. The next expansion takes place in 1993. NATUS acquires the large plot on the corner of Loebstrasse/Auer-von-Welsbach-Strasse and gradually uses the existing buildings for administration and production. Our most important customers at the time are Thyssen, Husky, KHS, Krones and the Bitburger brewery group. NATUS has also retained these companies as important customers to date.
1997 - 2006
2002 sees the next generational change in the history of NATUS. By this time, Wolfgang Natus had been heading up the company for over four decades, and had built it up from its very modest beginnings to a considerable size with an impeccable reputation. Besides qualified, motivated and loyal employees, the company needed an individual at the top to take important decisions, bear full responsibility and personal liability and suffer sleepless nights for the company – so thanks to Wolfgang Natus for his extraordinary professional lifetime achievement. Frank Natus takes over the family company in 2002. The internationalisation of the company is driven forwards under new leadership. NATUS establishes representatives in Holland, France, Belgium, Austria and Dubai and sets up a joint venture in China. The automation technology business sector continues to develop and the solutions business area for turn-key complete electrotechical solutions is founded. Both are expected to make new business opportunities available, besides the switchgear business. In addition, our presence at international trade fairs is heavily increased. Today NATUS regularly exhibits at trade fairs in Hanover, Utrecht, Dubai and Shanghai.
50 years of NATUS
Founded 50 years ago as an electronics office, the company has continually moved forwards. There have been very good times, but also challenging obstacles to be negotiated. The result – in 2006 NATUS has become a family-run company with over 400 employees and a turnover of around EUR 60m, obtained through five business areas. We can now provide major complete electrotechnical solutions, from switchgear systems, automation and control technology, and service support of any type, to integrated solutions. We are increasingly active globally as a result of partnerships and our own sales networks, which also makes us more geographically independent and makes us more attractive to our globally-active customers.
2007 - 2016
In 2007/2008, NATUS wins numerous major projects in the power station sector for RWE and E.ON, against international competitors. Nowadays a total of several thousand NATUS switchgear arrays have been installed in five major power stations. Another milestone for our family-run company is that, with regard to our capabilities, capacities and funding power for major projects, we now compete eye-to-eye with major groups not only in the power station sector but also in other major sectors of industry.
The new contracts make our engineering and manufacturing capabilities push new boundaries. Hence, in 2010, a highly-modern manufacturing plant is built, inside which the entire mechanical manufacturing process can be concentrated.
We also have taken hold in the Middle East. After years of endeavors, we have achieved a breakthrough in Dubai and are currently supplying nearly a thousand of medium-voltage switchgear systems for numerous substations. In Qatar, we are entering into an exclusive cooperation with the royal family Al Thani, which will bring us a significant additional business.
60 years after its foundation, NATUS now has well over 500 employees and is the largest family-run business in Trier. The path to continuing growth in the future has been set.
60 years of NATUS
In July 2016, we held the family summer festival on the company premises. Over 1,000 participants gathered in the glorious summer weather, including some 250 children, who rode around in pedal boats and bounced on the bouncy castle until late in the evening. Attractions for young and old, culinary highlights, tours of our manufacturing site and a convivial get-together with good music made the day a special celebration for our staff, their families and friends. There was an exuberant, wonderful family atmosphere on a long, warm summer’s evening.