|Type||Private company (former state company)|
|Industry||transport vehicle manufacturing |
iron and steel manufacturing
|Founded||1845, Buda, Kingdom of Hungary|
|Ábrahám Ganz |
|Owner||Ábrahám Ganz and his family (1845-1947) |
State of Hungary (1946-1949)
|Subsidiaries||Ganz Danubius (ship yard) |
Ganz Acélszerkezet (bridge steel structures)
Ganz Transelektro (power plant and power distribution equipment)
The Ganz Works or Ganz (Hungarian: Ganz vállalatok or Ganz M?vek, Ganz companies, formerly Ganz and Partner Iron Mill and Machine Factory) was a group of companies operating between 1845 and 1949 in Budapest, Hungary. It was named after Ábrahám Ganz, the founder and the manager of the company. It is probably best known for the manufacture of tramcars, but was also a pioneer in the application of three-phase alternating current to electric railways. Ganz also made ships (Ganz Danubius), bridge steel structures (Ganz Acélszerkezet) and high-voltage equipment (Ganz Transelektro). In the early 20th century the company experienced its heyday, it became the third largest industrial enterprise in Kingdom of Hungary after the Manfréd Weiss Steel and Metal Works and the MÁVAG company. Since 1989, various parts of Ganz have been taken over by other companies.
The company was founded by Abraham Ganz in 1844. He was invited to Pest, Hungary, by Count István Széchenyi and became the casting master at the Roller Mill Plant (referred to as Hengermalom in Hungarian). In 1854 he began manufacturing hard cast railroad wheels in his own plant founded in 1844. The management of the steam mill paid a share of the profit to Ganz. This enabled him to buy, in 1844, land and a house for 4500 Forints in Víziváros, Buda castle district. Abraham Ganz built his own foundry on this site and started to work there with seven assistants. They made mostly casting products for the needs of the people of the city. In 1845, he bought the neighbouring site and expanded his foundry with a cupola furnace. He gave his brother, Henrik a job as a clerk, because of the growing administration work. He made a profit in the first year, and his factory grew, even though he had not yet engaged in mass production. In 1846, at the third Hungarian Industrywork Exhibition (Magyar Iparm? Kiállítás), he introduced his stoves to the public. He won the silver medal of the exhibition committee and the bronze medaille from Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary.
During the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 the foundry made ten cannons and many cannonballs for the Hungarian army. Because of this, the Military Court of Austria impeached him. He got seven weeks in prison as penalty, but because of his Swiss citizenship he was acquitted of the charge.
Ganz recognized that, to develop his factory, he had to make products that were mass-produced. In 1846 the Pest-Vác railway line was built. At that time, European foundries made wrought iron rims for spoked wagon wheels by pouring the casts in shapes in sand, and leaving them to cool down. He successfully developed a railway wheel casting technology; it was the new method of "crust-casting" to produce cheap yet sturdy iron railway wheels, which greatly contributed to the rapid railway development in Central Europe. 86,074 pieces of hard cast wheels had been sold to 59 European railway companies until 1866. Consequently, this factory played an important role in building the infrastructure of the Hungarian Kingdom and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. At this time the agricultural machines, steam locomotives, pumps and the railway carriages were the main products. At the beginning of the 20th century, 60 to 80% of the factory's products were sold for export.
At the end of the 19th century, the products of the Ganz and Partner Iron Mill and Machine Factory (hereinafter referred to as Ganz Works) promoted the expansion of alternating-current power transmissions.
The invention of the modern industrial mill (the roller mill ) - by András Mechwart in 1874 - guaranteed a solid technological superiority and revolutionized the world's milling industry. Budapest's milling industry grow the second largest in the world, behind the American Minneapolis. The Hungarian grain export increased by 66% within some years.
In 1878, the company's general manager András Mechwart founded the Department of Electrical Engineering headed by Károly Zipernowsky. Engineers Miksa Déri and Ottó Bláthy also worked at the department producing direct-current machines and arc lamps.
The first turbo generators were water turbines which drove electric generators. The first Hungarian water turbine was designed by engineers of the Ganz Works in 1866. Mass production of dynamo generators started in 1883.
The missing link of a full Voltage Sensitive/Voltage Intensive (VSVI) system was the reliable alternating current constant voltage generator. Therefore, the invention of the constant voltage generator by the Ganz Works in 1883 had a crucial role in the beginnings of industrial scale AC power generation, because only these type of generators can produce a stable output voltage, regardless of the actual load.
In cooperation, Zipernovsky, Bláthy and Déri (known as the ZBD team) constructed and patented the transformer. The "transformer" was named by Ottó Titusz Bláthy. The three invented the first high efficiency, closed core shunt connection transformer. They also invented the modern power distribution system: Instead of a series of connections they connected supply transformers in parallel to the main line.
The transformer patents described two basic principles. Loads were to be connected in parallel, not in series as had been the general practice until 1885. Additionally, the inventors described the closed armature as an essential part of the transformer. Both factors assisted the stabilisation of voltage under varying load, and allowed definition of standard voltages for distribution and loads. The parallel connection and efficient closed core made construction of electrical distribution systems technically and economically feasible.
In 1886, the ZBD engineers designed, and the company supplied, electrical equipment for the world's first power station to use AC generators to power a parallel connected common electrical network. This was the Italian steam-powered Rome-Cerchi power plant.
Following the introduction of the transformer, the Ganz Works changed over to production of alternating-current equipment. For instance, Rome's electricity was supplied by hydroelectric plant and long-distance energy transfer.
The first mass-produced kilowatt-hour meter (electricity meter), based on Hungarian Ottó Bláthy's patent and named after him, was presented by the Ganz Works at the Frankfurt Fair in the autumn of 1889, and the company was marketing the first induction kilowatt-hour meter by the end of the year. These were the first alternating-current wattmeters, known by the name of Bláthy-meters.
Ganz produced engines whose designs were licensed to Western European partners, notably in the United Kingdom and Italy.
The Ganz Company started to construct steam locomotives and steam railcars from the 1860s. Between 1901 and 1908, Ganz Works of Budapest and de Dion-Bouton of Paris collaborated to build a number of railcars for the Hungarian State Railways together with units with de Dion-Bouton boilers, Ganz steam motors and equipments, and Raba carriages built by the Raba Hungarian Wagon and Machine Factory in Gy?r. In 1908, the Borzsavölgyi Gazdasági Vasút (BGV), a narrow-gauge railway in Carpathian Ruthenia (today's Ukraine), purchased five railcars from Ganz and four railcars from the Hungarian Royal State Railway Machine Factory with de Dion-Bouton boilers. The Ganz company started to export steam motor railcars to the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Japan, Russia and Bulgaria.
The Ganz Works, having identified the significance of induction motors and synchronous motors, commissioned Kálmán Kandó to develop them. In 1894, Hungarian engineer Kálmán Kandó developed high-voltage three-phase AC motors and generators for electric locomotives. The first-ever electric rail vehicle manufactured by Ganz Works was a 6 HP pit locomotive with direct current traction system. The first Ganz made asynchronous rail vehicles (altogether 2 pieces) were supplied in 1898 to Évian-les-Bains (France) with a 37 HP asynchronous traction system. The Ganz Works won the tender for electrification of the Valtellina Railway in Italy in 1897. Under the management, and on the basis of plans from Kálmán Kandó, three phase electric power at 3 kV and 15 Hz was fed through two upper wires and the rails. The electricity was produced in a dedicated power station and the system operated for thirty years from 1902. Italian railways were the first in the world to introduce electric traction for the entire length of a main line rather than just a short stretch. The 106 km Valtellina line was opened on 4 September 1902, designed by Kandó and a team from the Ganz works. The voltage was significantly higher than used earlier and it required new designs for electric motors and switching devices. The three-phase two-wire system was used on several railways in Northern Italy and became known as "the Italian system". Kandó was invited in 1905 to undertake the management of Società Italiana Westinghouse and led the development of several Italian electric locomotives. In 1918,
Kandó invented and developed the rotary phase converter, enabling electric locomotives to use three-phase motors whilst supplied via a single overhead wire, carrying the simple industrial frequency (50 Hz) single phase AC of the high-voltage national networks. After World War I, at the Ganz Works, Kálmán Kandó constructed a single-phase electric railway system using 16 kV at 50 Hz. A similar system, but using 15 kV at 16.7 Hz, later became widely used in Europe. The main attribute of Kandó's 50 Hz system was that it was fed by the normal power network, so dedicated railway power stations became unnecessary. Because of the early death of Kálmán Kandó, László Verebélÿ continued the work for the Hungarian State Railways (MÁV).
Ganz AC electric locomotive prototype (1901 Valtellina, Italy)
Electric locomotive RA 361 (later FS Class E.360) by Ganz for the Valtellina line, 1904
Ganz train on the Ferrocarriles Patagónicos railway in Argentina (1945)
In 1959 Ganz merged with the MÁVAG company and was renamed Ganz-MÁVAG. In 1976 Ganz-Mávag supplied ten standard gauge 3-car diesel trainset to the Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE), designated as Class AA-91 and four metre gauge 4-car trainsets, designated as Class A-6451. In 1981/82 Ganz-Mávag supplied to OSE 11 B-B diesel-hydraulic DHM7-9 locomotives, designated as class A-251. Finally, in 1983, OSE bought eleven 3-car metre gauge trainsets, designated as Class A-6461. All these locomotives and trainsets have been withdrawn with the exception of one standard and one metre gauge trainset.
In 1982/83 Ganz-Mávag supplied an order for electric multiple units to New Zealand Railways Corporation for Wellington suburban services. The order was made in 1979, and was for 44 powered units and 44 trailer units, see New Zealand EM class electric multiple unit.
In 1911, the Ganz Company merged with the Danubius shipbuilding company, which was the largest shipbuilding company in Hungary. From 1911, the unified company adopted the "Ganz-Danubius" brand name. In the beginning of the 20th century the company had 19 shipyards on the Danube and the Adriatic Sea in the city of Rijeka and Pula. As Ganz Danubius, the company became involved in shipbuilding before, and during, World War I. Ganz was responsible for building the dreadnought SMS Szent István, all of the Novara-class cruisers, and built diesel-electric U-boats at its shipyard in Budapest, for final assembly at Fiume. Several U-boats of the U-XXIX class, U-XXX class, U-XXXI class and U-XXXII class were completed, A number of other types were laid down, but remained incomplete at the war's end. By the end of the First World War, 116 naval vessels had been built by The Ganz-Danubius company. The company also produces transatlantic ocean liners for passenger lines Trieste - New York, Trieste - Montevideo, as a reflection of already formed wave of mass migration from Central Europe to America.
The world's first turboprop engine was the Jendrassik Cs-1 designed by the Hungarian mechanical engineer György Jendrassik. It was built and tested in the Ganz factory in Budapest between 1939 and 1942. It was planned to be fitted to the Varga RMI-1 X/H twin-engined reconnaissance bomber designed by László Varga in 1940, but the program was cancelled. Jendrassik had also designed a small-scale 75 kW turboprop in 1937.
In 1947, the Ganz Works was nationalised and in 1949 it became independent and six big companies came into existence, including the Ganz Transformer Factory. In 1959, Ganz Wagon and Machine Factory merged with the MÁVAG Locomotive and Machine Factory under the name of Ganz-MÁVAG Locomotive, Wagon and Machine Works. Of the products of the Works, outstanding results were shown in the field of the manufacture of diesel railcars and multiple units. Traditional products included tramcars as well, and customers included the tramway network of Budapest. In the meantime the Foundry workshop was closed down.
In 1974, the locomotive and wagon Works were merged under the name of Railway Vehicle Factory and then the machine construction branch went through significant development. The production of industrial and apartment house lifts became a new branch. Ganz-MÁVAG took over a lot of smaller plants in the 1960s and 1970s and their product range was extended. Among other things, they increased their bridge-building capacity. They made iron structures for several Tisza bridges, for the Erzsébet Bridge in Budapest, for public road bridges in Yugoslavia and for several industrial halls.
The Ganz Shipyard experienced its most productive times during the four decades following nationalisation. In the course of this period 1100 ship units were produced, the number of completed seagoing ships was 240 and that of floating cranes was 663. As a result of the great economic and social crises of the 1980s, Ganz-MÁVAG had to be reorganised. The company was transformed into seven independent Works and three joint ventures.
In 1989, the British company Telfos Holdings gained a majority of the shares in Ganz Railway Vehicle Factory Co. Ltd. and the name of the company was changed to Ganz-Hunslet Co. Ltd. In the course of 1991 and 1992, the Austrian company Jenbacher Werke obtained 100% of the company's shares and consequently the railway vehicle factory is now a member of the international railway vehicle manufacturing group, Jenbacher Transport Systeme. At present, the Ganz Electric Works, under the name of Ganz-Ansaldo is a member of the Italian industrial giant, AnsaldoBreda. The Ganz Works were transformed into holdings. Ganz-Danubius was wound up in 1994. The Ganz Electric Meter Factory in Gödöll? became the member of the international Schlumberger group.
In 2006, the power transmission and distribution sectors of Ganz Transelektro were acquired by Crompton Greaves, but still doing business under the Ganz brand name, while the unit dealing with electric traction (propulsion and control systems for electric vehicles) was acquired by ?koda Transportation and is now a part of ?koda Electric.
Now the plant is operated by a new investor as a tenant, Ganz Transformer Motor and Manufacturing Ltd., after the previous owner was unable to finance the production. 
1991: Joint Venture with Italian Ansaldo named Ganz Ansaldo Ltd.
1994: Air-cooled turbogenerator from 20 up to 70MVA
1998: Development of double-cage induction motor for twin-drives first on the world
2000: Acquisition by Tranelektro Group under name of Ganz-Transelektro
2001: Developed 1MW ExN Non-sparking gasturbine starter motors for GE
2002: First transformer in the world for 123 kV with ester liquid
2006: Became a Part of Crompton Greaves Ltd as CG Electric Systerms Hungary
2010: Start of manufacturing Safety Class 3&4 motors for Nuclear Power Plants
2018: Developing VFD-driven Increased Safety LVAC motors for driving OEM pumps used in Oil&gas fields
2020: Establishment of Ganz Transformer Motor and Generator Ltd., Ganz brand back in Hungarian ownership
The Transformer division specializes in the design, manufacture and testing of substation transformers, generation transformers, auxiliary transformers, mobile transformers and traction transformers from 20 to 600 MVA (1000 MVA for autotransformers) from 52 to 800 kV.
Rotating machines division
The production of three-phase, alternating current induction motors began in the factory in 1894. Through the 90's Ganz has developed more advanced motors with decreased total weight, increased efficiency and low noise levels in order to satisfy the actual needs of the market and all conditions of the industrial application and to conform to IEC, NEMA, ATEX and EAC standards.
GIS Service Division
GIS Service division performs onsite works like maintenance, inspection, modification, overhaul, extensions on former GANZ and other brands of switchgears. The activity is mainly focused on the existing substations and equipment.