Milestone 3/10: Gröninger late Sixties
After Alfred Kärcher passed away in 1959 his wife Irene took over. She was a very smart business women and she transformed the Kärcher company into a well known technology brand. Kärcher started acquiring local importers/resellers and in 1969 founded Kärcher Benelux. Gröningers role changed and the management decided to concentrate on reselling Kärcher machinery in the greater Rotterdam area. In 2022 this still is an ongoing business activity.
But Ralph's ideas about technology had already moved away from using and selling just stand-alone machines for professional cleaning. In 1969 he developed from scratch the first fully integrated tank cleaning systems. The tank transport business was booming and tanks were up to that moment cleaned manually using rather simple tools like hoses, water, brushes and soap. The first system specifically aimed for tank cleaning was built for RTT (now Hoyer/Cotac), but was largely an accumulation of cleaning components. The first fully integrated system Ralph designed was built for tank transport company Bos Dordrecht, later acquired by Den Hartogh. 53 years later the original tank cleaning system is still in operation and is now managed by Boasso Global. Ralph was the first to fully integrate all effective parameters for cleaning -temperature, detergent, water pressure and cycle time- into a fully automated system.