The History of Renner Action
A Brief History-Renner The inventor of the much-relied-upon Renner piano action was Louis Renner. He began producing piano actions on a very small scale in October of 1882. At that time, action manufacture centered around hand crafted production. The history of the Renner Company is intertwined with German piano production and increasing specialization in piano making. When the company moved into a new factory building in 1902, Renner employed a Staff of 35. By 1911, the total had risen to 100, and a new wing had to be added to the plant. In addition, since 1906, Renner had also been producing hammers as well as actions. Production became increasingly mechanized. Only the most important production stages required skilled craftsmanship, although careful quality control guaranteed a superior product. The number of employees had risen to 175 by the First World War. Labor-saving methods were developed as new machinery became available. Hundreds of electric motors drove specialized production lines, and grand pianos actions were being manufactured as well.
All action production was now performed under one roof. Labor-intensive Manufacture The number of employees rose to 400 in the 1920s and 1930s, and the plant covered 5,000 square meters. A resident steam turbine power plant produced 410 hp to light the plant and to power about 300 motors running the individual machines. The complexity of action production is particularly apparent when considering that 5,700 sections and small parts, springs and strips must be assembled for one single piano action. It is scarcely possible to enumerate the number of motions and work stages leading to the end product. Renner is a typical example of German precision industry as recognized throughout the industrial world. The most modern machinery ensures the highest possible standard of precision and the reliability of the individual sections. The Renner factory was almost completely destroyed in 1944. However, by 1948, the company was once again producing piano actions, initially for Germany and later internationally, as piano manufacturers abroad relied once again on Renner. Expansion was necessary in 1960 and again in 1974, when a new plant was opened in Odenheim, where the entire processing of raw wood, the hammer glue works and other pre-assembly sections are now located. The major wood storage yard at Renner holds more than 2,000 cubic meters of wood. In 1991 Renner opened a third plant in Zeitz near Leipzig where their upright action manufacturing plant stands today.
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