The entrepreneurial success of Werner Ricardo Voigt, Eggon João da Silva and Geraldo Werninghaus began on September 16th., 1961, when the three decided to found Eletromotores Jaraguá. Years later, the company created by an electrician, a manager and a mechanic would change its name to Eletromotores WEG SA. The name is made of the initials of the three founders.
Success has always been a part of the company's history. As Latin America's largest electric motor manufacturer and one of the world's largest, WEG specializes in branches such as command and protection, speed variation, industrial process automation, power generation and distribution and industrial paints and varnishes.
In Brazil WEG is headquartered and has its main manufacturing units in Jaraguá do Sul, state of Santa Catarina. In the same state are located several other production sites, in Blumenau, Itajaí, Guaramirim e Joaçaba. Other plants in Brazil are located in the states of Rio Grande do Sul (Gravataí), São Paulo (São Paulo, São Bernardo do Campo and Hortolândia), Espírito Santo (Linhares) and Amazonas (Manaus). Outside Brazil WEG has manufacturing units in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, USA, Austria, Spain, Germany, South Africa, Portugal, China and India, and distribution & commercialization units in the USA, Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Germany, England, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Australia, Japan, Singapore, India, Russia and UAE.
Initially manufacturing electric motors, WEG started to diversify during the 80's with the production of electronic components, industrial automation products, power and distribution transformers, liquid and powdered paints and insulating varnishes. More and more, the company is consolidating herself not only as a electric motor manufacturer, but also as a supplier of complete industrial electrical systems.
Born on September 8th., 1930, descendant of german immigrants from the Düsseldorf region, Werner Ricardo Voigt had always electricity in his mind. Ever since a boy, Werner knew that cables, dynamos, generators and coils would be a part of his life. As a six-year old boy he already was showing his inclination towards electricty by building complete sawmill scale models.
During his childhood, Werner also was introduced to the pleasures of reading through his grandfather, a professor and constructor, who received countless technical books and magazines from Germany. Another master who had great influence in his formation was Purnhagen, an eletrician and musician who professionally oriented him technically and artistically from age 14, and thus he also became a versed clarinet player.
As a teenager he went to live in Joinville, studying at SENAI and working at Werner Strohmeyer's workshop.
When he was 18 years old, he was drawn in to serve the Army in Curitiba/PR. After military service, he managed to be one of two selected soldiers to attend the Escola Técnica Federal, where he specialized in radiotelegraphy and electronics.
After returning to Joinville he finds a job at Empresul, a power distribution company, working there for two years. At 23, he works at the workshop of "Kanning & Weber". However in September 1953, Werner starts his own business by setting up a small workshop in downtown Jaraguá do Sul.
The workshop progressed, offering general services to residences and farms throughout the whole county. Aside from that, Werner was almost the only one who could provide maintenance services to the couple of dozen motorized vehicles circulating in Jaraguá and surroundings at that time.
He assembled radios and turntables, manufactured and installed generators, winded coils, guided the installation of water mills - in other words, Werner's workshop practically covered every need in that region. And work continued to increase, so he hired more employees. In 1961, the workshop had eight employees.
Born in 1929 in what today is known as the county of Schröeder in northern Santa Catarina, Eggon João da Silva started working early as he was 13 as a "utility man" at a registry in Jaraguá do Sul. In 1957, after having worked 14 years for the state bank, he became partner of the João Wiest & Cia. Ltda. company, specialized in producing exhaust pipes for vehicles, then with 8 employees. Four years later, Eggon quits the company which already grew to 150 employees to face the biggest challenge of his career.
In April 1961, together with Werner Ricardo Voigt and Geraldo Werninghaus, he founds WEG, which at that time was manufacturing electric motors only. Eggon had direct influence on the fate of the company until 1989, taking her to being one of the branch's largest with an outstanding participation in the national and international market.
Starting with electric motors, WEG begins to diversify its production line by manufacturing complete industrial electric systems including generators, transformers, components and industrial automation systems.
But Eggon João da Silva's career is not only linked to WEG. This businessman was member of the board of four big companies - Oxford, Tigre, Marisol, and Perdigão, being the latter's CEO between 1994 and 1995 where he accomplished the tough mission of the company's financial recovery. After that period he was the chairman of the administrative board until 2007, when he passed over his post to his son Décio da Silva.
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Native from Rio do Sul (SC), Geraldo Werninghaus started his professional career at Werninghaus & Sons, his father's workshop in Joinville. At age 14 and as an apprentice, the universe of lathes, routers, grease and cleansing wool rags were already part of his everyday life. Raised according to rigid german discipline standards with strong fatherly influence and two generations dedicated to the same craft, he discovered very early that he had the same talent.
From age 14 to 27, Geraldo Werninghaus taught himself the secrects of mechanics and even took jobs away from his father's watchful eye. He had worked in Blumenau, at Indústrias Vahldick. He served the army in 1951 in Blumenau. When he was 20, he returned to work with his father in Joinville.
He left Werninghaus & Sons in 1961 to found WEG in Jaraguá do Sul, together with his partners Werner Ricardo Voigt and Eggon João da Silva. He actively participated in the company's growth, contributing to turning her into a reference company in Brazil.
Fully dedicated to work and community, and after leaving his executive duties at WEG becoming a member of the Administration Board in 1989, Geraldo started a new and promising political career of his own. He became councilman, state deputy and finally mayor of Jaraguá do Sul, his office term ending only in December 31st., 2000.