Graphite - the basis of our company

The buzzword “Industry 4.0” can only be understood with a look at the development of the past 180 years. This also applies to the company EST Andrä Grafittechnik Gmbh, whose company history begins in the 1920s.

Around 180 years ago, the Industrial Revolution reached Germany. The starting point was England, and with this revolution in all branches of industry began a period of awakening, change, transformation.

In 1800, Alessandro Volta discovered the electric current; a year later, Sir Humphrey Davy described the electric arc between two charcoal electrodes as a light source. In 1848, French physicist Jean Bernard Léon Foucault introduces a working arc lamp. This was the birth of the graphite industry, so to speak. For it was the arc lamp that required carbon electrodes or – as it was then called – carbon tips for its operation.

From these beginnings, carbon applications developed in rapid succession and for various purposes. They all owe their potential applications essentially to the properties of temperature and chemical resistance as well as electrical conductivity. The combination of all properties was the basis for the production of components for iron and electric steel production. Electrical conductivity and chemical resistance gave rise to electrodes for chemical electrolysis. The chemical industry used the combination of chemical resistance and thermal conductivity to manufacture the components they needed.

Initially, only fired electrodes were used for the above-mentioned applications. In the early 1890s, the American Edward G. Acheson developed a process for graphitizing, which he registered for a patent in the USA in 1896. He recognized that carbon transforms into graphite at temperatures around 2,500°C. European manufacturers were initially skeptical of Acheson’s proprietary graphitization. It was only after the patent expired in 1915 that they began testing graphitization. Because of the undeniable advantages of graphite over atomic carbon, this technology gained acceptance starting in the 1920s.

In addition, there was an increase in the use of electric power, including for lighting purposes. This in turn triggered increased demand for identical incandescent bulbs and festoon lamps in large quantities, for which graphite was also required.

This is where the story of Gustav Eiternick begins. He was a trained modeller and developed molds made of graphite for the production of uniform glasses in Ilmenau between 1928 and 1929. These glasses were needed by the industry for the production of soffits. As a result, he named his companyFirst German Workshop for Glassblowing Molds”.

The successor to this “First German Workshop for Glassblowing Molds” is EST Andrä Grafittechnik GmbH, which in turn processes the trend-setting material graphite.

Important milestones in our history


Foundation of the first German workshop for glassblowing molds by Gustav Eiternick


The first Ilmenau industrial estate "Auf dem Steine" is developed; Construction and occupation of the new company building


Modern CNC technology finds its way into production


Member of the Initiatoren AG group of companies for investments





We train as toolmakers and machining mechanics

We are a training company and are happy to pass on our enthusiasm for graphite as a material.

Main areas of activity:

Production: We manufacture components with the greatest possible precision.

Machines: We work with conventional and computer-controlled machine tools.

Process: We use deforming processes, such as drilling, turning, milling or grinding.

Other activities:

YourPlan manufacturing strategies; review production quality.

Requirement Profile:

You have completed the 10th grade.

You bring manual dexterity, logical thinking and spatial awareness. You also have a good knowledge of geometry and mathematics.

You are physically resilient and enjoy making decisions.


You think in a structured and planned manner, have an interest in technology and an awareness of costs. You like to get involved and enjoy your job.

If all of this applies to you, we look forward to talking with you!



Authorized signatory:
Mr. Stefan Andrä

Internal Sales:

EST Andrä Grafittechnik GmbH
Stefan Andrä
On the stones 3

98693 Ilmenau

Tel.: 03677 202431
Mobile: 0172-7958628

Our office hours:
Monday to Friday 7:00 to 14:00 and by appointment

Receipt / issue of goods:
Monday to Friday 7:00 to 14:00 and by appointment