Leading Australian commercial door opener specialist Grifco is celebrating 100 years of manufacturing and innovation this year. Achieving this milestone is particularly special, considering the steady decline of manufacturing in Australia over the past 50 years with many businesses taking production offshore.

For over a century, Grifco has been providing reliable and high-quality products that perform a range of important tasks throughout the country, including the raising of the flag each day on Sydney’s ANZAC Bridge and the 120 emergency fire door openers installed throughout the Olympic Stadium during the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Grifco is today at the forefront of innovation for commercial door openers and specialised winches used in the farming, greenhouse and poultry industries.

Started as a family-owned business by electrical and mechanical engineer, Charles Henry Griffith in 1914, Grifco had an early break with a contract to convert Sydney’s gas lights to electric bulbs. In addition to electrical contracting work, which continued up until the early 1950s, Grifco also carried out commercial and domestic motor rewinds and general electrical service work that required engineering.

Following Charles Griffith’s retirement during the 1950s, his son Leonard Griffith took over the management of the company along with Reginald Turner and Morton Onslow Nicholson. Due to health concerns, Leonard and Reginald both sold out to Morton, and in 1956 the company was incorporated as Charles H. Griffith & Co Pty Ltd.

Grifco developed the first roller shutter opener in the late 1950s, weighing a whopping 40 kilograms. Morton then commenced the production of commercial can openers and screw-top tighteners for jars and bottles, before moving into the production of sirens for the Armed Services, Fire Brigade, Ambulance and Police.

Grifco introduced its first lightweight and compact commercial door opener known as the MD58 in 1986. Poultry shed automation products were also introduced in the 1990s, as were many other product lines, such as fire door openers, flameproof openers, pallet turntables, slipway winches, control stations, sprockets, chains and other hardware.

Grifco began development of the next generation commercial door opener in 2003. One of the first electronic limit based commercial door openers in the world, the new product was targeted for entry into overseas markets, particularly North America. Launched in 2005, it has evolved into the eDrive + 2.0 that dominates the Australian market today.

In 2006, in a major industry move, Grifco was acquired by The Chamberlain Group, the world's largest manufacturer of residential garage door openers, commercial door openers, residential and commercial gate openers and related access control products.

Grifco currently has 57 employees including former owner, Scott Nicholson, who has now been with the company for 25 years.

Chamberlain has more than 30 years of experience in Australia and New Zealand and offers the very latest in safety and security products.