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
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
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
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.