KAESER KOMPRESSOREN – company history

Carl Kaeser opened his machine shop in 1919. Today KAESER is a highly successful global supplier of compressors and compressed air systems that remains true to its roots.

Kaeser engineering workshop on Hahnweg in Coburg.
KAESER's birthplace in Coburg, Germany

1919 – Carl Kaeser Sr. establishes KAESER.

Carl Kaeser Sr. established the company as a machine shop on June 27, 1919. He started out by manufacturing spare parts for motor vehicles and engines, especially gears, and later branched out to special equipment for the glass making industry. Within a few years the company employed 150 people.

1948 – The company produces its first reciprocating compressor.

Through the division of Germany after the Second World War, KAESER is cut off from a large portion of its original market in the state of Thuringia and is forced to pursue business in new markets in southern and western Germany. A decision that was to shape the company's future: KAESER's expertise in engine manufacturing, coupled with strong demand for compressors in the post-war economy results in compressors being added to the product range.

The first reciprocating compressor developed by KAESER is shipped in 1948. Within a few years the company's reciprocating compressor programme covers the full range up to 60 kW.

The first Kaeser compressor.
The first KAESER K30-30 compressor
The first Kaeser compressor.
The first KAESER SIGMA-profile screw compressor

1973 – KAESER produces its first screw compressor.

Carl Kaeser Jr., the founder's son, takes the initiative for the company's next strategic departure: the development of screw compressors. The heart of every Kaeser screw compressor is the proprietary screw compressor block with a new energy-saving rotor profile – the SIGMA profile. Manufacturing of the new screw compressors begins in 1973. Over the coming years, KAESER KOMPRESSOREN takes its place alongside the world's global manufacturers of screw compressors.

1978 – KAESER embarks on its international expansion.

The opening of the first subsidiary in Switzerland is the first step towards building an international sales and service organisation.

1982 – KAESER launches the MOBILAIR product line.

Following the take-over of Compresseurs Bernard in France, KAESER develops Mobilair, a range of mobile screw compressors for the construction industry, with manufacturing operations in Lyon, France.

MOBILAIR plant in Lyon.
Mobile compressor plant in Lyon, France.

1985 – Thomas Kaeser, the founder's grandson, assumes duties as the managing partner, initially

working alongside his father. From 2009 onward he has sole responsibility for the company's development, and is particularly active in pursuing the internationalisation of the business begun in the late 1970s.

1991 – KAESER develops the OMEGA rotary lobe blower.

Measuring an Omega rotor in Gera
Calibration of an OMEGA rotary lobe in Gera.

KAESER acquires Geraer Kompressorenwerke, one of Germany's oldest compressor makers, and develops the OMEGA range of rotary lobe blowers. Manufacturing starts in Gera in 1993.

1994 – KAESER develops the SECOTEC refrigeration dryer.

With SECOTEC, KAESER develops a completely new line of energy-saving refrigeration dryers. In 1994, Germany's most advanced manufacturing facility for refrigeration dryers goes into operation in Gera.

1998 – KAESER develops the SIGMA CONTROL compressor controller.

KAESER launches the revolutionary SIGMA CONTROL compressor controller. This in-house development, based on industrial PC technology, reduces life cycle costs and further improves equipment availability. It has been integrated into KAESER screw compressors since 1998.

2001 – KAESER develops the SIGMA AIR MANAGER.

Following the successful launch of SIGMA CONTROL, KAESER completes the "computerisation" of the entire compressed air station: With the innovative SIGMA AIR MANAGER, the combined benefits of a state-of-the-art industrial computer and high-speed networking are brought to the world of compressed air technology for the first time. This paves the way to further gains in dependability, efficiency and cost transparency in the compressed air supply.

The SIGMA AIR MANAGER compressed air management system was introduced in 2001.
An innovative compressed air management system: the SIGMA AIR MANAGER

2002 – KAESER opens a second plant for construction compressors.

The new manufacturing centre for construction compressors (the MOBILAIR plant) opens in Coburg, Germany, in the spring. KAESER now has a second state-of-the-art construction compressor plant.

The Gera plant celebrates its 125th anniversary. Opened in 1877 by Heinrich Leo as a workshop with a foundry, turning shop and metalworking shop, it became the first compressor manufacturing plant in 1890. As Leo-Kompressoren, by 1945 it was Germany's leading compressor manufacturer, with a 70% market share.

The automated parts warehouse in the KAESER Distribution Centre.
New production centre for construction compressors in Coburg

2004 – KAESER opens new centres for product development and distribution.

The year begins with the official opening of a new product development centre in Coburg, providing an excellent working environment for development engineers. On hand for the occasion, managing director Thomas Kaeser said, "Our goal is the rapid launch of even more innovative products geared to customer needs than before."

KAESER KOMPRESSOREN revolutionises its logistics throughout the company. Core elements of the innovative system are a new, fully automated high bay warehouse and a new distribution centre. Apart from creating conditions for continued growth in production, KAESER expects the new facilities to deliver a zero error quota, improved on-time delivery rates, and thus greater customer satisfaction.

2008 - KAESER sheet metal plant opens in Sonnefeld.

The Sonnefeld plant goes into operation at the beginning of the year. The nearly 100 employees there manufacture sheet metal components for screw compressor enclosures.

2009 – Senior partner Carl Kaeser Jr. dies in July at the age of 95.

The visionary owner, manager and developer thus lived to see the company rise to become a global player – an achievement for which his ideas laid the groundwork.

2012 – Thomas Kaeser is awarded the State Medal for outstanding contributions to the Bavarian economy.

Thomas Kaeser was awarded the State Medal for outstanding service to the Bavarian economy.
Thomas Kaeser at the State Medal award ceremony

The company has more than 4,400 employees worldwide, including about 1,900 in Germany. 

2013 – KAESER is incorporated as a European stock company.

April: The newly developed SECOTEC TF 340 energy saving dryer is selected as a finalist for the prestigious Hermes Award, conferred by the Hanover Trade Fair in recognition of innovative technologies. With its innovative thermal storage system, the new dryer achieves energy savings of up to 70% as compared to conventional dryers.

October: Ground breaking ceremony for a new research and development centre at the Gera manufacturing site. Excellence in innovation plays a major role. A steady stream of innovations keeps KAESER KOMPRESSOREN at the forefront in compressed air drying technology – and in other areas.

November: Re-incorporation as a "Societas Europaea" (SE) – a European stock company – KAESER KOMPRESSOREN is a further step in the company's international strategy. A family company with strong German roots, at home all over the world, and offering uncompromising "made in Germany" quality. The Executive Board comprises the chairman, Thomas Kaeser, and Tina-Maria Vlantoussi-Kaeser, who are both industrial engineers by training.

2014 – KAESER expands its Coburg operations.

Ground breaking ceremony for two new manufacturing halls and another administration building in Coburg.

2015 – KAESER achieves growth worldwide.

In 2015 the company has more than 5,000 employees around the world.