Past and Future
Over 100 years of uncompromising quality
History of the Klinghammer Group
In 1851 the first asparagus factory was built in Braunschweig, which preserved it’s products in cans. In the years that followed, the number of companies like Klinghammer increased at the same speed as the new industry, canning food and manufacturing cans and relevant equipment.
1894 – Formation
Klinghammer was founded in 1894 by the engineer Julius Klinghammer, in a rented workshop, in order to produce machinery for the upcoming canning industry. Thanks to his determination and entrepreneurial initiative, Julius Klinghammer had already acquired a piece of land by the end of the 19th century, on which to build a workshop and offices.
1900 – International breakthrough
1901 Julius Klinghammer decided to take on the businessman Heinrich Kricheldorff, as his associate. Klinghammer achieved national recognition in 1903 with the construction of seaming machines incorporating a roller system. In 1904 Julius Klinghammer died unexpectedly. After his death the task of managing the business fell on Heinrich Kricheldorff. The development of a semi-automatic flanger, beader and a compound liner saw the very first international breakthrough.
1920 – Ground-breaking developments
In 1919 Heinrich Kricheldorff died, and his son Georg took over the business. A division in the manufacturing range came about as the sister company Herbort, Kricheldorff and Brüster was founded; the latter producing machines for canning factories, whereas the tinplate industry remained in Klinghammer’s hands, enabling the specialisation of manufacturing processes. In 1935 the sister company was liquidated due to management retirement and was re-affiliated to Klinghammer. During the period of specialisation, Klinghammer achieved breakthroughs in, for example, the drive technology of machine tools, making optimum use of machine capacity.
1940 – Turbulent years
On the first of April 1944 Julius Klinghammer celebrated its 50th anniversary. Two world wars and technological progress (change-over from black to tin plate) forced the company to make several radical changes. In addition to reconstruction-work discintinued international business relations were re-established. Georg Klinghammer mastered these difficulties with business acumen, together with his team of employees. During this period, completely new machines left the factory floor at Klinghammer: seamers, sheet feeders and gang slitters, Runde- und Auseckmaschinen were brought to series.
1960 – Expansion of the product range
In 1954 Georg Kricheldorff celebrated his 40th company anniversary, but was torn out of life tragically by a road accident. In 1955 Klinghammer was converted into a limited partnership, businessman Arnulf Kricheldorff and his sister Hildegard Bürig became partners.
In the 50’s it was already clear that the German market would soon reach the point of saturation. In1959 the die flanger model 481 proved to be another breakthrough. The solid construction of Klinghammer machines helped the company towards international acknowledgement. Klinghammer first captured the French market, followed by England, Spain, Belgium, Scandinavia and Africa.
In creating new markets, the need was apparent for the very first time for reconditioned machinery: all of a sudden, Klinghammer machines appeared in locations throughout the world. There was a demand! In 1965 the development of the US-marked followed. At this time the company intensified its strategy of building machines founded on know-how, precision and reliability, their strength lying in their huge flexibility instead of high capacity.
At the beginning of 1966 the automatic horizontal seamer and curler, model HVA 340, was developed and in 1967 the company took over a complete production line for filling machines. Klinghammer developed its own small filling machines as a second pillar in addition to the canmaking section. The line of filling machines was however not developed any further.
1980 – Characterised by rationalisation In 1973 the West German economy entered a phase of rationalisation This process was accompanied by mergers and acquisitions. Whereas more that 400 canmaking companies had existed in Germany in the 50’s, their numbers shrank to 25 in the 80’s. At this time the solder body maker was phased out and replaced by high-capacity welding machines.
Recognition spread as far as Japan, mainly by visiting exhibitions to increase customers’ awareness and through recommendations by word-of-mouth. In the mid 80’s, competition from South-East Asia increased drastically. Copying and offering the equipment for half the price was already a sensitive issue. However, the unique ability of being able to offer interchangeable tools remained Klinghammer’s great strength. To stay competitive Klinghammer expanded the product range by adding service to its product range.
In 1989 Arnulf Kricheldorff handed over the company to his nephew. Under his guidance, emphasis was placed on the internal engineering department; Klinghammer’s new strength became the ability to meet individual customer requirements. Focal points became operational reliability and safety, improvements, new products and fully automated machines. Since 1992 the business is computer-based, optimising internal organisation.
In the years that followed, the existing business strategy was reconsidered. In the past it had been Klinghammer’s philosophy to offer a wide range of products, which were however at the top end of the price range, weakening competitive ability. A fall in the demand of certain machines had been compensated for by the more popular machines, but the increasing concentration of the market and severe competition prompted Klinghammer to a shift of direction. In 1997 the change took place: the focus was now to be exclusively on products and markets with high know-how-potential based on the back end of the production line. “Julius Klinghammer Maschinenfabrik” became “Klinghammer Can Technology”, combining successful engineering with state-of-the-art information technology.
2000 – Line sections from one source
In April 2002 is to extend Klinghammer’s current market share and provide the opportunity to offer a complete, high quality product range in the back end.
2012 Acquisition of Larsen, manufacturer of machines for welding eyelets and handles for cans and pails.
2020 Merger of the three individual companies (Klinghammer, Bertil Ohlsson and Larsen) to form Klinghammer Group GmbH