From the kitchen table to the global market: the facility in Neutraubling

Once upon a time there was a small house in Berliner Strasse, in the Bavarian town of Neutraubling. In it dwelt a family that meanwhile is widely renowned. Because this family (together with a whole lot of very hard-working staff) is the reason why in the former front garden of this house over the years a globally successful company evolved.

But one thing at a time. In this house, in the early 1950s, lived Hermann Kronseder with his family. He wanted to set up his own business and be self-employed, so that in 1951 he founded a firm called “Workshop for manufacturing electrical machines”. The first machine that was produced shortly afterwards in the simple workshop next to the family home was a semi-automatic labeller – designed and planned on the family’s kitchen table.

At this time, in 1952, the company needed a striking name – after all, Hermann wanted to leave a lasting impression on the market. And thus “Kronseder” was summarily abbreviated to “Krones”, and a “K” with a gear wheel segment was chosen as the trademark. This was well received by the breweries, as indeed were the St 1500 and Piccolo models, which conquered the market for semi-automatic labellers. In fact, Krones’ technologies were so popular that by 1956 the next innovations were unveiled: fully automatic labelling of vertical bottles – a veritable sensation! This meant it was no longer necessary to place the bottles in the machine by hand, which rendered the entire process significantly easier and more effective.

 

But that was not all. Just three years later, the product range was expanded to include packers and unpackers, to be swiftly followed by the Stapelmax, a machine for stacking beverage crates. Nor did the firm rest on its laurels: there was a never-ending stream of new and design-enhanced machines, new technologies and new sales contacts – by 1961, ten years after the company was founded, it was already exporting to customers abroad.

Thus it’s hardly surprising that the kitchen table and the workshop shed soon became too small – the time had come to upsize: after a few years, a larger workshop and some office space were built, so that the company’s premises in the early 1960s looked like the picture below.

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In the photo, the road running across the site is Böhmerwald Strasse, which on the right of the picture is crossed by Berliner Strasse. You can see Hermann Kronseder’s house at the top right, followed on the left by the workshop hall and next to it the white administration building. It wasn’t any bigger back then, the Krones company – only the rectangular site at the intersection of Berliner Strasse and Böhmerwaldstrasse in Neutraubling.

But because more and more markets were being opened up, and more and more machines were being developed, soon enough even that no longer sufficed. In the early 1980s, the plant in Neutraubling was upsized by no less than 3,000 m2, while at the same time Hermann Kronseder Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co KG became a stock corporation called Krones AG.

1996 again saw some significant changes: Volker Kronseder, the eldest son of the company’s founder, took over as Chairman of the Executive Board in what was meanwhile an internationally operating conglomerate. And in the very same year Krones AG discovered the internet as a new option for corporate communication.

The picture taken in 2007 provides a more recent view of the company’s premises – including the halls of the assembly centre for fillers, built in 2006. The first section of the new main building, completed in 2008, was still under construction then, and work on the second section had not yet begun. The entire building was then finally completed in October 2010.

Here, too Berliner Strasse runs through the picture from the bottom to the top right, crossing Böhmerwaldstrasse in front of the rounded yellow building. Parts of both these streets, however, are located behind the gate, and form part of the company’s own premises.

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The facility in Neutraubling currently houses not only the main administration building plus pilot plants for fillers and labellers, but also the design department, sales, and assembly halls for machines and lines tasked with product filling and dressing, together with the process technology unit for soft drinks and milk.

So the facility in the west of Neutraubling has seen quite a few changes. But while the company’s logo, its payroll and the size of the plant have altered some things have remained the same: like our firm conviction that every problem can be solved, our rigorous commitment to maximised precision down to the tiniest detail, our universally embraced customer-responsiveness, and last but not least the hands-on get-things-done mindset shared by all our people. All combining as the distilled quintessence of Krones’ corporate identity.

But there’s far, far more to Krones AG than Neutraubling, of course. Which is why in the weeks and months ahead we shall also be reporting on various other facilities – you think your own would also be worth a story? Then just let us know!