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 workshop on the 27th of June, 1919. He started out by manufacturing spare parts for motor vehicles and engines, especially gears, and later branched out to specialized equipment for the glass making industry. Within a short few years the company employed 150 people.

1948 – The company produces its first reciprocating compressor.

As a result of the division of Germany following 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 program covers the full range up to 80 hp.

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 rotary screw compressor.

Carl Kaeser Jr., the founder's son, takes the initiative for the company's next strategic departure: the development of rotary screw compressors. The heart of every KAESER rotary screw compressor is the proprietary rotary screw airend featuring a new energy-saving rotor profile – the SIGMA Profile. Manufacture of the new rotary screw compressors begins in 1973. Over the following years, KAESER KOMPRESSOREN takes its place alongside the world's leading manufacturers of rotary 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 organization.

1982 – KAESER launches the MOBILAIR product line.

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

MOBILAIR plant in Lyon.
Plant in Lyon, France, for portable compressor production

1982 — Kaeser USA headquarters opens

Kaeser USA building in the 1980s
Kaeser USA building in Fredericksburg, VA in the early 1980s

Kaeser Compressors, Inc. the U.S. affiliate of KAESER KOMPRESSOREN, opened its headquarters in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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

Thomas Kaeser initially worked alongside his father, but since 2009 he has had sole responsibility for the company's development, and is particularly active in pursuing the internationalization of the business that started 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 refrigerated dryer.

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

1994 — Kaeser Compressors, Inc. moves to its new facility.

Kaeser Compressors in Fredericksburg, VA
Kaeser USA headquarters in Fredericksburg, VA

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 the SIGMA CONTROL, KAESER completes the "computerization" 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 engineering for the first time. This paves the way to further gains in compressed air supply dependability, efficiency and cost transparency.

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

2002 – KAESER opens a second plant for portable compressors.

The new manufacturing centre for portable compressors (the MOBILAIR plant) opens in Coburg, Germany, in the spring. KAESER now has a second state-of-the-art portable compressor production 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 German compressor manufacturing plant in 1890. As Leo-Kompressoren, the company became Germany's leading compressor manufacturer by 1945, with a 70% market share.

The automated parts warehouse in the KAESER Distribution Centre.
New production center for portable compressors in Coburg

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

The year begins with the official opening of a new product development center in Coburg, providing an excellent working environment for development engineers. On hand for the occasion, Managing Director Thomas Kaeser said, "Our goal is to develop and deliver innovative products geared to customer needs in ever greater numbers and more quickly than ever before."

KAESER KOMPRESSOREN revolutionizes its logistic processes throughout the company. Core elements of the innovative system are a new, fully automated high rack warehouse and a new distribution center. Aside 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 therefore 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 rotary 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 true global player – an achievement for which his ideas laid the groundwork.

2010 — ENERGY STAR certification

Kaeser Compressors headquarters facility receives its official ENERGY STAR certification.

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 approximately 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 "Hannover Messe" trade Fair in recognition of innovative technologies. With its innovative thermal storage system, the new dryer achieves energy savings of up to 70% compared to conventional dryers.

October: Laying of the foundation stone for a new research and development center at the Gera manufacturing site. Excellence in innovation plays a major role. A steady stream of innovations maintains and extends KAESER KOMPRESSOREN's competitive edge at the forefront of compressed air drying technology – as well as in other areas.

November: With re-incorporation as a "Societas Europaea" (SE) – a European stock company – KAESER KOMPRESSOREN takes a further step in its international strategy. A family company with strong German roots, at home throughout world, and offering uncompromising "Made in Germany" quality. The Executive Board comprises Dipl. Wirtsch.-Ing Thomas Kaeser and Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Ing. Tina-Maria Vlantoussi-Kaeser.

2014 – KAESER products set new standards.

April: Gera celebrates the topping-out ceremony for the new research and development center.

May: KAESER further establishes its forward-thinking Smart Factory initiative by breaking ground for two new production halls at the Coburg site.

June: The innovative SECOTEC dryer is awarded the Gold Award for best product in the USA.

September: Trainees from all over Europe strengthen the company's contingent of young professionals. KAESER created 20 additional positions for international trainees.

The innovative KAESER rotary screw blowers achieve significant energy cost savings and the SIGMA AIR MANAGER 4.0 master controller takes compressed air system management to a whole new level.

2015 – Expansion in Coburg

April: Industrie 4.0 became the focus topic of the "Hannover Messe" trade Fair for the first time, and KAESER participated as a key pioneer of the revolutionary concept.

September: The former youth hostel in the Ketschendorf district of Coburg is converted into a residence for KAESER apprentices from all over the world. Also in September, another foundation stone is laid in Coburg. This time for the research and innovation center, where many new innovations will be conceived.

October: Construction also progresses elsewhere. The topping-out ceremony of the new production halls is celebrated.

2016 - Award for KAESER training

September: Renewed growth in training positions. In order to promote integration and counteract the skills shortage, KAESER creates 20 additional training positions for young people with refugee backgrounds.

December: In recognition of exceptional performance in training, Kaeser wins the national "Training Ace" award. 

The number of employees has grown to approximately 5,500 worldwide.

2017 – The new Kaeser research and innovation center

April: Prestigious visit at the "Hannover Messe" trade fair: Federal Chancellor, Angela Merkel, visits KAESER KOMPRESSOREN and praises the digitization concept and the Industrie 4.0 strategy. KAESER SIGMA SMART AIR also celebrates its première in Hanover. The first service package to offer predictive maintenance. 

September: The research and innovation center is ready and the first employees move in. 

KAESER currently has more than 6,000 employees worldwide.