German steel enamel bathroom manufacturer Kaldewei is celebrating its centennial year from its origins as a tinware factory established in 1918 by plumber Franz Kaldewei.
The Ahlen-based business made enamelled household and kitchen items, as well as milk cans and dairy equipment.
In the early 1930s, the company focused upon the bathroom and made its first bathtub in 1934 made up of several parts welded together.
Seven years later, Franz Kaldewei invested in a power-driven press to expand production capacity from 20 to 250 bathtubs a day.
It was in 1957 that is opened two hydraulic bath presses, to draw a tub from a single piece of steel, and to meet demand from Germany at the end of the decade and during the 1960s.
According to Kaldewei, it became Germany’s first bathroom company to use robotic production in 1972 and commission the most powerful press line for bathtubs in 1992.
It was in 2008, the company added shower surfaces and in 2015 it added steel enamel washbasins to its portfolio.
Kaldewei now offers a range of shower surfaces, bathtubs and washbasins that cover over 600 models, including its latest Cayono Duo tub.
Fourth generation of the Kaldewei family, Franz Kaldewei who now runs the business commented: “I have great respect for the achievements of my predecessors. My credo for running the family business is ‘learn from the past in order to shape the future’.
“I am creating fresh momentum in keeping with the times and am focusing on a number of areas such as growing our international presence and providing digitalisation tools.”