1906

Paul Kilian started the family business as a carpet manufacturer in Hamburg. Woollen carpets were embroidered according to oriental templates. Many of these carpets still exist in villas in Hamburg.

1925

The first production of mono-coloured lacquered and stamped aluminium signs begins under the leadership of Fritz Kilian.

1937

The erection of a new manufacturing plant in Hamburg-Langenhorn on a 6000 m² site near the subway station.
First production of signs for aircraft and road vehicles.

1945

The carpet production had to cease, due to scarcity of wool. An intermediate solution was found in the packaging
of parts for the mining and oil industries.
From 1947 there was a rash improvement in contracts for the supply of signs for the newly established
businesses in all industrial branches. The machine park was modernised and the serial production of signs began.

 

1955

Fritz-Uwe Kilian enters the business and concentrates on the production of machine signs of higher value, made of stainless steel and brass in large series.

 

1958

Screen printing was introduced together with the handling of special foils for products of high value – self-adhesive signs for apparatus, aeronautic construction, vehicles, offices and advertising.

 

1960

The takeover of the metal etching business of Rolf Nitschmann in Hamburg-Langenhorn is complete.

 

1965

The connection to the communal canalisation is completed and a waste water treatment plant is installed.

1977

Automatisation of the processes of chemical-milling (etching on both sides at once) in modern automated baths
under the avoidance of damage to the environment and consideration for natural resources.

1979

Restructuring and start of the usage of non-combustable solvents after a fire.

 

1982

Wolf-Uwe Kilian joined the management of the business. Introduction of a system for recycling of waste and environment management.

1986

Use of environmentally damaging solvents such as TRI and PER are totally discontinued (within the framework of a research project) and they are replaced by esters of natural vegetable oils.

 

1989

Extension of the production plant by 40%.

1990

CNC-Processing of metals – punching and cutting with semi- and fully automatic machines.

 

1996

Voluntary cleaning of ground water and air at ground level.

 

2000

Installation of digital printing facility as well as laser engraving.

2004

Installation of a water de-ionisations plant to prevent residues on the surfaces of the finished products.

 

2005

First receipt of certification according to DIN EN ISO 9001:2008.

2007

Takeover of the sign making Austrian company Häusermann.

 

2010

Introduction of a Customer-Relationship-Management software system.

 

2011

Alexander Kilian enters the business.

2012

Permanent participation of the employees in the profits of the company.

 

2013

Finalisation of the water and earth sanitisation.

Introduction of the in-house production software.

Merger with Engravotex Nameplates Limited in England.

2014

Acquisition of the first waterjet cutting machine.

2015

Introducing an ecological method to remove color and resist in the preparation of industrial signs. The operation of the innovative machine for ecologically sign production has been started in May 2015. The result of this environmentally-friendly plan is to replace the old and used process technology with a newer, ecologically harmless and effective technology. With this innovation multiple positive effects are achieved: The water consumption is strongly reduced, the solvents that are damaging to workers and the environment are replaced and thus a Carbon dioxide reduction is achieved. With the old and conventional method, the removing of Color and Resist with organic solvents occurred, which count to the escaping organic connections (VOC) and thus lead to emissions. Multiple sub-processes, like the purification (cleaning) were still conducted manually with cleaning towels and e. g. with cleaning-gasoline or products containing alcohol. The water consumption of the 3-stage cleaning (plate-cleaning, high-pressure cleaning and final rinse) was between 600 and 1000 liters per hour. The new machine automatically runs the color and resist – stripper (single processes), the decreasing, the rinse and the drying. The color and resist – stripper uses methyl esters of the rape (seed) oil (renewable resources) as a stripper resource in combination with a recycling ester (dibasic ester). The recycling ester is won from the waste of Nylon production. The succeeding decrease is established at 50 to 60 degrees Celsius in warm water without any chemical resources/products. The stripper materials that swim up are separated with a special oil-skimmer (removing apparatus). Warm water without any cleaning products added is used as well for the cleaning and rinse. Non-abrasive brushes (rolls) support the stripper operation. The flushes, which have a cascade connection allow for a four time use of the rinse water. The final manual cleaning method thus is discontinued. The new technology is able to reduce the water consumption to 100 to 200 liters per hour, in addition 1 ton of generic solvents are being kept from using. The degree of automation has many additional effects on the environment, such as saving of heat energy, lowering the demand of electricity and the reduction of the internal transport routes. Thus a connected decline of 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions has been calculated.

2016

01.01.2016: Retirement of Fritz-Uwe Kilian (second generation). Wolf-Uwe Kilian becomes proprietor.

11.11.2016: Alexander Kilian becomes registered manager with statutory authority.

2017