The history of Kilian begins in 1925 as a metal etching plant. The first brass signs are produced for SHELL, metal signs made of aluminum are made and painted or embossed. In 1937, the company moved to its current headquarters in Langenhorn. In the 1950s, the first large-scale production of aircraft and vehicles laid the foundation for the successful expansion of the plant. By taking over metal etching plants, introducing the screen printing process and constantly modernizing the machine park, Kilian made a name for itself in the early 1970s for quality production, including sophisticated products such as self-adhesive signs for appliances, vehicles, the office industry and advertising. Since the 1970s, Kilian has committed itself to increasingly relying on environmentally friendly production and materials. Environmentally harmful solvents are replaced with natural vegetable oil esters. CNC metalworking was introduced in the early 1990s, followed shortly afterwards by digital printing and laser engraving. Today, Kilian Industrieschilder is well positioned for the future with its modern machine park. Success and history are shaped in particular by the people and the corporate culture. On behalf of the employees, we present 3 special employees and their career and tasks with us.
Mr. Alexander Kilian is the son of the managing director Wolf-Uwe Kilian and has been working in the family business since 2011. He familiarized himself extensively with the production processes in all departments and took over production management from 2014.
"Alex" is a true qualification package - as a quality management, energy management, environmental management and occupational safety officer, as well as a specialist for production and process management, he covers a wide range of skills.
As a future CEO, this makes sense. In preparation for the takeover of the company, he spends more and more time with the business processes themselves. Nevertheless, his heart always beats for the increasing digitization and automation of processes, as well as for the increasing work-life balance of the employees.
Jan Peter – or “JP”, as most people simply call him – has been personal friends with Alexander Kilian since the fifth grade and is therefore part of the family. After graduating from high school and a detour to the German Armed Forces, he trained as an IT specialist before starting to work as an office supporter at Kilian in 2013. Eventually, the challenges of digitization in the company increased, and JP found his mission: the automation of processes. Since then, the in-house software "KPAX" has been the realm of JP. It is rumored that he knows every line of code by heart...
Mr. Thomas Brandt has been with us in electroplating since 2007.
From the beginning, the trained stamp maker took care of the removal of etching masks and varnish layers from the varnished metal sheets. No machine is used for this, but the excess residue bloated by black bio-oil is pushed off the material by hand with a squeegee.
This dirty, physically demanding and smelly work is not for everyone. Many assistants have already refused this activity.
So what drives Mr. Brandt to do this work with passion for 15 years? Is it the constant disco music blasting out of the department?
No - "It's the result," he says. "When the material flashes clean but the layer of paint is undamaged, then I can see that I've done my job better than a machine can do. That's just amazing!”