Leister – Milestones on the way to success

Founding years

1949 - 1959

Karl Leister, 1992
Karl Leister, 1992
  • 1949
  • Karl Leister founded "Karl Leister Elektro-Gerätebau" in Solingen, Germany as a sole proprietorship.
  • 1950
  • The first product: Hand-held vacuum cleaner Leister FIX W200.
  • Production with three employees in the basement of his parent's home.
  • 1954
  • Karl Leister invents the Leister KOMBI, a hot air tool for welding thermoplastics.
  • First production building in Solingen.
  • 1959
  • First Leister trade show booth at the international plastics trade fair 'K' in Dusseldorf, Germany.
  • 1949 - 59 
  • Expansion of sales network: ten countries in Europe and Australia.

First steps in Switzerland

1963 - 1993

  • 1963
  • Opening of branch office in Kaegiswil/Obwalden, Switzerland with four employees; 30 employees in Solingen.
  • 1966
  • New production building in Kaegiswil, Switzerland, with 50 employees.
  • 1967
  • New product line for Process Heat: Air heater with blower.
  • 1960 - 69
  • Expansion of sales network in six countries in Europe as well as the USA, Canada, South Africa, Israel and Japan.

Leister becomes a Swiss company

1970 - 1979

  • 1970
  • New production in Solingen, Germany with 45 employees.
  • 1971
  • First production expansion in Kaegiswil.
  • 1977
  • All business activities moved from Solingen to Kaegiswil.

  • Second production expansion in Kaegiswil.

  • Production in Solingen is shut down.

  • The "Karl Leister Elektro-Gerätebau" company now has its new location in Switzerland with 100 employees.
  • 1979
  • Own motor production founded.

Leister History - The Leister HOTWIND, 1971
Leister HOTWIND, 1971

Growth and expansion

1980 - 1989

  • 1980
  • A historical farm house is turned into offices on the production areal in Kaegiswil.

  • 150 employees
  • 1984 - 89
  • Third and fourth production expansions in Kaegiswil.

  • 200 employees
  • 1980 - 89
  • Expansion of sales network in 17 countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Emergence into new business activities

1992 - 1999

Christiane Leister
Christiane Leister
  • 1992
  • Last production expansion in Kaegiswil.

  • 220 employees

  • Sales and service centers with sales partners in 41 countries.
  • 1993
  • Christiane Leister takes over control of the company and the executive management as successor.
  • 1997
  • New product line "Weldy": Hot-air blowers for DIY and private label customers.
  • 1998
  • New business activities Axetris: Gas sensors and micro-optics.
  • Acquisition of "Lemantech SA", a start-up company from the EPFL, Lausanne, as an entry into micro-technology. 
    More history about Axetris

  • New Leister product line: Laser systems for welding plastics. 
    Product portfolio Laser Plastic Welding

  • New company building with high-bay warehouse in Sarnen/Obwalden, Switzerland.
  •  1999
  • Integrated clean room for Axetris in Kaegiswil production building.

  • Leister Technologies GmbH Germany.

  • 290 employees

Leister travelling to other continents

2000 - 2009

  • 2000
  • Leister Technologies LLC, USA
  • 2004
  • Leister Technologies Ltd., Shanghai, China

  • Production for Weldy hot-air tools for Do-It-Yourself and private labels moves from Switzerland to China.
    More history about Leister China.
  • 2007
  • Acquisition of "IR Microsystems SA" to expand Axetris product portfolio.
  • 2008
  • Acquisition of a representative industrial building in Kaegiswil on the Galileo-Strasse. The "Cockpit" becomes the new company headquarters.
  • 2009
  • Leister Technologies KK, Japan.

From separate companies to consortium

2011 - 2014

  • 2011
  • The separate companies, Leister Process Technologies with the business units of Leister and Axetris and the Leister subsidiaries abroad are transformed into a corporate structure.

  • Leister AG becomes the holding company for the Leister Group.

  • 500 employees
  • 2012
  • Leister Technologies Pvt. Ltd., India
  • 2013
  • Leister Technologies Benelux Ltd. with locations in the Netherlands and Belgium

  • Leister Technologies Italy S.r.l., Italy

  • Weldy AG, Kaegiswil: global distribution for Weldy products under the do-it-yourself and private labels.
  • 2014
  • Acquisition of "Seamtek LLC, USA" to expand the Leister product portfolio with welders for film welding.

  • 620 employees

Leister SEAMTEK 36
Leister SEAMTEK 36, 2014
Leister History - production with three employees in the basement of Karl Leister's parental home (1950)
Production with three employees in the basement of Karl Leister's parental home (1950)
Leister History - the first production building in Solingen, Germany, 1954
First production building in Solingen, Germany (1954)
Leister History - the first automatic Leister welder - the TRANSPORTER, 1959
The first automatic welder - the Leister TRANSPORTER (1959)
Leister History - The "Leister Family" (1963)
The "Leister Family" (1963)
Leister History - the first floor welder
The first floor welder
Leister History - Leister production building in Kaegiswil, Obwalden (1966)
Leister production building in Kaegiswil, Obwalden (1966)
Leister History - plastics trade show in Japan
Plastics trade show in Japan