History

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From the Leister FIX W200 hand vacuum cleaner to micro-optics and from a sole proprietorship to a group with around 900 employees.

Over it’s 70-year history, the Leister Group has continuously grown into a globally, successful technology group with national companies on three continents. It all began in Germany in 1949 and since 1963 our success story has continued in Switzerland.

Founding Years

1949

  • Karl Leister founded "Karl Leister Elektro-Gerätebau" in Solingen, Germany as a sole proprietorship

1949 - 59

  • Development of distribution network: 10 countries in Europe and Australia

1950

  • Production in the basement of Karl’s parents' house
  • Leister FIX W200 hand-held vacuum cleaner
  • 3 employees

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 'K' trade fair in Duesseldorf, Germany
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The First Step to Switzerland

1960 - 69

  • Expansion of distribution network in six European countries, as well as in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Israel and Japan

1963

  • Opening of branch operation in Kaegiswil, Switzerland
  • 34 employees

1966

  • New company building in Kaegiswil
  • 50 employees

1967

  • New product line for Process Heat: Air heaters and blowers
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Leister Becomes a Swiss Company

1970

  • New plant in Solingen

1971

  • First production expansion in Kaegiswil

1977

  • All business activities moved from Solingen to Kaegiswil
  • The factory in Solingen is closed and the company "Karl Leister Elektro-Gerätebau" has its new location in Switzerland
  • 100 employees

1979

  • Own motor production founded
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Growth and Expansion

1980

  • A historical farm house is turned into an office building in Kaegiswil
  • 150 employees

1980 - 89

  • Expansion of sales network in 17 countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America

1984 - 89

  • Third and fourth production expansions in Kaegiswil
  • 200 employees
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Emergence into New Business Activities

1992

  • Last production expansion in Kaegiswil
  • Sales and service centers in 41 countries
  • 220 employees

1993

  • Christiane Leister takes over control of the company and the executive management as successor

1997

  • "Weldy" hot-air blowers for DIY and private label customers

1998

  • Acquisition of Lemantech SA, a microtechnology start-up from EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Axetris AG founded with a focus on gas sensor technology and micro-optics
  • Laser systems for welding plastics
  • New company building with a warehouse in Sarnen, Switzerland

1999

  • Axetris AG receives a cleanroom in the Kaegiswil building
  • Leister Technologies Deutschland GmbH, Hagen, Germany
  • 290 employees
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Leister on Other Continents

2000

  • Leister Technologies LLC in Itasca, Illinois, United States

2004

  • Leister Technologies Ltd., Shanghai, China
  • Production relocation of Weldy hot air units to China

2007

  • Acquisition of "IR Microsystems SA" to expand Axetris’ product portfolio

2008

  • Acquisition of a representative, industrial building for the use as headquarters in Kaegiswil

2009

  • Leister Technologies KK in Yokohama, Japan
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From Separate Companies to an Organization

2011

  • Leister Process Technologies with its business units Leister and Axetris, as well as 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 India Pvt, Chennai, India

2013

  • Leister Technologies Benelux Ltd. with locations in Houten, the Netherlands and Herenthout, Belgium
  • Leister Technologies Italia srl, Milan, Italy

2014

  • Acquisition of Seamtek LLC, United States, to expand the Leister product portfolio with stationary welding machines
  • 620 employees

2016

  • Leister Technologies GmbH acquires the Leister sales partners in Germany
  • Start of digital transformation, Leister GEOSTAR G7 LQS with automated recording of welding parameters

2018

  • Integration of the LQS function in the myLeister app and development of further IoT products
  • Acquisition of Krelus AG to expand the Leister product portfolio with powerful infrared heaters
  • Establishment of the Leister Academy for product-oriented and application-specific training
  • Construction of the extension of the factory and the fully automated, small parts warehouse begins in Sarnen
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70 Years of Leister

2019

  • Extension completed, enabling the consolidation of Leister Technologies AG’s production building in Sarnen
  • The Kaegiswil site is available to Axetris AG for future expansion
  • Leister Tech Asia Pte. Ltd, Singapore
  • 900 employees

2020

  • Construction extension begins for a cleanroom and production space for Axetris AG in Kaegiswil
  • myLeister web platform with new, digital customer services
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