German sawing machine and storage system manufacturer, KASTO Maschinenbau, whose UK subsidiary is in Milton Keynes, is this year celebrating its 175th anniversary. With headquarters in Achern, Baden- Württemberg, the firm has evolved from a one-man business into a globally successful company that remains in the hands of the family that founded it.
In 1844 carpenter Karl Stolzer, from whom the company name is derived, started a machine shop in Achern to manufacture water wheels, paper and machinery for mills. He later built sawmills. Invention of the KASTO hacksaw in 1947 marked a significant step forward and in the 1960s circular saws were introduced.
At the beginning of the 1970s, KASTO launched its first automatic bar storage and retrieval system featuring two integrated circular saws supplied automatically by a gantry crane. It was the precursor of the storage and sawing centres that KASTO started manufacturing in the early 1980s and the company is still the sole provider of such systems today.
With the assistance of numerous subsidiaries around the globe, KASTO has sold more than 140,000 bandsaws, circular saws and hacksaws as well as 2,200 storage systems for long stock such as bar and tube and for sheet metal.
For more than 30 years, Armin Stolzer has headed the business as the fifth generation MD. Other senior management positions are held by his wife, Ruth Stolzer and four family members of the sixth generation.
KASTO develops its own software systems, provides solutions for networking, automation and robotic handling, and focusses on forwardlooking technologies.