Kallfass anniversay 75 years

75 Jahre Kallfass Maschinen und Automation EN 75 years of Kallfass Machines and Automation

From a small workshop to global player

In 2024 Kallfass celebrates 75 years of success in mechanical and plant engineering. During this time, the family-run company–now in its third generation– has completed well over 1,000 complex projects for the woodworking industry. The long-established Black Forest company has made a name for itself worldwide, particularly as a mechanisation specialist and solution partner.

Founded in 1949 by Ernst and Frida Kallfass as a small workshop in Klosterreichenbach, Germany, the company initially carried out repair work for the local timber industry. However, the resourceful company founder soon developed his own machines, such as the groove and dovetailing machine or the firewood press. The machine programme took a pioneering direction in 1965 with the development of the multiple cross-cut saw for the efficient cutting of fixed lengths. After continuous further development, thanks to its precision and flexibility, it is now one of the market-leading multiple cross-cut saws in the wood cutting sector and is integrated in cutting systems as well as in sorting or planing mills. Kallfass was also one of the pioneers in the stacking of sawn timber. Ernst Kallfass' stacking system was the first ever on the market.

Kallfass cross cutting 1965

In 1965, Kallfass developed the multiple cross-cut saw for the efficient sawing of fixed lengths.

Kallfass Cross Cutting

Today, the precision saw from Kallfass is one of the market-leading multiple cross-cut saws in the industry.

The founder's son, Ernst Kallfass Junior, joined his parents' company in 1975 at the age of 24. Nine years later, he was handed the company’s reins and acting as Managing Director. He developed box and level sorting systems and combined them with cut-to-length and stacking systems to create a production line. This was the start of complex sawmill projects that opened up a new customer base. The complex systems required more production capacity and so in 1992, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, he founded a second plant in Wernigerode, in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt.

In Klosterreichenbach, the opportunity arose at the beginning of 2019 to acquire the building of a former machine factory in the neighbourhood. Ernst Kallfass did not hesitate for long and seized the opportunity. Since then, Kallfass Plant 3 has been used as an interim storage facility for test installations and, to a limited extent, for production.

Currently, around 120 employees work in all three plants. The plant technology is developed, planned, designed, manufactured, painted and installed on entirely in-house. While remaining market-focused and product-focused, Kallfass has successively expanded its product range over the years. Today the company offers systems and complete mechanisations with integrated safety and control concepts for the production of construction, packaging and garden timber as well as glued wood products.

Specialised in complex mechanisation

Kallfass is known in the industry as a machine supplier who pragmatically harmonises the customer's requirements with the available space and develops the best technical solution for the situation. The company’s aim is to maximise production output and to achieve the highest possible degree of automation.

Some process solutions for automation were so unique that they were patented. In addition to the patent for the first layer-by-layer processing of sawn timber back in the mid-1980s, Kallfass also received patent protection for its robot handling in 2019. When stacking timber packs with automatic stick placement, the magazines used for this no longer have to be filled manually, but can be constantly filled with wooden sticks by a robot.

The transport system for large parcels is another example of an innovative logistics solution. Packages of wood weighing up to 30 tonnes and 6 m high are transported into the drying chambers on rails using transport trolleys. Subsequently, they taken out again for further processing, without the need for a forklift truck. An extremely cost-saving circulation system.

Kallfass mechanisation on rails

Handling of large packages: Mechanisation on rails

Kallfass Robot Handling

Patented robot handling made by Kallfass

However, it is not only special partial solutions in automation that distinguish the machine manufacturer, but also its expertise in the design of complete production lines for sorting, cutting to length, packaging, planing and gluing, into which it integrates equipment from other suppliers in an interface-optimised manner, such as quality scanners and labellers. At the customer's request, the product data can even be processed directly from the customer's ERP system. This is what Kallfass means by “Solutions from a single source”.

Kallfass planer mechanisation

Fully automated Kallfass planing mill

Kallfass also developed its own systems for glulam production, including a CLT press, which was also launched in 2019. The term CLT stands for Cross-Laminated Timber, one of the most important building elements in modern timber construction. The Kallfass press continuously presses individual, cross-glued panels into multi-layer panels with lengths of up to 16 m. With its own CLT press, Kallfass has also succeeded in rounding off its product portfolio in this area. Kallfass can offer complete mechanisation, from picking up the sawn timber packages to accepting the finished cross laminated timber elements.

Well positioned for the future

Six years ago, Ernst Kallfass set his company up for the future. He appointed his son Volker Kallfass and his long-time companion Hans Haist as additional Managing Directors and gradually withdrew from the operational business in order to concentrate on the strategic direction of the company. This also includes structural expansion measures, such as increasing the production hall in Klosterreichenbach, which was completed end of 2023, and the office expansion at the Wernigerode plant.

Kallfass Management

Kallfass Management: Volker Kallfass, Ernst Kallfass, Hans Haist (from left to right)

Over the years, the plants in Klosterreichenbach and Wernigerode have been adapted several times to meet changing requirements. In 2022, the decision was made to expand the production area at the Klosterreichenbach site by another 750 m² in order to better dovetail individual production steps in a direct, chronological sequence. Shorter distances are the result and with them a more efficient production process. A state-of-the-art paint booth also ensures greater efficiency and flexibility. It was designed as two cabins, one behind the other, each 10 m long. If necessary, the cabins can be opened to paint particularly long machine parts.

In Wernigerode, on the other hand, the focus was on more administrative space in order to cope with the growing number of employees in the electrical design and software development departments. Thanks to the 160 m² extension, modern office space totalling 480 m² has been available since the end of 2023.

With these expansion measures, Kallfass is well positioned for the future.

Kallfass building extension

The enlarged production hall in Klosterreichenbach and...

the office extension in Wernigerode

A reason to celebrate

At the beginning of June, Kallfass will celebrate the successful completion of its remodelling measures and, above all, its 75-year success story with the entire team of employees and invited guests at the Kallfass plant in Klosterreichenbach. The production hall will be transformed into a party mile. A music band, various food trucks and a cocktail bar provide the perfect setting for an exuberant evening event.

The following day, Saturday June 8, there will be an Open House at Röter Straße 44. Anyone interested can take this opportunity to get an idea of the production scope of the globally active machine manufacturer and see the new production hall from the inside. Those who wish can join guided tours and those who are still looking for an apprenticeship will be informed about possible apprenticeships at Kallfass at the apprentice info point. It is not necessary to register for the Open House. Admission starts at 11 a.m. and catering will of course be provided. A children's carousel is available for younger guests.

Kallfass anniversary 75 years

The Kallfass production hall as a party mile (Source: Revo Veranstaltungstechnik, Freudenstadt, Germany)

Over the years, Kallfass has undergone a transformation from a small workshop to a modern medium-sized company. With a great deal of hard work, development creativity and market knowledge, the company now plays on the international stage and, thanks to its wide range of activities, offers work and prospects to a wide variety of professions. The order situation remains good and production is fully utilised. For this reason, software developers, programmers, designers and technicians are being sought in both Wernigerode and Klosterreichenbach to help shape the future of Kallfass.

Review Eurobois

EUROBOIS 2024 knackt Messerekord EN EUROBOIS 2024
breaks trade fair record

With 29,363 visitors and 523 exhibitors, this year's EUROBOIS broke all records, according to the official statement from the trade fair organisation. Kallfass and their French sales partner V.B.I SARL Bleesz International were also pleased with the large number of visitors to the joint stand in Hall 5.

EUROBOIS in Lyon took place in February this year. From 3 to 6 February, the fair opened its doors to the wood industry's experts. From log cutting to sawn timber processing and interior woodworking, visitors were able to find out more at the stands of numerous exhibitors, including some international companies, which held a 31 % share. Fortunately, the statistics show an increase in visitor activity in all areas. Eurexpo quotes figures of +77.83 % in interior woodworking, +114.18 % in frame construction and +41.37 % in sawing and sorting.

France is important export market
Kallfass has also experienced the increased interest in sawing and sorting systems. For the mechanisation specialist and manufacturer of multiple cross-cut saws, sorting and stacking systems, the French market with its many family-operated sawmills is an important export market. In the last three years alone, nine extensive projects have been realised in France, including several sorting systems as well as complex cutting, stacking and packaging systems. Three further projects are in development. The French sawmill operators appreciate the high precision of the Kallfass systems and our ability to design an optimal mechanisation solution for the respective production situation.

Kallfass Sortierwerk, sorting line, installation de tri

Kallfass sorting and stacking plant for main and side products in a French sawmill

In V.B.I Bleesz, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Kallfass has a competent partner at its side who knows the French market and its requirements. Among the numerous visitors to the EUROBOIS stand were many existing customers as well as some new business contacts. Hans Haist, Kallfass Managing Director, who is responsible for sales in France, will be travelling extensively over the next few weeks to turn discussions into real projects.

Kallfass Eurobois review

Positive visitor response at EUROBOIS

Eurobois exhibition team of Kallfass and VBI

The EUROBOIS trade fair team

Copyright et crédits photos PIX'L AGENCY

Kallfass Wernigerode

Kallfass mit Erweiterungsbauten auf der Zielgeraden EN Kallfass on the home straight with its plant extensions

Kallfass was already able to inaugurate the structural work of the extended production hall in Klosterreichenbach, Germany with an internal celebration on 26 May 2023. The new offices in Wernigerode, Germany, will also be ready for occupancy shortly.

Produktionshalle Kallfass Klosterreichenbach

Kallfass Klosterreichenbach

10 May marked the anniversary of the structural expansion of the existing production hall in Klosterreichenbach. The shell of the L-shaped 600 m² extension has been completed and the access road to the new loading hall has already been paved.

Kallfass Klosterreichenbach

Internal inauguration ceremony of the new production hall in Klosterreichenbach.

Kallfass Klosterreichenbach

The access road to the new loading hall is being paved.

Next up is the installation of a modern paint booth with integrated filter extraction and temperature control system. The spray cabin is divided into two cubicles, one behind the other, each 10 m long. Alternately, painting is done in one and drying in the other cabin. If necessary, the two cabins can be opened to form a large painting booth with a length of 20 m for painting particularly long machine parts. This flexible approach simplifies the production process enormously, because all the painting work that needs to be done is carried out in-house according to the customer's wishes.

The installation of a heating system will be another milestone. Here, sustainable heating with a water-fed heat pump is being considered and the statutory requirements are being checked. Together with the roof-mounted photovoltaic system already installed in 2014, the management is thus once again relying on renewable energies. The further interior construction of the hall with electricity and compressed air supply as well as the installation of filter and exhaust air lines are additional items on the to-do list.

If everything goes according to plan, the extension could be occupied as early as autumn this year. As a result, the production processes will be successively adapted and converted.

Modern workplaces in Wernigerode, Germany

In Wernigerode, the final move into the newly designed offices of the 160 m² annex is not far off. The construction of the interior is well advanced. Installation of the underfloor heating system and ceilings were completed, power lines have been installed, and walls facing the old building were removed, and new partition walls were installed and plastered. Next, the old building’s reception area needs to be redesigned so that old and new form a single unity. All employees from construction and administration had to move temporarily to the new premises to make room for the renovation work.

As soon as the new office furniture are delivered, the final move can take place, which is also planned in Wernigerode for autumn 2023. Only one and a half years after the start of construction, Kallfass employees will then have modern, ergonomic workplaces and spacious meeting rooms at their disposal.

Kallfass Wernigerode

The new colour-contrasting extension in Wernigerode – next year, the complete façade will be uniformly adapted.

Kallfass Wernigerode

A view of the new interiors, which have been partially already provisionally occupied.

30 years Kallfass Wernigerode

30 Jahre KALLFASS Wernigerode EN 30 years of KALLFASS Wernigerode

Management and around 60 employees from Klosterreichenbach and Wernigerode met on 21 October 2022 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Kallfass plant in Saxony-Anhalt.

In 1992, two years after German reunification, Senior Partner Ernst Kallfass secured the strategic growth of his company by establishing a second plant in Wernigerode. The choice of Wernigerode in Saxony-Anhalt at this time was in part a reflection of the sentiments associated with reunification. East and west would also be united in Kallfass. The early years were extremely difficult, but 30 years later, the plant in Wernigerode is an important mainstay of Kallfass as an enterprise, continually undergoing constructional changes to adapt to new requirements.´

Following repeated expansion of the production area in Wernigerode in the past, the office and administrative building will now be enlarged by 160 m² to accommodate the growing number of staff. Management decided to go the whole hog in the anniversary year and commenced with the necessary building measures. New parking spaces were created in April, as the old car park had to make way for the new office extension. Construction of the actual extension then commenced in June, and 50 % of construction measures were completed in time for the anniversary celebration. Expansion of the production facility in Klosterreichenbach is simultaneously making great strides.

Extention office Kallfass Wernigerode

Extension: Office space is being increased by 160 m2 in Wernigerode ...

Extention production Kallfass Klosterreichenbach

… and production at the Klosterreichenbach location is being expanded by 600 m².

The celebration to mark the anniversary provided an opportunity to bring employees from both Wernigerode and Klosterreichenbach up to date with regard to construction progress at both sites and inform them of the future direction of corporate goals. It also saw long-tenured employees being honoured for their many years of loyal service.

Jubilees Kallfass Wernigerode

Enrico Goldhahn, Plant Manager in Wernigerode, presenting certificates of service

Jubilees Kallfass Wernigerode

Ernst and Volker Kallfass (left) with service anniversary celebrants and Enrico Goldhahn

The considerable distance between the locations means that employees from Wernigerode and Klosterreichenbach seldom have the opportunity to meet personally, with project meetings being generally held online and by telephone. Joint events such as the anniversary celebration offer a welcome change from this. Plant Manager Enrico Goldhahn's team simply brought the Oktoberfest to Saxony-Anhalt to mark the anniversary, and a Bavarian buffet and freshly tapped beer encouraged a convivial exchange between colleagues from both east and west.

Managing Director Ernst Kallfass

Senior Partner Ernst Kallfass during his address

Celebration 30 years Kallfass Wernigerode

Colleagues greatly enjoyed meeting and celebrating

Production hall Kallfass Wernigerode

A view inside the production facility in Wernigerode …

Celebration 30 years Wernigerode

The Bavarian buffet offered something for every taste

Production hall Kallfass Wernigerode

… which was quickly transformed into a party venue.

Karriere und Elternzeit bei Kallfass

Betreuungsmodell Elternteilzeit EN Parental part-time work care model

The early years of a child's development are one of the most significant periods and are an important time in order to build an intensive bond. Part-time parental leave is a great alternative to full-time work. It allows mothers and fathers to be able to strike a balance between family and career. Fewer hours can be worked and working hours can be arranged differently. Contrary to “regular” part-time work, the employee is also entitled to the original contractually agreed upon working hours again after the parental part-time work has expired. Furthermore, there is special protection from termination of employment whilst this part-time parental leave is in place.

The legislator has provided for a total duration of 36 months for parental part-time work. Of these 36 months, at least 12 months must be before the child’s third birthday. The extent and duration of part-time work can be determined individually. Although, there is still an entitlement to parental allowance; however, the remuneration for the part-time work is considered.

Karriere und Elternzeit bei Kallfass

What are the conditions for parental part-time work?

In order for this care model to be effective, the workplace must be suitable for part-time work and the employment relationship must last longer than six months without interruptions. The weekly number of hours is between 15 and 32 hours for part-time workers. The type and extent of part-time work must be synchronized with the management. Early arrangements help to pave the way, especially with regard to avoiding potential problems. Moreover, it is important that part-time work is applied for in writing in a timely manner. The deadlines are 7 weeks if the child is younger than 3 years and 13 weeks if the child is between 3 and 8 years old.

At KALLFASS, this care model has already been implemented several times and even employees in managerial positions have been able to take advantage of parental part-time work. The be-all and end-all is good planning and adherence to the agreements. This will ensure a smooth parental leave.

Source pictures: Kallfass

Kallfass Gebäude Klosterreichenbach und Wernigerode

Kallfass investiert in die Zukunft EN Kallfass invests in the future

Short production routes in Klosterreichenbach and more office space in Wernigerode are the goals of these construction measures.

When the demand for orders increases so dramatically that production reaches its limits in terms of capacity and the electrical department urgently needs more space to accommodate the increase in personnel, the only viable solution is to build and expand the existing production and office premises. Last year, the machine manufacturer Kallfass decided to go all out and invest and build in both locations.

The production area in Klosterreichenbach will be increased by approximately 600 m². An L-shaped extension to the existing production premises facilitates the improved integration of individual production stages in a direct time sequence. Routes are shortened and the entire production facility made more efficient as a result. Building commenced on 10 May. Planned completion is the end of this / start of next year.

Anbau Kallfass Klosterreichenbach

Excavators begin digging out the foundations in Klosterreichenbach.

New offices in Wernigerode

New offices are urgently needed at the plant in Wernigerode, Saxony-Anhalt. The production area was continually increased in recent years, but the offices have not been changed since 1992, even though the workforce has tripled in this period. Enlarging of the administrative premises by around 160m² to a total of 480m² is planned. The first implementation stage will see the creation of new parking spaces, as the extension will be erected on the original car park. Work on this stage has already commenced. Enrico Goldhahn, Plant Manager in Wernigerode, looks forward to completion of this extension by the beginning of 2023.

Both extensions represent an important step in accommodating the growing demand in future.

Anbaufläche Kallfass Klosterreichenbach

Rear view of the Kallfass production facility in Klosterreichenbach with the extension space.

Neue Parkplätze Kallfass Wernigerode

New parking spaces are being created in front of the building in Wernigerode.