Our company was founded in 1948 by Herbert Kannegiesser, an engineer by training, who until the end of the war had been working in the aviation industry. With four co-workers he started manufacturing ironers for the garment industry in a wooden shed near Vlotho in East Westphalia, Germany. Soon shirt ironing presses became the specialty of the young business and served as the foundation for its international reputation.
Wherever in the world shirts were ironed manually – from Hong Kong to Brazil and Russia to South Africa – they were now almost exclusively finished on Kannegiesser machines over the next few decades. Irma Kannegiesser, the wife of Herbert Kannegiesser, established the foundation for a worldwide distribution network.
Starting in 1950, specially designed shirt ironers made their way into laundries and were confronted by already established brands such as Braun, Ajax and Prosperity. The integration into the garment industry on one side and the standard laundry application on the other side furthered the development of the company.
After a fast growth to a 25 million DM annual turnover and 180 employees, by 1961 the shirt market suddenly crashed worldwide in the laundry as well as in the garment industry. The company had to weather this crisis in the early 1960’s.
Consequently, the production program was expanded to cover a wider range. Kannegiesser became the pioneer in fusing technology for the garment industry. For decades the Kannegiesser product was the synonym for fusing machines in many countries, especially in the USA. Whenever anyone spoke of their “Kannegiesser” - they were talking about their fusing machine.
At the same time the product variety for laundries machines was systematically increased and Kannegiesser developed into a specialist for the finishing area of modern laundries.
In 1970, company founder Herbert Kannegiesser retired from the business due to illness and transferred the reigns of the company to his 27-year-old son Martin, who after his father’s early death in 1974 also became the company owner. His mother Irma stayed active in the business until 1980 and even today still follows the company with great interest and engagement.
The export business was consistently pursued, while the production range was systematically expanded.
Kannegiesser committed early on all resources to the concept of complete system solutions. This began in 1978 with garment systems, whose central point was the Tunnelfinisher. Very quickly, Kannegiesser achieved the undisputed leading position in Europe.
In 1983 Kannegiesser introduced the complete ironer line made from a single source – complete with feeder, ironer and folder. This simple but ingenious action ended an era, in which ironers and ancillary machines were manufactured by different companies and operated separately.
Through continued close interaction with many laundries and a further development of structural and technological changes, Kannegiesser arrived at the conclusion of viewing laundry operations as a series of complete systems. This revolutionary view brought the company to the forefront of manufacturing complete complex systems in an industrial laundry application.
After The Wall separating East and West Germany had come down, in 1990 Kannegiesser was able to acquire the successful Textima Company in Aue, Sachsen, which had been providing ironers for the entire Eastern bloc. This powerful ironer manufacturer was transformed into today’s Kannegiesser Aue GmbH, manufacturing today the complete line of Kannegiesser Ironers.
In 1996, Kleindienst Wäschereitechnik GmbH, located in Augsburg (Bavaria) was acquired. This company, now fully integrated into the Kannegiesser company group, manufactures highly specialized transport technology for garment systems.
In 1998 both Passat and Pharmagg formally joined the Kannegiesser family.
Until the end of the 1980’s, Passat was one of the worldwide leaders in laundry machinery manufacturing, originator of modern dryer technology and a pioneer of successful washing system concepts such as the Poensgen-PWZ and Voss Archimedia. No other continuous batch washer manufacturer has more worldwide installations than Passat.
In 2005 Kannegiesser took over 100% of the business shares of the British company Ducker Engineering Limited. With this purchase, the UK manufacturing cities of Kendal and Banbury were integrated with the Kannegiesser Family.
As of today, Kannegiesser offers its customers the complete range of industrial laundry technology and is perceived as a partner with our customers and the undisputed Leader in Laundry Technology.