60 years on the move
1960 marks the beginning of a new era: John F. Kennedy is elected president in the USA. The German economic miracle of the 1950s is approaching its peak. And in London, “The Beatles” are founded and soon have the turntables spinning in discotheques and youth clubs. Continue reading
6,400 kilometres east of Washington D.C., a new era also begins in 1960. Kuhn Special Steel is founded in Monheim. Four years later the company moves to Radevormwald, where it perfects the centrifugal casting process and brings the economic miracle to the Bergisches Land. Soon not only turntables will be rotating here, but also stainless steel. Since 1964, molten stainless steel alloys have been solidifying in rotating moulds under up to 120 times the acceleration of gravity. The high rotational forces and directional solidification create a particularly dense and pure structure that will be in demand all over the world.
5 tonnes in rotation
Up to now, it has been incredibly difficult to process stainless steel materials using the centrifugal casting process, because the required casting temperatures are particularly high at over 1,600 °C. Yet that is not all that Kuhn Special Steel manages to do: new dimensions are also achieved in the truest sense of the word. The product spectrum now ranges from an outer diameter of 50 mm to a diameter of 2.3 metres and a cast length of up to 5 metres. The heat weight of the products can range from a few grams up to 5 tonnes. An enormous range. Even the company founder, Klaus Kuhn, proudly said back then: “We make everything that is round, has a hole and is made of stainless steel!”
From 3 to 650
Since the early days, Kuhn Special Steel has been growing continuously: a 3-man operation has grown into a medium-sized group of companies with around 650 employees, which has already experienced quite a lot of turbulence. The economic crisis in the 1970s did not affect the company. Globalisation has always been seen and taken as an opportunity. We conquered markets in the USA and Asia early on. For example, we have had a production facility in Taiwan since 2000 and opened Kuhn Special Steel North America in 2016. We even overcame the severe economic crisis in 2009 after a short dip. Responsible for this are the dedicated employees, the wide product range with a variety of applications, the flexible production line organisation and the capacity to innovate. They make Kuhn Special Steel robust against international competition.
In the following months we will look back on 60 years of the company’s history. We will talk about the people who have shaped the company and report on the milestones in its history. We hope you enjoy it.