This week our Member Spotlight turns to KALLER, the world-leading brand for nitrogen gas springs and gas hydraulic systems.
Tell us about the history of KALLER?
The company behind KALLER is Strömsholmen, based in a small community, Tranås in Sweden. The company is part of Barnes Group Inc. (NYSE: B), located in the United States.
Strömsholmen have been in business since 1876 and for many years have been a world-leading brand, with an export share of 95%. Since 1983, we have developed and refined gas spring technology, manufacturing under three brands, Mitcham UK (IGS) and Tranas Sweden (KALLER).
During April 2017, KALLER opened a UK operations Centre in a Barnes Group plant, based in Evesham, Worcestershire to help support local customers.
How is KALLER continuing to do business during the Covid-19 lockdown?
We are currently working from home wherever possible. Although we do visit the office daily to gas, test and pack customer orders. We are supporting customers by accepting orders, preparing the product to be dispatched and holding it until the customer requires delivery.
All other orders are shipped on the same day as the order is placed. KALLER production has had spare capacity during this period, so the UK and other global KALLER sites have been increasing stocks.
Alongside production, we are also focusing on our marketing strategy. In addition to the training programmes,
we offer customers, covering gas spring maintenance and safety. Despite these unprecedented times, KALLER UK has every confidence that we will weather the storm and emerge even stronger.
How have the last 12 months been for KALLER?
KALLER UK has seen steady growth since opening in April 2017, we have been added to many tier one and tier two Tooling Standards and our 2019/2020 sales exceed the targets.
We are working on many new and improved products for 2020/21. Alongside a major safety campaign to counter counterfeit products being produced in Asia. we are offering a Die Checking service to all our customer’s building tools in Asia. Added to the Die Check service, is an Android/iPhone app, allowing customers to immediately confirm if a gas spring is genuine or fake.
Find out more: https://www.kaller.com/en-us/about/reduce-risk-with-the-safer-choice/safety-app/
During November, December and the first quarter of 2020, we saw a decline in sales due to the uncertainty that surrounded Brexit and now Covid-19. Moving forward, we still believe with drive, service and our reputable high-quality KALLER gas spring products, we will continue to prosper.
What are the main services that KALLER provides?
The core of our business is offering nitrogen gas springs to the tool and die markets for pressed components. Added to this, our group of companies under the Force and Motion Control banner (FMC), supply Gas Struts (IGS) to the medical, aerospace and automotive industries. Counterbalance springs are also supplied to many industries and gas hydraulic systems are distributed to the heavy off-road vehicle market.
Here at KALLER UK, our target markets are the tool and die. We provide complete onsite technical support, fitting of hose systems for gas springs (including retrofitted at our customer’s plants), 24 hours/same-day delivery of stock gas springs and a repair and maintenance service, either at Evesham or the customer’s site. Not forgetting, we also offer comprehensive maintenance and safety training programmes to our customers.
What would you say is the KALLER USP?
The proven safety and exceptional quality of our gas spring products; combined with industry-leading research and technical support. We provide a range of gas springs that are problem solvers, one example: A controllable gas spring you can lock on the bottom to stop turning panels inside out. We also offer local support covering all aspects of gas springs within press-tooling.
Where do you see KALLER in the next 5/10 years?
Globally, to continue growing and developing technically advanced products for the tool and die markets. Alongside the gas hydraulic systems for the defence and off-road vehicle markets.
Locally, here at KALLER UK, we want to support domestic projects, assist domestic customers, building tools outside of Europe, increase our turnover and see a rise in stock at Evesham. The UK hub will offer support beyond the UK markets as we grow, especially with the potential changes that come with Brexit.
Why did KALLER UK become a member of the MMMA?
We became a member of the MMMA because of our interest in the marketing opportunities, especially the MACH exhibition and MMMA Metalworking Village. Hopefully, we will be able to share industry knowledge and support local manufacturers through the MMMA. It is great to be part of a dedicated trade organisation who focus on the same goals and have the same target audience as ourselves.