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The Haas Group – history
We bring tradition and progress together – for more than a century.
It was just after the turn of the century in Vienna: In the house at Gerstlgasse 25, the locksmith Josef Haas started a building and machine fitting business. His sons Franz, Josef and Karl learnt the locksmith trade as apprentices in their father’s company and took over the business in 1933. Tool making and the construction of jigs and fixtures became their main business.
During World War II, Josef Haas shifted some of his machinery to Kaplice (in today’s Czech Republic) where his son Franz was entrusted with managing this site. Due to orders for the repair of wafer irons, Franz Haas became interested in machines for the production of wafers. Back to Vienna in 1948, he introduced his first wafer machine named HV6. Encouraged by growing sales success, he started developing wafer production lines. This is how he founded the company Franz Haas Waffelmaschinen together with his wife in 1966.
During the sixties, his children Josef, Margarete, Franz and Johann started working in the company. This was the basis for a continued solid growth of the company. In 1975, the complete production was moved to a new, huge plant in Leobendorf, Lower Austria. This was followed by the foundation of affiliates in Brazil (Haas do Brasil) in 1977, the United States (Haas of America) in 1980 as well as by the acquisition of the wafer batter mixing specialist Danger in 1983 and the German biscuit machinery specialist Hecrona in 1986.
The final rise to an internationally operating group of companies was achieved after the year 2000: the mixing and aeration specialist Mondomix was integrated in 2002 followed by GAM Steinhoff, a company focusing on the production of wafer cone baking plants.
After a third affiliate had been founded in China in 2006 (Haas Food Machinery, Shanghai), the leading biscuit plants producer from Denmark, DFE Meincke, was taken over in 2009. In 2012, the former business units were finally established as independent companies to ensure solid growth and to sharpen the focus on specific customer demands.