At the beginning of 1950 the VEB Kühlautomat Berlin (a cooling factory) was founded in Berlin-Johannisthal. First only industrial refrigerator were built and repaired.
Later on all different types of cooling devices were produced (e.g. for grocery stores).
In the mid 1950s the conservation of food concentrated on the one of fish. That’s why the production of refrigerating plants for ships started. Meanwhile 1000 people were employed at the VEB Kühlautomat.
In 1968 the VEB Kühlautomat Berlin (KAB) and the VEB Motorenwerk Johannisthal (engine factory) merged. The result were excellent fabrication conditions for the VEB KAB, that made the fabrication of screw compressors (dt.: Schraubenverdichter) possible.
In the 1970s research and development concerning new technical concepts were undertaken to avoid high licence fees.
That’s why the screw compressor advanced over a couple of years.
In the 1990s, the now called Kühlautomat Berlin GmbH a new sort of screw compressors was developed. It was designed for industrial cooling devices and AC as well as CFC-free (dt.: FCKW-frei) cooling fluids and ammonia.
Unlike other former VEB, the KAB GmbH did well in the first years in the capitalism after the socialism.
Though in 1994 the well-known GEA AG bought KAB GmbH and merged it with its subsidiary company to GRASSKO*KAB.
During that time the GRASSKO*KAB was split into five GmbHs, which started to become autonomous in 1996.
At the end of 1996 the last companies became independent and moved from Berlin-Johannisthal to Berlin-Reinickendorf, the headquater of GEA.
This is an interesting posting… During my career in engineering, I did research in compressors and knew about the work done by Kühlautomat. Now, I have been invited to give a lecture on the history of screw compressors. A reference to and pictures from this post would fit in quite nicely. I wonder if I might get your approval? Thank you.