The history
of the ATH Group

Our history spans from the founding of Maschinenfabrik Max Kroenert in 1903 to the company’s restructuring and the establishment of ATH through to the present day.


The history of the ATH Group


In an age of technical upheaval, young master engineer Christian Friedrich Max Kroenert establishes a factory in Altona to manufacture wallpaper printing machines. From mid-1904 onwards he is assisted by mechanical engineer Hans-Jens Meyer.





The gearing department is spun off into an independent company: Zahnradfabrik Altona/Elbe Hans Meyer Kommanditgesellschaft. Photograph: First order book dating back to 1919



A first paraffinizing and laminating machine called the “KÖNIG” is delievered to a client in 1922 – it is the start of a long and successful development in the construction of wax coating and laminating machines.



A genuine milestone for ZAE: the worm gear unit goes on the market. Hermann Kronseder of Krones is among the growing number of users.A genuine milestone for ZAE: the worm gear unit goes on the market. Hermann Kronseder of Krones is among the growing number of users.


The RECO series is born. The name RECO is derived from the REverse COating application process.
A well-known trademark, the RECO is remains to this day the most widely built and most versatile machine type in the KROENERT product range.


ZAE conquers the market with the block housing: the drive technology and gear unit specialist creates a standard gear unit range with numerous variants based on various add-on parts.


KROENERT develops a coating technology for self-adhesive label hotmelts. This independent product line is called PAK 400 today.


The ZAE worm gear is launched on the market in large numbers in the early 1970s and is an instant success.


COATEMA is founded.


Growing environmental awareness prompts the chemical industry to develop new products such as solvent-free laminating adhesives and solvent-free silicones for label production. KROENERT works closely with the chemical industry. The company’s large in-house research centre is crucial to development.


KROENERT develops the epoxy resin coating system, for solvent-free production of prepregs in roller form.


Foundation of DRYTEC


The group launches the first system using curtain technology and patented further development.



COATEMA holds its first symposium. To this day, it remains a successful series of events that is highly regarded in the research community.


KROENERT receives the patent for dispersion adhesive coating using curtain technology.


COATEMA patents the double-sided coating system.


KROENERT commissions the world’s widest and fastest test facility with a speed of 1 mph..


COATEMA moves into its new headquarters. The total surface area of the premises is expanded to a total of 10,000 square metres.


COATEMA registers Click&Coat as a trademark.


KROENERT develops sleeve technology for anilox roller coating.


A world record is set at the KROENERT Technology Center: a solvent-free lamination runs at 800 metres per minute, or 48 km per hour.


KROENERT launches the first line for battery electrode coating.


New generation of dryers at DRYTEC


KROENERT is granted the patent for intermittent slot die coating.


KROENERT launches the first inline OPV production line.


The ATH family grows with the addition of COATEMA.


The ZAE SERVO-DRIVE sets a new benchmark. The servo gear unit series developed by ZAE in 2018 and 2019 meets the most rigorous demands in drive technology.


KROENERT delivers two lines with intermittent coating for fuel cell production.


COATEMA holds its established symposium entirely in virtual form for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Artificial intelligence (AI) will dominate all branches of industry in a few years’ time. For this reason, KROENERT launches a project in 2020 to combine the latest AI research conducted at Helmut Schmidt University (HSU) Hamburg with the specialist expertise of the AI start-up PANDA and its own extensive industry experience.