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Leitz turns into an international company

After the Second World War the wood processing industry saw rapid technical developments. New workpiece materials from wood, like chipboard and fibre materials arose. But above all the application of plastics in combination with wood or otherwise forced a re-thinking process in all areas of the wood technology, required new cutting materials, processing techniques and machine concepts.

Although these new workpiece materials had numerous advantages for the end product, it created new problems for the tool manufacturer as these materials were very abrasive. It was the sinter material tungsten carbide that was purchased from specialised producers that brought the solution. New tool types with tungsten carbide tips arose. The cutter tipped with high speed steel was developed. More new tools followed.Nearly overnight the already very wide Leitz production programme showed a growth by almost double. In order to secure an immediate and intensive customer contact, the sales organisation was extended. The first step hereby was the take-over of the company Emil Leitz in 1959 and its extension in the southern German area.

Further sales organisations within the Federal Republic of Germany and abroad were founded and a service organisation was built: Leitz Service within earshot of the customer. The task of this service was not only to introduce Leitz tools in the respective applications in the companies and guarantee their optimum use, but also to secure their optimum life through proper maintenance. This sharpening and repair service also became a success.

The foundation of branches

The strong impetus through sales organisation and service soon led to problems concerning capacity, space and rationalisation. In the area of Oberkochen there was no further possibility to produce the stock programme in large batches. This fact initiated the decision to a development that turned the company from Oberkochen into the international Leitz company group between 1961 and 1975.

In 1961, the first production plant abroad was started in Riedau in Austria. With this, Leitz could overcome the high tariff trade barriers for the EFTA-countries and find better delivery conditions for the COMECON-states. Later on, complete cuttersets and cutterheads were produced there mainly in high- speed steel- and tungsten carbide-tipped versions. The production of large batches of tungsten carbide circular sawblades became the task of the branch Zell / Austria - near Riedau - in 1974.

The Leitz production in Unterschneidheim, 30 kilometres away from Oberkochen, after its foundation in 1964, initially served only as an extension of the parent company. Subsequently in a newly built highly modern production facility in 1973, it started to produce machinery knives, drills and shank tools and later on an important part of the product range which included tungsten carbide sawblades.

In 1974, Leitz founded a production plant in Lana / South Tyrol and was able to quickly and without problems serve the Italian market with its numerous furniture producers and other woodworking industries from there. Lana at first supported the quick-delivery programme of the other production plants and later became responsible for special cutters.

Although these new workpiece materials had numerous advantages for the end product, it created new problems for the tool manufacturer as these materials were very abrasive. It was the sinter material tungsten carbide that was purchased from specialised producers that brought the solution. New tool types with tungsten carbide tips arose. The cutter tipped with high speed steel was developed. More new tools followed.Nearly overnight the already very wide Leitz production programme showed a growth by almost double. In order to secure an immediate and intensive customer contact, the sales organisation was extended. The first step hereby was the take-over of the company Emil Leitz in 1959 and its extension in the southern German area.