History Start of Internationalization
1987: Introduction of the CAD system
Industry in the 1980s was experiencing a CAD boom.
The trend toward computer-aided design was driven
by personal computers, which were affordable even
for Mittelstand companies. Hans-Josef Kitz recognized
the potential in this new technology and introduced
CAD to mk in 1987.
1988 was the year that the internationalization of
Maschinenbau Kitz GmbH sped up. The German-
American Andreas Tietje had met Hans-Josef Kitz at
the K86 plastics trade show in Düsseldorf and they
immediately hit it off. In 1988 they jointly founded
the current mk North America, Inc. in the US state of
Connecticut and the plan to bring mk products to
the US was born.
The project initially started as a sales platform with a
single office above a garage in Simsbury, and then
the next year they opened a warehouse for mk products
in a former machete-factory in Collinsville, Connecticut.
This growth continued, and eventually they
opened the current company headquarters in Bloomfield.
By this point, Andreas Tietjes’s son, Kai, had
completed an engineering degree and joined the
company’s management. Kai Teitje recalls, “At the beginning
of 1988, we translated the first German catalog
into English. I was invited to a six-week product
training session and stayed with the Kitz family.
During this time, I became close friends with Stephan
and his family.”
Today mk North America is a modern design and
production facility with 45 employees over an area of
3500 m2. The current president, Andreas Haussmann,
did an internship at mk North American in 1990 and
then returned to the company in 1999, initially as the
executive vice president. He has been the company’s
president since February 2014: “As director, Kai Tietje
deals more with the technology and product development,
while I’m more responsible for the business
side, production and sales.”
1988: Old machete factory
in Collinsville, Connecticut
H.-J. Kitz with Kai Tietje in their newly leased space
above a garage in Simsbury, USA