Hermann Kronseder, whose family still holds a majority share holding in Krones, grew the company from drawings on his kitchen table to a multinational market leader in packaging machinery.
Born the son of a blacksmith in the Upper Palatinate region of Germany, Kronseder trained as a mechanic and qualified as a master machinist and master electrician before founding his own company in 1951 at the age of 27.
From designs drawn on his kitchen table and then built in a shed with his own hands, Kronseder was soon producing semi-automatic labellers, the first of which worked at a speed of 1,500 labelled bottles an hour. By way of comparison, a modern day fully automated labeller achieves speeds of 72,000 bottles an hour.
His company grew quickly, doubling its turnover every three years in the 1960s and expanding into new areas such as bottle filling. The following decade, Kronseder, who always saw himself more as an inventor than an entrepreneur, pioneered the first monobloc concepts bringing together the filler, the closer and the labeller.
After floating on the stock exchange in 1984, Krones developed into the company we recognise today with a product range covering filling and packaging lines, process and material flow technologies and entire breweries and beverage plants.
Although Kronseder stepped down as chairman in 1997 he was still regularly seen at the company headquarters in Neutraubling. His son Volker Kronseder took over as chairman, a position he still holds today, overseeing a company with a turnover of more than €2bn.
The family continues to hold about a 54 per cent share in Krones although Hermann transferred the majority holding to his sons back in the 1980s.
During his lifetime, Hermann Kronseder received a number of honours including the Federal Order of Merit 1st Class and the Diesel Medal in Gold from the German Institute of Inventions. This latter accolade was the one Kronseder treasured the most, having been a passionate inventor with 630 patents to his name.