Forging the iron when it's hot
1911 – 1950
The origins of Kusters Technische Handelsonderneming lie in the year 1911. At that time, Handerie Kusters opened a traditional forge in Venlo where he forged horses and repaired cart wheels, but also made steel windows and doors, ornamental ironwork and rafters for factories.
In the 1920s Handerie developed the Venlo department store, a heated greenhouse for the production of agricultural crops under glass. This type of greenhouse is still used to grow vegetables and cut flowers. Despite the worldwide crisis in the thirties, the forge was running at full speed. Handeries' youngest son Harrie Sr. also joined the business.
The demand for forgings and greenhouses continued to grow and so in the late 1940s the plan for a large factory hall of 1,000 m² arose. In the 1950s, the new premises on the Veegtes industrial estate were opened and Handerie retired.
1951 – 1970
During the post WWII reconstruction period, Kusters introduced a new line of building materials such as winches, steel struts, scaffolding blocks and mobile construction hoists. A market for greenhouses also arose across the border in Germany. In 1955 Harrie Sr. decided no longer to make everything himself but to sell greenhouses in the form of building kits through his new German subsidiary Construkta Stahlbau GmbH. In the meantime, Harrie Sr. already had about 50 employees. He continued to follow new developments closely for the start of new activities.
At the end of the 1950s, Harrie Sr. developed the fully automatic fan heater, these heated greenhouses, but also industrial halls, garages, hangars, churches and trade fair buildings. With the introduction of school swimming at the end of the 60's Eurosport BV was founded, specialized in (prefab) swimming pools. Eurosport BV built numerous swimming pools for all kinds of municipalities. In the 70's the focus shifted back to air heaters and related products. The activities of both Construkta Stahlbau GmbH and Eurosport BV were phased out and sold.
1971 – 1989
In 1973, the third generation of the Kusters family took the helm. Driven by entrepreneurship and inventiveness, Kusters started to focus on waste reduction plants. These plants reduced, destroyed and recycled waste streams for hospitals, the coffee and tobacco industry, paper mills, lamp factories and nuclear power plants, among others. And with success, hundreds of installations were sold. The sale of air conditioning started in 1975. Air conditioning turned out to be a good choice; it makes the (working) climate more pleasant and increases productivity.
In the 1980s, an installation was developed for pressing chicken manure into fuel briquettes and an incineration plant for energy generation using these fuel briquettes. In the same period, Kusters also entered the exclusive market of international Central Banks. As early as 1979, Kusters supplied two reduction plants with briquetting presses for paper waste such as misprints, precursor sheets and watermarked paper. Joh. Enschedé in Haarlem, at the time the printer of Dutch stamps and banknotes, was the first to open the market for money destruction for Kusters. In 1989 the definitive breakthrough in this unique market came and it was decided to split up the company. Kusters Engineering B.V. started to focus on the new money destruction market and other environmental activities. Kusters Technische Handelsonderneming B.V., led by Harrie Jr., started to focus on the traditional heating activities.
1990 - Today
Kusters Technische Handelsonderneming (THO) teamed up with high-quality foreign partners. In addition to air heaters, Harrie Jr. also started selling infrared heaters, radiant heaters, heaters and hot air guns. In the Netherlands, no less than 12 football stadiums with Kusters THO infrared heaters are heated, including the Johan Cruijff ArenA and the GelreDome. The new heating products also proved extremely suitable for churches, factory halls, stables, construction and workshops, tents and warehouses.
Also the developments in the field of air conditioning did not stand still................................................................................................................................................................................................. Whereas Kusters THO only marketed a few models that could only cool in the 1970s, many models have since been developed that can also heat as well as cool. Harrie Jr. was one of the first in the Netherlands to invest in the heat pump, the environmentally friendly alternative to heating using fossil fuels. Kusters THO started supplying installers and dealers in the Benelux and Germany to increase its reach. In 2018 the time came for Harrie Jr. to enjoy a well-deserved retirement. His youngest brother Paul Kusters took over the company in 2019 and focuses on the growth of the company as well as further sustainability of the cooling and heating solutions.
Kusters THO is particularly proud of its employees, its partners Gree, ApenGroup, Templari, GoGas and Biemmedue and its network of dealers and installers. Every day they ensure that Kusters THO is your partner for a clean and comfortable indoor climate, now and in the future!