K.R. KOMAREK Inc. History

K.R. KOMAREK Inc. History

KOMAREK’s history with briquetting dates back to the early 1900s. Recognizing there was an opportunity to turn lumps of coal into briquettes that would cut down on dust and be easier to transport, Gustav Komarek filed several patents related to the new material handling process of briquetting.

As the need for coal briquettes started to dwindle for home heating, briquetting other materials – like magnesium oxide – became more important. Gustav, and his son, Karl Richard, made improvements to modernize the briquetting process. One early innovation was to design and manufacture screw feeders that allowed materials like magnesium oxide to freely flow into the briquetting machines. They also developed spring loaded rolls, which were later improved to hydraulic cylinders – which is still a cornerstone of today’s briquetting machines.

Karl Richard also designed an original briquetting machine with cantilevered removable rolls. These designs eventually became the KOMAREK B100 that would revolutionize briquetting machine maintenance and feed system.

After K.R. KOMAREK Inc. formed in 1962, Richard Karl Komarek, Gustav’s grandson and Karl Richard’s son, joined the family business. Komarek quickly outgrew their original small space and moved into a 10,000 square foot building so they could build bigger machines. Their capabilities continued to increase, requiring yet another move to an Elk Grove Village, Illinois facility that was more than double in size as the previous building.

KOMAREK’s rapid growth was also made possible due to strategic partnerships and acquisitions. In 1997, KOMAREK became a minority shareholder in EURAGGLO S.A. In 2001, KOMAREK eventually took controlling interest of EURAGGLO, giving them worldwide capabilities to serve everywhere from the U.S., Europe, and the United Kingdom to Australia, South America, North Africa, Asia and the Middle East. In 2007, KOMAREK bought and settled into their current Wood Dale home, a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that brought their total manufacturing and lab space to a 44,000 square feet.

In 2018, KOMAREK became a part of the family-run Koeppern Group, which combined together serve many hundreds of companies worldwide.