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André Kuper at KATMA CleanControl

High-ranking visitor at the young start-up KATMA CleanControl

The young Rietberg-based start-up company KATMA CleanControl wants to raise cleanliness standards in transport logistics to a new level with an innovative business model. To this end, the founders developed a patented robot that will replace the manual cleaning of truck trailers in the future. With the help of artificial intelligence, resources such as water, energy and time are to be conserved and the cleaning process required after each tour is to be automated and certified in accordance with current guidelines. The founding brothers Patrick and Felix Kathöfer recently presented their idea and the finished prototype to André Kuper (CDU), a local member of parliament and president of the state parliament. André Kuper, who was mayor of the city of Rietberg between 1997 and 2012, wants to further promote the start-up culture in NRW and took the visit as an opportunity to have the customer-oriented and reliable pilot series demonstrated to him.

André Kuper at KATMA CleanControl

New standards of truck hold cleaning

2019 was it, the start for the business idea. Time and again, the two brothers observed livestock trucks being cleaned by hand and realized that there was no automated solution worldwide for the laborious, inefficient and unpleasant cleaning of truck trailers or sea containers. In addition, they realized that in food logistics in particular, strict guidelines and protocol require certified, meticulous cleaning of cargo holds.


Without further ado, they developed a first prototype in a former chicken coop - a robot that cleans truck holds fully automatically. With the help of artificial intelligence, the cleaning process is constantly made more efficient. Thanks to the patented robot, disinfecting cleaning agents are used optimally and resources are sustainably conserved, among other things by recycling water and chemicals. In addition, the application guarantees a consistent quality standard. In the meantime, the time saved compared to conventional cleaning is over 60 percent.


André Kuper was particularly interested in the aspect of sustainability. "This is how climate protection works: through innovation. Such a foundation requires not only courage and inventiveness, but also a country that promotes innovation instead of prohibition. Only in this way can we further expand our pioneering role in future technologies."


The two founders were excited about the visit of the president of the state parliament: "Two years ago we were still screwing on a prototype in a former chicken coop, now we can present our finished product to the president of the state parliament!"


In the meantime, KATMA CleanControl has not only secured the "Exist-Gründerstipendium" funding program from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) and expanded the team, but also established a production site in Rietberg. In addition to the support from garage33, startup center of the University of Paderborn, the team has built a network of regional partners and sponsors. For example, KATMA provides for MINT young talent with ProWirtschaft GT. Soon, the young entrepreneurs would like to offer their own apprenticeships. The young team expressed its gratitude for the visit: "We are continuing on our path of advancing the region through inventiveness, safety and sustainability."