Our history

Milestones from 1937 to today

1937

Founding of the company

On 16th January 1937, the following entry appears in the Burbach official registry: Fritz Schäfer – manufacture of metal goods of all kinds. The first products were manufactured in the cellar of the house he lived in.

1948

Relocating the business

The change to series production for transport boxes meant that the original production facilities soon became too small and so operations were transferred to the old “Dorfwiese” (village green) in Neunkirchen-Salchendorf in 1948.

1951

Four brothers all pulling together

The four sons, Hans, Gerhard, Manfred and Theo Schäfer take on the management of the young enterprise in 1951. In addition to their manufacturing operations, they decide to expand the lucrative retail business.

1952

EMW Steel-Service

In December, the EMW, Ironmongers and Hardware Dealers, is founded: “Trading with industrial raw materials and products of all kinds”.

1953

The Innovation: Fix storage boxes with a "view hole"

The development and series production of Fix storage boxes is not just a milestone for the company, but has left an indelibly mark on warehouse logistics.

1962

The "Pfannenberg"

The closed iron ore mine "Pfannenberger Einigkeit" is taken over by the twins Manfred und Theo Schäfer in Neunkirchen-Salchendorf.  “Pfannenberg GmbH“ is founded.

1963

EMW's relocation

The EMW Steel Service Centre relocates from Betzdorf to the Pfannenberg site in newly constructed facilities.

1965

Radiators

The FIX panel radiator is successfully launched. After 40 years, the company withdrew from the heating sector to concentrate on new market segments.

1969

Founding of SCHÄFER WERKE GmbH

The activities of "Pfannenberg GmbH" are continued and extended through the newly founded enterprise SCHÄFER WERKE GmbH. The company has its head office on the historic Pfannenberg in Neunkirchen in Germany’s Siegerland region.
At three production sites, around 1,000 employees work to maintain this success.

1970

SCHÄFER SHOP is founded

With the establishment of SCHÄFER SHOP in 1971, a new sales idea is born. As a mail order supplier of equipment for offices, warehouses and workshops, SCHÄFER SHOP gives its customers the opportunity to buy from catalogues. This “shopping from your desk” idea is a great success. The original four-page brochure has since developed into a 1,300-page catalogue.

1971

New plant at Betzdorf

Construction of the Betzdorf works for the production of steel furniture for office, workshop and shop floor.

1978

Reusable containers

Market launch of reusable beverage containers with a PU (polyurethane) coating.

1980

Perforated Metal

SCHÄFER Perforated Metal takes up production.

1985

EMW Steel Service Centre

EMW is built up into a Steel Service Centre with slitting and lateral slitting lines, geared to the high-grade steel sector.

1993

SCHÄFER Interior Systems

Establishment of SCHÄFER Ausstattungs-Systeme GmbH: In addition to the main works in Neunkirchen, production to order is begun at a further location in Betzdorf.

1995

SUDEX

SCHÄFER WERKE takes over SUDEX – a company producing stainless steel KEGs in Ledec nad Sazavou in the Czech Republic.

1998

SCHÄFER IT-Systems

Production of server and network cabinets is launched under the brand name SCHÄFER IT Systems.

2001

IBC

The Container Systems division expands its range to include IBCs (intermediate bulk containers) of stainless steel for liquid and paste-like substances, solid materials and granulate.

2005

SCHÄFER Perforated Metal

Perforated metal production extended into a centre of excellence on the Pfannenberg.

2011

Extension of EMW Steel Service Centre

Another slitting line is put into operation, extending the EMW service range.

2012

Three jubilees in the SCHÄFER family enterprise

A special year for the SCHÄFER Group. Three companies celebrate jubilees at the same time.

2014

EMW commissions Servo circular blanking press

Circular blanks of the highest quality in steel, stainless steel or aluminium. Bespoke formats and lot sizes on customer request.

2014

New launch of the Party-KEG

Fresh draught beer with Bavarian bunghole and PU jacket.

2016

SCHÄFER IT-Systems creates iQdata brand

With iQdata, the specialists for IT infrastructure create a new brand for holistic systems solutions for all your data centre needs.

2018

40 years of SCHÄFER KEGs

In this year, the SCHÄFER Container Systems division celebrated 2 jubilees: 1978 saw production of the PLUS KEG, which celebrated its 40th year in 2018. At the same time, the 25 millionth KEG was manufactured on the Pfannenberg.

2018

EMW extends logistics centre

To optimise logistics ever further, the EMW Steel Service Centre builds two new halls to extend its operational area by 12,000 m² to a total of 45,000 m². Daily loading volume now amounts to 4,000 tons.