Our history

Milestones from 1937 to today


OKS Otto Knauf GmbH now belongs to the SCHÄFER WERKE Group

SCHÄFER Werke GmbH & Co. KG has acquired OKS Otto Knauf GmbH in Iserlohn from Fidelium Partners.


EMW invests in new warehouse location for sustainable logistics

With the aim of concentrating locations, EMW Stahl Service GmbH has acquired the northern part of the former EEW Bergrohr production site in Siegen-Weidenau. The property comprises around 23,000 square metres of commercial space, production halls and its own rail connection.

draft2go dispensing system


New draft2go dispensing system

With draft2go, SCHÄFER Container Systems can offer a mobile dispensing unit that makes new hospitality concepts possible. An integrated CO2 supply and a stylish insulator jacket provide for the self-sufficient enjoyment of full draught beer flavour for up to 8 hours. Thanks to the integrated 10-litre reusable KEG, this dispensing unit is the most sustainable of its kind. 


EMW in Treuen

Since 2019, a slitting line, a cut-to-length line, a cutting centre and a multi-blanking line have been added to our machine park.


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.


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.


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.


New launch of the Party-KEG

Fresh draught beer with Bavarian bunghole and PU jacket.


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.


Three jubilees in the SCHÄFER family enterprise

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


Extension of EMW Steel Service Centre

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


SCHÄFER Perforated Metal

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



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.



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



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


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.


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.


Perforated Metal

SCHÄFER Perforated Metal takes up production.


Reusable containers

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


New plant at Betzdorf

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


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.


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, over 1,100 employees work to maintain this success.



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


EMW's relocation

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


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.


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.


EMW Steel-Service

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


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.


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.


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.