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The history of the BWF Group
How it all began and where we stand today

A lot has happened in over 120 years of company history. How did we begin with wool felt and end up producing plastic profiles and industrial filter media? What has happened since 1892? Here, we share our story with you.

Five generations - over 120 years

The "Bayerische Wollfilzfabriken KG Offermann, Zeiler, Schmid & Co. KG Offingen Hof" (BWF) came about as the result of a merger between two felt factories in 1962. One was founded in 1892 by Theodor Wilhelm Schmid and his partners in Hof; the other in 1896 in Offingen by the entrepreneurs Silbermann and Lembert. In 1912, Johann Offermann takes over Lembert's shares. Until the merger, both companies are mainly active in felt production.

In 1956, the first "Plexigum" plastic profile is produced by means of extrusion. It is the start date for BWF Profiles. With the founding of BWF Envirotec in 1968, the company becomes Europe's first manufacturer of filter media.

In the decades leading up to the turn of the millennium, the company successfully expands into the USA, Italy and China. The establishment of international production facilities in Turkey, India, Russia, Austria, South Africa and Poland has marked the last two decades of the BWF Group, which today is in its fourth and fifth generation of family ownership.

Overview of BWF Group milestones

from 1892 until today

2019

2019
Another production site in Germany

Acquisition of the company HEY-SIGN GmbH in Meerbusch / Düsseldorf; manufacture and design of felt products in the field of interior design and lifestyle.

2018

2018
The next generation takes over

Maximilian Offermann, 5th generation, becomes a Managing Director | Partner.

Innovation as a corporate value: On 1 September 2018 innotec - the new, independent division for innovation management at BWF Group - officially begins its work.

The Company restaurant 'Johann's' is completely renovated and re-opens.

Revenue approx. € 280 million, 1,800 employees

from left to right: Dr. Philipp von Waldenfels, Maximilian Offermann, Stefan Offermann

BWF Group Management since 2018
2017

2017
New production sites in South Africa and Poland

Founding of BWF Envirotec, South Africa.

Acquisition of Orwat Filtertechnik in Poland and Germany by BWF Envirotec.

2016

2016
The 5th generation joins the company

After 34 years, engineer Wolfgang Schmid hands his position on to Dr. Philipp von Waldenfels. The company name changes from BWF Offermann, Schmid & Co. KG to BWF Offermann, Waldenfels & Co. KG.

120th anniversary of the BWF Group.

Jack Filter Entstaubungstechnik becomes BWF Envirotec, Austria.

from left to right: Dr. Philipp von Waldenfels, Dr. Wolfgang Schmid, Stefan Offermann

The 5th generation joins the company
2010

2010
New production site in Russia

Founding of LLC BWF Envirotec in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.

2008

2008
New production site in India

Foundation of BWF Tec India Pvt. Ltd. in Pune, India.

Foundation BWF Envirotec India
2005

2005
New production sites in Turkey and Italy

Founding of BWF Endüstri Filtreleri ve Teknik Kece Ltd. sti. in Izmir, Turkey.

Acquisition of BWF FTI S.p.a..

2001

2001
Founding of BWF Profiles, China

Start of production for BWF Profiles in the People's Republic of China.

Foundation BWF Profiles China
1996

1996
BWF Group's first production site in China

Founding of BWF Environmental and Industrial Technology Wuxi Co. Ltd. in the People's Republic of China.

1990

1990
Felt for the fashion industry

Acquisition of BWF facol s.r.l., Milan, Italy; manufacture of high-quality undercollar materials for menswear.

Felt for the fashion industry
1989

1989
BWF Group conquers a new continent

Founding of BWF America Inc. in the USA; filter bag manufacture.

1988

1988
Production of thermoformed and injection-moulded parts

Acquisition of tkt GmbH & Co. KG, Geretsried; manufacture of thermoformed and injection-moulded parts.

Production of thermoformed and injection-moulded parts
1975

1975
BWF Group goes international

First foreign subsidiary BWF Textiles Ltd., founded in Upperlands, Northern Ireland; production of filter media.

1968

1968
Founding of BWF Envirotec

as the first manufacturer to introduce needle felts as a filter medium.

Founding BWF Envirotec
1962

1962
Felt factory merger

The two felt factories in Offingen and Hof merge to form the "Bayerische Wollfilzfabriken KG Offermann, Zeiler, Schmid & Co. KG Offingen Hof," with headquarters in Offingen.

1956

1956
Founding of BWF Profiles

Diversification: The first "Plexigum" plastic profile is produced by means of extrusion.

Founding BWF Profiles
1912

1912
Councillor of Commerce Johann Offermann

acquires the Lembert shares of the Offingen felt factory.

1896

1896
Founding of the felt factory in Offingen

by the entrepreneurs Johannes and Wilhelm Lembert and Franz Baptist Silbermann.

Full view of the felt factory
1892

1892
The company "Wunnerlich, Schmid & Co." is founded

in Hof by Theodor Wilhelm Schmid, Robert Wunnerlich and Otto Franck. Felt production begins in 1902.