The history of the BWF Group
How it all began and where we stand today
A lot has happened in more than 125 years of company history. From the original main product wool felt to the later production of plastic profiles and industrial filter media - how have we developed since 1892? Here, we share our story with you.
Five generations - more than 125 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, Poland and Spain has marked the last two decades of the BWF Group, which today is in its fifth generation of family ownership.
Overview of BWF Group milestones
from 1892 until today
Inauguration of the new BWF Envirotec production hall with an area of 2,700 m² at the headquarters in Offingen. Spanish subsidiary ACMA takes over the sales company Industri Textil Job S.L.U. in Spain. Change of name from ACMA to BWF Envirotec Spain, S.L.U.
Revenue 2023: approx. € 330 million | employees: 1,800
From left: Dr. von Waldenfels (Managing Partner, BWF Group), Alexander Holzheu (Manager Industrial Engineering), Nikolai Beranek (Managing Director, BWF Envirotec)
Acquisition of ACMA in Spain by BWF Envirotec.
After 37 years Stefan Offermann will hand over his operational tasks to Maximilian Offermann and Dr. Philipp von Waldenfels with effect from January 1, 2021. On 13 September 2021, Maximilian Offermann took over the function of personally liable partner from his father Stefan Offermann.
125th anniversary of the BWF Group.
from left to right: Maximilian Offermann, Stefan Offermann, Dr. Philipp von Waldenfels
Acquisition of the company HEY-SIGN GmbH in Meerbusch / Düsseldorf; manufacture and design of felt products in the field of interior design and lifestyle.
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.
from left to right: Dr. Philipp von Waldenfels, Maximilian Offermann, Stefan Offermann
Founding of BWF Envirotec, South Africa.
Acquisition of Orwat Filtertechnik in Poland and Germany by BWF Envirotec.
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
Founding of LLC BWF Envirotec in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.
Foundation of BWF Tec India Pvt. Ltd. in Pune, India.
Founding of BWF Endüstri Filtreleri ve Teknik Kece Ltd. sti. in Izmir, Turkey.
Acquisition of BWF FTI S.p.a..
Start of production for BWF Profiles in the People's Republic of China.
Founding of BWF Environmental and Industrial Technology Wuxi Co. Ltd. in the People's Republic of China.
Acquisition of BWF facol s.r.l., Milan, Italy; manufacture of high-quality undercollar materials for menswear.
Founding of BWF America Inc. in the USA; filter bag manufacture.
Acquisition of tkt GmbH & Co. KG, Geretsried; manufacture of thermoformed and injection-moulded parts.
First foreign subsidiary BWC Textiles Ltd., founded in Upperlands, Northern Ireland; production of filter media.
as the first manufacturer to introduce needle felts as a filter medium.
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.
Diversification: The first "Plexigum" plastic profile is produced by means of extrusion.
acquires the Lembert shares of the Offingen felt factory.
by the entrepreneurs Johannes and Wilhelm Lembert and Franz Baptist Silbermann.
in Hof by Theodor Wilhelm Schmid, Robert Wunnerlich and Otto Franck. Felt production begins in 1902.