A moving history

First razor blades, then transport equipment, today vacuum technology and energy storage: the history of the Schmalz company is characterised by continuous change, by markets that are changing and by the constant urge to create something new for customers. Founded in 1910 as a razor blade factory, Schmalz has developed into an internationally successful industrial company with customers from almost all branches of industry.

The Schmalz Razor Blade Factory

"A man with a beard is unfashionable, today you love the shaved gentleman." I wonder if today's Berlin hipsters would've liked the slogan of the Schmalz razor blade factory in the 30's. At that time, company founder Johannes Schmalz had already made an international name for himself with his "Glattis": the company sent out several million blades per year to customers all over the world.

In 1910, Johannes Schmalz had founded the company directly on the river Glatt because he found a hydroelectric power plant for operating his machines here. In the early days, the resourceful Black Forest native developed and manufactured all important machines himself, for example an automatic grinding and polishing machine.

Era of transport and airport apron equipment

When well-off airplane passengers boarded a Boeing 707 in the 1960s to cross the Atlantic, they might have been walking down a flight of stairs from Schmalz: Artur Schmalz, son of the company's founder, took over the company in 1945 and, after the triumphal march of the electric shaver, began using transport equipment. Passenger stairs, luggage trailers, small mobile filling stations or even serving trolleys were part of the product portfolio.

In agriculture, the "Schmalz-Kipper" was used, particularly suitable for use on steep slopes. With the paint drying cars, Artur Schmalz developed a product for drying furniture parts which is still sold today.

Reorientation towards vacuum technology

A carpenter brought about the turning point - in the truest sense of the word: when Dr. Kurt Schmalz, grandson of the company founder, was asked at a trade fair about a holding device for fixing and turning a door, this was the beginning of vacuum technology. Dr. Kurt Schmalz, who took over the company from his father in 1984, then developed a work table with vacuum suction cups and a vacuum generator powered by compressed air.

The first step had been taken and the new business segment was born. In 1990, Wolfgang Schmalz joined the management board. Together, the grandchildren of Johannes Schmalz turned a craftsman's business into a successful industrial company with worldwide operations.