1964-1974


1964 - 1974 Departure, the first years


On 1 May 1964 engineer Wolfgang Schäfer founds the company in Sigmaringendorf. Only a few years later - in 1969 - the company moved to Laiz near Sigmaringen. The location has remained the headquarters of the company to this day.

After a good start and some difficult years in the recession from 1966 to 1968, the young company developed very successfully in the following years. At the end of the 60s, the first company logo is created from the initials of the founder W and S - Wolfgang Schäfer. 

Right from the start, product developments came from within the company. For example the first own push-button LT 18 or call panels with capacitive push-buttons, as well as the intercom system from 1970. Design by SCHAEFER" has always been the name of the game.


(i) The first lift pushbutton: The illuminated pushbutton LT 18 was the first lift pushbutton from SCHAEFER and came onto the German market in 1964.

(1) The company founder engineer Woflgang Schäfer managed the company for 33 years until 1997.

(2) The old company building in Sigmaringen-Laiz around 1974.

(3) Old production hall in Laiz.

(4) Test equipment for a university - the housings and front panels with engraved coating were manufactured by Schäfer.

(5) Simple lathes were in use for a long time until they were finally replaced by modern CNC machines.

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1974-1984
 


1974-1984 Development


With many new products, SCHAEFER strengthens its position as a supplier of operating and display elements in the elevator industry and soon achieves a market share of 50% in Germany.

At the beginning of the 1980s, the company launched the new VARIO tableau system and soon afterwards the patented DOMINO modular system. Gradually also the first business relations are attached to customers into European countries. During these years, the number of employees rises to 50. 

The new push button series LT 28 extends the delivery program completely crucially. With the ET 28, the first electronic stylus is developed and launched on the market.


(1) VARIO panel with LT 28 illuminated pushbuttons, segment display and toggle switch.
(2) Product information and flyer from the 80s.
(3) In the 80s, the company increasingly advertised its own products. The illustrations show photographs, which were used at that time for various brochures, flyers and leaflets.

1984-1994


1984-1994 RISING


In the meantime the product range has grown considerably. In order to make it easier for customers to order this variety, the ordering system was further developed in the course of the 1980s. With the help of planning templates and so-called "adhesive tapes", customers now put together their individual tableaux. 1987 SCHAEFER is founding member of the VFA-Interlift e.V. (Association for Elevator Technology) and since 1988 co-initiator of the international trade fair "Interlift", which is still successful today. The first fair took place in the Munich Olympic Hall, all others in Augsburg, since 1999 every 2 years.

The further development and new development of the tableau systems has resulted in a great upswing in this decade. In 1994 the SCHAEFER workforce grows to 97 permanent employees and 31 home workers or part-time employees.



(1) Company building around 1985 with the old company logo consisting of the initials of the founder W and S.
(2) Advertising brochure for the VARIO, DOMINO and DOMINOBEL systems from 1988.
(3) DOMINO air control panel with LT 28 button.
(4) SCHAEFER booth at the first Interlift 1988 in Munich.

1994-2004
 


1994-2004 Continuity


Extensive construction work, which continued from the 1980s until 2002, created more capacity: With more employees and an expanded machine park SCHAEFER is now preparing for the increasing number of orders from abroad. In 2002 Michael Gubisch - today managing director of SCHAEFER GmbH - joins the company. He is to advance the development of the international markets.

A further milestone in the company's history is the establishment of its own QM system with the successful initial certification according to DIN EN ISO 9001:2000 in 1999. The trend towards more individuality also becomes clear in this decade: SCHAEFER increasingly manufactures tableaus for the most diverse requirements, including barrier-free solutions.


Thanks to the changes, further developments, reorientations and upheavals that took place between 1994 and 2004, SCHAEFER remains a continuously growing and future-oriented company.

2004-2014


2004-2014 Globalisation


After 16 years as Managing Director, Werner Köpff passed the baton on to Michael Gubisch in 2005, who had already been successfully driving forward the company's international orientation since 2002. This also includes the adaptation of the company name to international requirements: The "Ing. Wolfgang Schäfer GmbH" becomes the "SCHAEFER GmbH".

SCHAEFER succeeds in keeping pace with the rapid worldwide development: The opening of the production and distribution site in Abrera
(Spain) in 2009, three years later, "SCHAEFER Elevator Components Inc." was founded in Canada. Already in the following year the SCHAEFER subsidiary in Milan was opened. The heart of the company, the
Laiz site, will be strengthened by the completion of the production hall extension. Within a decade, the number of employees at the headquarters has increased from 140 to 220. In 2014, SCHAEFER can look back on half a century of experience, development and growth. As a strong medium-sized company and future-oriented technology leader, the positive further development is supported and shaped by a strong workforce, driven by the pioneering spirit of the first hour.


(i)

The company 2014:

- 5 Subsidiaries
- 240 employees worldwide
- 12 nations / 19 languages
- Over 50% export share
- Customers in over 120 countries
- 50 years of industry experience

photo album
 


(1) Intercom from 1978
(2) One of the first Christmas parties at the new plant in Laiz in 1975.
(3) Gerhard Lauer, Werner Köpf 1985.
(4) Wolfgang Schäfer 1993 on his 70th birthday.
(5) Accounting 1988.
(6) Illuminated pushbutton LT 28.
(7) Short stroke pushbutton KT 28.


(8) Quality control.
(9) Son Joachim, wife Ruth and Wolfgang Schäfer.
(10) Ruth Schäfer was responsible for secretariat and accounting.
(11) Celebration of the 80th birthday.
(12) Group photo in front of the Hohenzollern castle in Sigmaringen.
(13) Ruftableau from the 80s.
(14 to 17) Jobs in production in the 70s.

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