PROGRESS

SINCE 1894

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HISTORY

When Otto Zschimmer and Max Schwarz founded a chemical wholesaler in 1894 and began producing their own chemical products in 1909, the world was a completely different place.

After all, who at the time could have foreseen the events that would shape the 20th century? The history of Zschimmer & Schwarz is therefore also a history of Germany, and a history of constant change.

1894

1 January: Otto Zschimmer and Max Schwarz found the general partnership Zschimmer & Schwarz in Chemnitz and start selling drugs, paint products and chemicals

1909

Start of operations of the Company’s first production facility in a factory in Greiz-Doelau, Thuringia; the chemical plant, Z&S Chemische Fabrik Doelau, employs around 500 staff and until 1945 is the Company’s biggest production facility

1925

Start of development activities and registration of the first patent: “Process for presenting a substitute for balsam of Peru”

1933

Unternehmensgründer Otto Zschimmer stirbt im Alter von 70 Jahren in Chemnitz

1939

Acquisition of Flesch-Werke AG in Oberlahnstein on the Rhine, from 1959 location of the Company’s head office and the biggest production facility of Z&S

1945–48

Sequestration and expropriation of all Z&S operations in Saxony and Thuringia; the partners and their families flee to West Germany

1960

Company founder Max Schwarz dies at the age of 91 in Lahnstein. The first foreign subsidiary, Z&S France with head office in Paris, starts the sale of paper auxiliaries. Launch of the Ceramic Auxiliaries Division in Lahnstein

1970

Foundation of Ursa-Chemie GmbH, today contract manufacturer for the chemical and cosmetics industry and manufacturer of products for the electroplating industry

1972

Foundation of Z&S Italiana and start of production and sale of surfactants, initially in Southern Europe

1978

Foundation of the Group’s first company in South America: Z&S Argentina; from 2008 development of own production for leather, textile, fibre and ceramic auxiliaries

1980

Opening ceremony of the fully biological waste water treatment plant at the location in Lahnstein: the Company’s biggest single investment at the time at DM 4 million

1985

Foundation of Zeta Esse Ti in Italy, initially only for the production and sale of textile auxiliaries; leather and fibre auxiliaries are added at a later date

1990

Entry in the Italian ceramics market with the acquisition of Ceramco; at the same time acquisition of the Spanish subsidiary Ceramco España, initially as a trading company for ceramic auxiliaries, later renamed to Z&S España; from 2002 development of own production

1995

Move of the Textiles Auxiliaries Division from Lahnstein to Saxony, where Z&S Mohsdorf GmbH had been founded two years earlier. As part of an extensive modernisation and development programme at the Lahnstein location, the construction of a new continuous sulfation plant and the new logistics centre are completed

1998

Acquisition of a textile auxiliaries manufacturer and foundation of Z&S, Inc. in Milledgeville, Georgia, USA, and development of the Fibre Auxiliaries, Ceramic Auxiliaries, Phosphonates and Care Specialities Divisions at this location

2000

Development of a production for special chemicals for the leather, ceramics and textile industries in Brazil, the world’s second largest tile market and one of the largest automotive leather markets

2005

Foundation of Z&S Chemical (Foshan) in China, the largest ceramics market in the world. In 2007 start of own production of ceramic auxiliaries, later expanded to textile, fibre and leather auxiliaries

2006

Foundation of Z&S Russia and development of a ceramic auxiliaries production and expansion of the sales network for the Fibre Auxiliaries, Leather Auxiliaries, Textile Auxiliaries and Care Specialities Divisions. Foundation of Z&S México, initially as a trading company for leather auxiliaries; later development of a ceramic and textile auxiliaries production

2010

Acquisition of Euro Kimya, development of the ceramic auxiliaries business in Turkey

2012

The Ceramic Auxiliaries Division of Z&S develops the new Trucolor product group, digital printer inks for tiles

2013

Acquisition of Lefatex Chemie GmbH with products for coating textile and carbon fibres and clutches for use in textile concrete

2015

The acquisition of the dyehouse business from Lamberti / Unichem, Italy, further strengthens the position of Z&S in the leather auxiliaries market. The acquisition of Gevartis AG, Switzerland, further develops the Ceramic Auxiliaries Division’s glass portfolio, adding interlayer fire-proof glass, in particular.
The acquisition of Interpolymer Corporation, USA, adds polymer-based solutions to the portfolios of the divisions of Z&S and creates access to a growth market

2017

With the acquisition of the Lexolube Division from Inolex, Inc., USA, the product range was expanded in the Care Specialities Division with products for the manufacturing of synthetic oils and fats. Foundation of Zschimmer & Schwarz Ukraine as a sales representative for fibre, leather and textile auxiliaries as well as care specialities

2018

Foundation of Interpolymer Korea Co., Ltd. in the context of a joint venture agreement with KhaiEL Korea Co.

2019

Zschimmer & Schwarz celebrates its 125th anniversary. Zschimmer & Schwarz expands its product portfolio in the Leather Auxiliaries Division by joining forces with Samia S.p.A.

2020

Zschimmer & Schwarz is increasing its consistent focus on customer wishes and offers tailor-made solutions. With a restructuring of its business divisions, the corporate group is evolving strategically and intensifying its application orientation.

2021

Zschimmer & Schwarz joins the United Nations Global Compact, thereby emphasising its commitment to shaping the future with a focus on sustainability and responsibility for society.

2023

Zschimmer & Schwarz takes over 100% of Samia S.p.A. Change in the Executive Board of the Zschimmer & Schwarz Group.