We are your partner

SCHIESS Werkzeugmaschinenfabrik GmbH – 163 years of mechanical engineering in Aschersleben and Düsseldorf

SCHIESS Werkzeugmaschinenfabrik GmbH looks back on more than 160 years of tradition:
In 1857, i.e. 163 years ago, the “Maschinenbauanstalt Aschersleben” was founded by Heinrich Billeter and Wilhelm Klunz in Aschersleben. In 1866 Ernst Schiess founded SCHIESS in Düsseldorf. All three are of that generation of Magdebrg Young Wild Engineers of 19th century. In 1891 the “Verein Deutscher Werkzeugmaschinenfabriken“ (VDW) was founded at the initiative of Ernst Schiess. After German Reunification, the three reunited in 1991 – although no more in person.

Ernst Schiess

Ernst Schiess

Founding up to 1945

Billeter and Klunz started as repair shop for lathes.

In 1860 the first machine tools were produced. From the 1870s, the company started to specialize in planing machines. At the World Exhibition 1889 in Paris, the company attracted great attention with these machines and achieved worldwide fame.

Until the global economic crisis in the 1920s the product range extended to a range of 15 different types of planer. In 1931 started a product diversification into surface grinding machines. During the Second World War armaments were additionally produced.

SCHIESS also started as repair shop and contract manufacturer. Only from 1870 machine tools (vertical lathes, portal milling machines, later horizontal milling machines) were produced. In 1880 the company was one of the three largest machine tool factories of the German Reich.

During the First World War the factory was vitally important during the war and became supplier for the German shipyards. During the Second World War the company was also involved in the production of war-relevant goods.

Heinrich Billeter

Heinrich Billeter

Hobelmaschine 1925

planer, 1925

Karusselldrehmaschine 1929

vertical lathe, 1929

1945 up to 1989

In 1946 Billeter and Klunz were nationalized as VEB Werkzeugmaschinen (WEMA) Aschersleben. Planer and grinding machines are produced again. From the 1960s new products were increasingly developed, and from the 1970s onwards large machining centers.

Schiess resumed production of well-known products in Düsseldorf in the 1950s. The machines already had impressive dimensions even in that time – turning diameter of 25,500 mm and workpiece weight of 1,800 tons.

Both companies remain existing during division of Germany.

Since 1991: German Reunification

In 1991 Lentjes Holding / SCHIESS AG takes over WEMA Aschersleben. In 1993 the shares have been transferred to “Bremer Vulkan”, that filed for insolvency in 1996. SCHIESS Wema GmbH with business division of contract manufacturing was set up in 1997 through a management buyout.

In 1999 the designing of a new product series of horizontal boring machines, vertical lathes and gantry milling machines is started. This period set new challenges: change of ownership, privatization, mergers, crises and changes. All activities had always been the objective to preserve the traditional company and its extensive know-how.

2004 was the beginning of a new stage: The Chinese company Shenyang Machine Tool Co., Ltd. (SMTCL) – later Shenyang Machine Tool Group (SYMG) takes over SCHIESS GmbH. 15 years later, the business of SCHIESS GmbH is liquidated.