History

1877

Paul Freyburger from Stuttgart is granted patent no. 1454 for a kneading and mixing machine with two elliptical agitator discs.

1878

Paul Pfleiderer contractually takes over the patent for all time and all countries.


1879

Hermann Werner establishes an engineering works in Stuttgart.


1880

The joint enterprise Werner & Pfleiderer is entered on the Commercial Register of the Cannstatt Local Court. In the beginning, the company makes mixing machines but the market and army provision offices soon start demanding complete systems for making rusk. Pfleiderer initially buys the necessary dough rollers, cutting machines and ovens from England. Soon afterwards the company starts making its own.


1886

Subsidiary company established in Saginaw, Michigan, USA.


1889

Establishment of company's own production works in Vienna.


1890

Around the turn of the century, Werner & Pfleiderer has subsidiaries in London, Paris, Vienna, Moscow and Saginaw (Michigan, USA).


1893

The company Werner, Pfleiderer & Perkins Ltd. is established in London. Perkins supplies the special steam pipes for ovens production. The works in Cannstatt has the suffix "Cannstatt Steam Baking Oven Factory" added to its trading name. At the same time, Werner adds ribbon proving cabinets and taper round-moulders to the production range. The clientèle includes not only customers in the food industry but also chemical, paint and explosives manufacturers.


1902

WP Vienna takes over rivals Warchalovsky and becomes official baking equipment supplier to the Austrian armed forces.


1905

Richard Werner enters his father's company as a partner.


1905

Werner & Pfleiderer now also builds dough handling machines and dough dividers patented by Charles Pointon of London. John Pointon, the inventor's son, starts work at WP.


1908

Otto Werner enters his father's company as a partner.


1910

WP produces rubber washers, rubber kneaders and drying ovens for the rubber industry. Lehmann, the leading company in the field up to this point, is taken over.


1912

WP Vienna, which by this time also builds aircrafts and aircraft engines, splits from Warchalovsky again so that "the WP specialties are not pushed out by orders for the military", according to the then managing director in Vienna, Otto Werner.


1910-1914

WP develops the Viennara mixing machine, which is the first to be driven by an electric motor. The first continuously operating suspension oven, called the "Auto Oven" by WP, bakes as many as 10,000 rolls an hour.


1914

Production is given over to war requirements, i.e. field bakeries. Richard and Otto Werner join up as volunteers.


1918

The company has lost 74 employees in the war. The plants in Britain and the USA are compulsorily expropriated. The British firm Joseph Baker & Sons buys the subsidiary in Saginaw and the British subsidiary, Werner, Pfleiderer & Perkins, and forms Baker Perkins Ltd. Numerous foreign branches have to be closed. The major part of the sales market is lost.


1921

An agreement known as the "Credo Treaty" is signed with Baker Perkins. It is a general contract covering market and product development. WP makes the first ovens to be constructed in steel rather than brick-built.


1927

WP suffers a financial crisis. To consolidate, the company is restructured and changed into a limited partnership.


1929

Otto Fahr successfully fights for compensation for the Saginaw plant.


1931

Otto Fahr becomes chairman of the board and, at the same time, silent partner, and eventually general partner in 1951.


1934

The Depression has not spared Werner & Pfleiderer. The number of employees has shrunk from 1,350 in 1929 to 55 and sales revenue has plummeted from 16 million to 5 million marks.


1938

The four-year plan of the National Socialist government invests in the use of synthetic rubber. Werner & Pfleiderer is involved in making the necessary machinery.


1938

Zyklotherm heating is introduced into baking oven design. It involves a central gas or oil-fired heater that produces hot air as the heat conduction medium, which is then controllably directed via channels around the baking or drying chamber. This enables precise temperature regulation. It also reduces operating costs.


1938

A new plant and office building are erected in Feuerbach near Stuttgart.


1939

The company makes machines for field bakeries, supplies mixers for explosives, artificial silk and rubber, and manufactures parts for artillery weapons, aircrafts and rocket tail units (for the V II). The proportion of arms-related production is less than 20 %. Many former employees are at the frontline. In their place, so-called "foreign workers" are employed.


1944

The factory in Feuerbach is largely destroyed by air attacks. The company is occupied by the French Army in April 1945.


1945-1949

WP survives on the repair and replacement needs of customers. The majority of the management is removed from the company by the denazification process.


1949

Otto Fahr takes over the reins of the company again and his eventual successor, Helmut Steinmann, joins the business. Even though synthetic rubber production in Germany has to be shut down, WP's business with the chemical, plastics and rubber industries is booming. The plasticizer for PVC production is invented and establishes itself as the standard.


1953

The first Matador oven is delivered. The MATADOR remains the most successful deck baking oven on the market to this day.


1957

Separation of lines of businesses: the plastics division is split off as an independent operation headed by Günther Fahr.


1964

Production of the MATADOR moves from Stuttgart-Feuerbach to Dinkelsbühl in Bavaria. The plot and buildings previously used as a sawmill are put to new use and reorganized in the years that follow, and finally replaced by new production halls and a new office building. New staff are recruited through newspaper, poster and cinema advertising and trained at company headquarters in Feuerbach.


1973

The WP Group's entire oven production is based in Dinkelsbühl.


1979

Production of machinery for artisan bakeries moves to Dinkelsbühl.


1986

Krupp acquires a 50.1 % shareholding in Werner & Pfleiderer.


1992

Werner & Pfleiderer sets new standards in the baking sector with the still unrivaled, computer-controlled OBER loading unit (a name that has since become synonymous with automatic loading of deck baking ovens), the first automatic tray loader for roll baking systems, the Robomatic, and the first flour-dust-free bread baking system.


1996

Jürgen Horstmann takes over the artisan bakery systems arm of Werner & Pfleiderer GmbH and forms Werner & Pfleiderer Lebensmitteltechnik GmbH from it. The property in Dinkelsbühl remains under the ownership of Werner & Pfleiderer GmbH.

1998

iba 1998, Düsseldorf: Presentation of the first Megador

2013

60 years of Matador

2013

135 years of WP

2014

50 years of WP Dinkelsbühl