Edmund Meiser is the youngest of nine children and has not yet reached the age of 14 when the war comes to an end in 1945. The post-war period in Germany is marked by high levels of poverty and hard reconstruction work. Edmund Meiser begins his working life as a young man at the local sand quarry, becoming one of Germany's youngest blasters at the age of 19 and completing his training as a businessman at evening school. With the daring and professional demolition blasting of badly damaged buildings, Edmund Meiser earns the starting capital for his ambitious aim of founding his own company.
On 1 August 1956 Edmund Meiser founds his first company, which is headquartered in Schmelz-Limbach. The location in Schmelz-Limbach is of particular interest, because the old station hall there can be rented very cheaply. With the help of just one employee, the company processes rod wire into concrete steel.
Edmund Meiser begins with the manual manufacture of gratings for the Saarland region, employing approximately 10 people.
With the acquisition of the former customs hall in Schmelz-Limbach from the German national railway company Deutsche Bundesbahn, Edmund Meiser works for the first time on his own premises. In the 1960s, Edmund Meiser focuses strongly on the trade in and simple processing of steel.
In order to meet the increasing demand for gratings, Edmund Meiser takes the decision to construct a modern production hall and begins with the industrial production of gratings.
Anecdote: You need luck, but bad luck can also be good luck!
The first machine which the young MEISER company acquires comes from Fink in Düsseldorf, requiring an investment of 7,000 Deutschmarks. It’s a wire straightening machine made by Wafios. This enables MEISER to serve a customer in Andernach, which at the time is considered "abroad" from the perspective of the Saar Region.
When the concrete steel which has been delivered is paid for, Edmund Meiser initially believes that a mistake has been made, as the amount paid far exceeds the invoice amount. However, the reason is that in the meantime the Deutschmark has risen sharply in value compared to the French franc.
In the search for new business, a master craftsman by the name of Mertel who is employed at the time at Röchling, suggests to Edmund Meiser that he should process steel strips, which can be purchased cheaply from Hadia in St. Ingbert. The machine required for this, costs 30,000 Deutschmarks and is ordered immediately from the firm Georg in Kreuztal – the delivery time is one year. When the machine is delivered, however, Hadia has dried up as an inexpensive source of supplies.
After a sleepless night, Edmund Meiser looks for a pragmatic solution and asks the supplier of the machine about other possible applications for the plant which has been delivered. This is when the word »gratings« is mentioned for the first time. A personal friend provides Edmund Meiser with access to the production halls of a leading manufacturer at the time, thereby providing initial insights into the manufacture of gratings. The foundation stone for a promising production process is laid.
With the construction of a small galvanising plant, Edmund Meiser invests in a promising new business segment.
Anecdote: Improvisation and inventive spirit
In 1969 Edmund Meiser becomes convinced that a galvanising plant is essential for the location in Limbach, as the only galvanising plant in the local vicinity is preventing his business from expanding due to its delivery time of 2 – 3 weeks. Planning and implementation is transferred to the firm Fritz in Hagen.
The concept provides for a galvanising kettle with a capacity of 2 tonnes/hour and a depth of 1.90 m. When the zinc is to be liquefied in the kettle, there is a major shock. The liquefaction process stops at a depth of 1.40 m, as the ceramic trough has evidently been incorrectly designed.
At this depressing moment, the improvisation skills of Wilfried Geib, Edmund Meiser's nephew, who will come to represent progress and ingenuity in production technology for more than 40 years, become apparent.
In 1969, he constructs an oversized beater on the basis of a drill, which liquefies the zinc bath completely within a very short time.
The company is expanded with the construction of a new production hall, creating today's steel processing hall (BEA). In order to increase the capacity utilisation of the company's own galvanising plant, the product range is also expanded to include guard rail posts and so-called spacers.
Edmund Meiser invests in new, larger hot dip galvanising equipment for the metal protection of serial parts. At the same time, the galvanising plant which had been constructed in 1969 is converted into a pickling plant. This is accompanied by the installation of a blasting plant for the treatment of sheet metal plates for refineries.
In the 1970s, the commercial activities of MEISER are dominated by the steel and galvanising business. During this period, gratings lose a bit of significance for Edmund Meiser.
In order to increase the capacity utilisation of the company's own galvanising plant, Edmund Meiser organises the establishment of the SPIG company in Limbach, a production company for guard rails and traffic protection systems. MEISER constructs the halls and storage areas required for this and continues the commercial activities in the field of metal protection together with the firm SPIG under the name Limbacher Verzinkerei GmbH.
The MEISER company celebrates its 25th anniversary, in the middle of the major steel crisis in Germany.
The large steel crisis in Germany necessitates a fundamental strategic realignment of the company. The simple processing of steel without any significant value creation does not generate enough earnings; MEISER requires a finished end product for its customers.
After detailed considerations with his closest confidant Wilfried Geib, Edmund Meiser decides in favour of the dynamic expansion of the Gratings Division. In order to implement this strategy, the first semi-automatic production line for the manufacture of press welded gratings is acquired, and the young employee Erich Petry is entrusted with the role of Sales Manager for the division.
In order to enable the planned expansion of the Gratings Division, additional industrial land has to be developed on the other side of the River Prims. The site is developed by means of a newly constructed bridge, which serves as a connection between the existing production halls, the Limbacher galvanising plant and the newly planned production halls.
In April 1984, the company moves into the newly constructed halls for the production of gratings. Using state-of-the-art technology, the industrial manufacture of press locked gratings and press welded gratings is initially carried out on three production lines.
In the 1980s, MEISER gradually develops into a well-established and successful supplier of gratings in Germany.
Edmund Meiser takes a strategic ground-breaking decision, seeking to develop his own supplies of primary materials for the production of gratings. MEISER invests in production locations for splitting hot wide strips, in wire-drawing machines and cold rolling centres, thereby becoming largely independent of supply companies. The purchase of steel takes on an increasingly significant role for MEISER and is professionally developed in an independent department under the managership of Achim Rivinius.
At the request of many customers – and in order to fulfil the leitmotif of "All under one roof" – MEISER begins with the production of staircase systems made of steel for indoor and outdoor use.
The historically unique opportunity to carry out business activities in Eastern Germany after reunification is possible as early as 1990.
After a few on site fact-finding trips by Edmund Meiser personally and a few discussions with the then director, MEISER takes the snap decision to take over the former jig and fixture construction section of MLK Plauen with approximately 50 employees in 1991.
The company is founded under the name MEISER Gitterroste GmbH & Co. KG on 1 February 1991, with the first press locked gratings being produced under the MEISER flag as early as the beginning of April 1991.
In the same year, MEISER takes over a leading Belgian manufacturer of gratings, which operates today under the name of MEISER Fameco S.A. with approximately 30 employees, and therefore manufactures products for the first time outside Germany.
The firm Limbacher Verzinkerei GmbH in Schmelz-Limbach is significantly expanded with the commissioning of a second galvanising line.
The company Ferroste Kft., headquartered in Dunaújváros, Hungary, is established as a joint venture between the Hungarian steelworks Dunaferr and MEISER. The personal business relationship between Edmund Meiser and the long-standing General Director of the steelworks, István Horváth, which goes back well into the late 1970s, forms the basis for this step shortly after the end of the Cold War
Due to the limited space available at the former state combine in Plauen, MEISER decides to move to the newly developed industrial estate of Johannisberg in Oelsnitz, Vogtland. Initially, 112 employees produce approximately 500 t of gratings every month.
With Frank Degenkolb and Dietmar Prätorius as Site Managers – being pioneers from the first moment onwards – MEISER quickly develops into one of the leading suppliers of gratings in the former states of East Germany and Eastern Europe.
As a company with its origins in the Saarland, MEISER had a strong relationship and contacts with its French neighbours from the very beginning.
In the year 1994, MEISER establishes its own subsidiary company in France and pools its sales activities for the French market under the name MEISER Caillebotis SARL in Alsace.
Through the mediation of Frans Louwers, a long-term friend of Edmund Meiser, contacts are established with the Dutchman Ruud Enzlin. In 1994 the partnership company RST MEISER Nederland B.V. with its headquarters in Rotterdam is quickly established and starts its brisk trading activities just a few months later.
The company Altenberg Gitterrostwerke GmbH in Essen was known as an important supplier of gratings in Europe since the 1970s and was last owned by the Union Minière Group, a Belgian raw materials conglomerate.
When the company is offered for sale in the middle of the 1990s, this is of great interest to MEISER for strategic reasons. Although the takeover requires a strenuous effort on the part of Edmund Meiser, MEISER succeeds in 1995 in acquiring all of the shares in Altenberg with its almost 250 employees in Essen.
MEISER finally becomes established as one of the leading suppliers of gratings in Europe. Altenberg owns sales companies in France (Elfor S.A.) and Great Britain (Altenberg UK), as well as a 50% share in the Essen-Vogelheim galvanising plant, which therefore become part of MEISER.
MEISER Ferroste Kft. in Hungary invests in the modern production technology of MEISER from Germany and constructs the first major production hall for the industrial production of gratings over an area of 2,000 m².
The foundation of uwM by Ulrich and Wolfgang Meiser represents the next significant investment step for MEISER in Vogtland. Modern production halls are constructed over an additional area of 30,000 m². Separate slitting plants are also installed along the lines of the parent company in Limbach. In addition, the product range in Vogtland is expanded to include vineyard posts made of steel.
In the summer of 1998 MEISER acquires the strip coating section, which is threatened by closure, from the bankruptcy estate of the Saar steel group.
Against the background that this area of the company has been a major customer of the steel processing business in Schmelz-Limbach for some years, they recognise the opportunity to retain this sales market while at the same time integrating the strip coating products into the product range of MEISER.
However, the site in St. Ingbert needs to undergo a complete modernisation process, which is initiated immediately.
On the basis of the positive development of the company, the decision is taken for the parent plant in Schmelz-Limbach to double its existing capacities for the production of gratings.
This expansion is made possible by the purchase of the former Gimmler site, which has been lying unused for some time in the immediate vicinity of the existing land.
This area, which is 60,000 m² in size, is developed with a new state-of-the-art production hall and an architecturally attractive administration building. With an investment volume of 40 million Deutschmarks, MEISER clearly signals its intentions shortly before the turn of the millennium.
At the same time, a further major investment is carried out at MEISER in Vogtland. In the remaining open space on the Johannisberg industrial estate, a new highly efficient production facility for gratings and a new central administration building are established under the name uwM Stanztechnik, the central administration building being architecturally highly attractive and a good match for the buildings in Limbach. With a 50 million Deutschmark investment package, all of the production capacities of the Altenberg Gitterrostwerke are transferred from Essen to the Saxon region of Vogtland.
In the future, MEISER will mainly supply the European grating market from the two large German production facilities in Saarland and Saxony.
MEISER Fameco S.A. in Ouffet, Belgium, modernises and expands its grating production to a total site area of approximately 8,000 m².
MEISER becomes a 50% shareholder in the galvanising plant in Plauen, which is taken over and subsequently operated together with the Voigt & Schweitzer brand association of Thyssen.
The Multi M Group from Cairo is a successful family business in the fields of expanded metal, steel furniture and automotive. In the search for new products, state-of-the-art production technology and the right partner to expand commercial activities, the company's attention is drawn to MEISER during a visit to a trade fair.
MEISER has also long harboured the wish to expand into Africa. Recognising the strategic advantage for both sides, the companies agree within a short time to establish a joint venture company under the name MULTI MEISER Egypt. After a construction period lasting only 6 months, there is enough hall space available for the state-of-the-art production technology of MEISER to be put into operation.
In Romania, MEISER Ferroste Kft. establishes the sales office of MEISER România with its headquarters in Oradea. In June the sales office of MEISER Polska is founded in Raciborcz.
The very extensive three-year refurbishment of MEISER strip coating at the site in St. Ingbert, Saarland, is completed with the full commissioning of the new galvanising line. MEISER now has one of the most up-to-date and efficient narrow strip galvanising plants in Europe. The approximately 100 metre-long, fully automatic galvanising line satisfies the highest quality demands and naturally fulfils all current environmental standards. As a result of this and its grating activities, the St. Ingbert location becomes the most important production site for MEISER.
MEISER takes over the French manufacturer of sheet metal profile gratings, the firm Krieg & Zivy, thereby opening up a new business segment. The manufacture of these products is transferred to Oelsnitz in Vogtland and supplemented with new production technology of MEISER.
The firm PMI Gitterroste AG was founded in 1987 by Alexander Imhof and has developed over the years into a leading trading company for gratings in Switzerland.
MEISER has been present in Switzerland with its own subsidiary since the year 2000. The competitors become partners, and with the amalgamation of the two companies under the name PMI MEISER Gitterroste AG, the leading trading company for gratings in Switzerland is created.
After the successful acquisition of a large contract for Dubai airport, MEISER's attention is drawn to the Middle East as a future market.
Further quick local successes lead to the immediate foundation of the company's own sales office under the management of Robert Vièl, who as a pioneer from day one plays a decisive role in shaping the successful market entry of MEISER in the Gulf region.
Lionweld Kennedy Middle East from Dubai is a subsidiary of the DUTCO Group, a well-known family business with more than 10,000 employees in the Gulf region and at the same time the leading supplier of gratings in the Middle East. The rapid sales success enjoyed by MEISER and the market presence of Lionweld Kennedy induce both sides to consider a future together. After uncomplicated negotiations, MEISER enters the existing production company locally.
Under the new name of LIONWELD MEISER LLC and the modified ownership structure, major investments are made immediately, so that by the end of 2006 the capacity of the company has already tripled.
LIONWELD MEISER LLC has a high market share throughout the Gulf region and is the first contact partner for internationally active plant manufacturers from the USA, Germany, Japan and Great Britain, particularly in the case of large projects in the energy and oil sector.
MEISER Ferroste Kft., our production location in Hungary, is significantly expanded by the construction of a new 2,000 m² hall, thus strengthening its position as one of the leading suppliers of gratings in Eastern Europe.
MEISER celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Together with the Kartal Group in Ankara, MEISER establishes a joint-venture company for the production of gratings for the Turkish market. The first step is the creation of a shop for cutting gratings to size.
MEISER takes over the French grating and sheet metal profile manufacturer Tolartois, with production locations in Béthune and Villers-la-Montagne.
All of MEISER's business activities in France are pooled under the umbrella of MEISER Sarl. As a result, France’s role as a production site for MEISER is not insignificant. As the second most important sales market after Germany, the country was - and still is - of major importance for MEISER anyway
MEISER takes over the grating business of NTJ, one of the leading grating trading companies in Sweden, and is present as a separate company on the Swedish market from January 2008 on under the name MEISER Sweden AB.
MEISER enters the Czech grating trading company V-Kutý, which is an affiliated partner, as a co-shareholder. The company, which henceforth is operated as a joint venture, is renamed Kutý MEISER and transformed into a business for cutting gratings to size. From Ostrava it is now possible to organise deliveries at short notice for customers in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.
The parent plant in Schmelz-Limbach invests in a new business segment, the production of pipes. A new hall complex is constructed with a covered area of 4,000 m². Furthermore, the latest machine technology is installed. The target customers are primarily the manufacturers of scaffolding.
The "MEISER in Limbach 2011" project starts with the purchase of approximately 100,000 m² of land, which will provide space for the major expansion of the works.
In the summer of 2008, Edmund Meiser's closest confidant of many years, his cousin Wilfried Geib, dies unexpectedly and far too early. As the Plant Manager of the parent plant in Limbach and the Chief Technical Developer of MEISER, he made a significant contribution to the success of the company over several decades. He leaves behind a gap which it is not possible to fill - neither professionally nor personally.
Together with the successful Moroccan trading company EGL in Casablanca, MEISER establishes a joint venture for cutting gratings to size for the regional market.
MEISER takes over the Austrian grating manufacturer and regional market leader Drumetall. All of the commercial activities of MEISER in Austria are pooled under the umbrella of MEISER Österreich GmbH. As a result, Austria becomes the third most important sales market for MEISER.
Lionweld MEISER, our production location in Dubai, and Hady MEISER Egypt undergo significant expansion of their operations. MEISER thereby strengthens its leading position as a supplier of gratings in the Middle and Near East.
Our affable companion Jean van Neyghem, the Managing Director of MEISER Fameco in Belgium for almost 20 years who is highly esteemed by everybody, dies unexpectedly. The rise and success of our company in Belgium are a direct result of his actions. We will remember him with gratitude and respect for a long time to come.
The sales office MEISER Algerie SARL is established in Algeria.
In the spring, the excavation work begins for the "MEISER in Limbach 2011" project. By the summer of 2011, a state-of-the-art galvanising plant with integrated logistics centre will be constructed over a hall surface area measuring 24,000 m². With an investment volume of €40 million, this measure is the largest single investment in the history of MEISER.
In order that the planned expansion can be completed, the L145 trunk road is re-routed. For this, the hilly terrain has to be largely removed, with a total of approximately 350,000 m³ (20,000 truckloads) of earth being taken away.
In May 2010, the capacity of the Pipes Division at the Limbach parent plant has already been doubled. In addition to the investment in a second pipe production line, additional halls are also constructed. At the same time, the administration building is expanded with an annex.
The firm Verzinkerei Plauen GmbH & Co. KG becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of MEISER and fully integrated in the organisation of MEISER Vogtland.
MEISER Vogtland reinforces its position as a second parent plant of MEISER with an extensive investment programme in new business areas.
MEISER do Brasil is founded in São Paulo in Brazil. The first step is the establishment of a shop for cutting gratings to size for the Brazilian market.
After the successful market entry in Turkey, Kartal MEISER is expanded into a fully-fledged and independent grating manufacturer for the whole of the Turkish region. In the spring the production facility begins operations with state-of-the-art technology from MEISER Vogtland and is therefore the eighth and youngest grating production site of MEISER.
The firm Limbacher Verzinkerei GmbH again becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of MEISER and fully integrated in the organisation of the parent plant in Limbach.
The construction work for "MEISER in Limbach 2011" is completed and the new galvanising plant with integrated logistics centre put into operation. At the parent plant in Limbach, MEISER now has two independent galvanising plants with a total galvanising capacity of 125,000 tonnes a year.
Edmund Meiser celebrates his 80th birthday together with his wife Ursula and the whole family – at the same time as the 55th anniversary of MEISER.
MEISER at Schmelz-Limbach starts its own truck fleet and partly assumes its transportation logistics.
MEISER acquires a 50% share in the scaffolding manufacturer ALFIX.
In July the new manufacturing plant of Marangoni-Meiser in Brazil was put into operation. One of the most modern production lines using German technology and expertise, fully automated, highly productive and extremely reliable, operated by Brazilian colleagues. Now it is also possible to offer everything - from cutting to size to simply delivery - from a single source in Brazil.
In order to implement further expansion over the coming years, in September 2013 MEISER bought all of the shares in the Turkish company Kartal Meiser, which had previously been operated as a joint venture, and is now also operating in Turkey under the name of MEISER.
MEISER assumes the management of all business areas of Profil Alsace SAS, the leading manufacturer of vineyard and fruit growing fence posts made of steel, which has its headquarters in Niederlauterbach in Alsace.
With the takeover of Profil Alsace SAS, Dr. Reisacher GmbH and Pali Systems SARL, MEISER is fortifying its position as full-range supplier in the area of steel.
On 25 November, the joint venture contracts between MEISER, the already established grating manufacturer Grating Peru and our sales partner Grupo Cunado were signed in Lima. Grating Peru is now a joint venture of the original owners together with MEISER and Grupo Cunado. The market area for our new joint venture company is South and Middle America excluding Brazil.
The reconstruction work of the Limbacher Verzinkerei galvanising plant, founded in 1984, started in Spring 2012 with the expansion of the galvanising hall. In addition, the construction of an inhouse set-up hall enables efficient work independent of the weather.
The changeover to natural gas as well as the complete extraction of the pre-treatment as well as the two galvanising kettles now ensure a particularly environmentally-friendly operation of the galvanising plant.
The reconstruction work has been regarded as successfully finished since the end of 2014, and MEISER is looking forward to new tasks and challenges lying ahead.
The trading company NTJ AB has been exclusively and successfully marketing the MEISER products in Norway for more than 10 years. What was a cooperation has now lead to a full subsidiary of MEISER, in the form of MEISER Norway AB. The according contract was signed on 27 February 2015 in Stokke, Norway.
In April 2016, Mr. Robert Vièl and Mr. Wolfgang Schell were appointed additional managers of MEISER Holding GmbH and MEISER International GmbH. Furthermore, Mr. Wolfgang Schell joined the management board of Gebr. Meiser GmbH in Limbach, whereas Mr. Robert Vièl joined the management board of Meiser Vogtland OHG.
In Mai 2016, the 60th anniversary of MEISER Schmelz-Limbach was celebrated in Oelsnitz, together with the 25th anniversary of MEISER Vogtland.
As of now, MEISER is also active with agencies in Argentina and South Africa.
MEISER establishes the agency MEISER AC Sarl in Cameroon and is also active in New Zealand and Australia with its partner A.E. TILLEY LTD Manufacturing Engineers.