with strong tradition

Since it was first founded in 1945, the history of BÖWE SYSTEC GmbH has been distinguished by the company’s courage in implementing innovative ideas, far-sightedness, sound instinct in respect of new markets and sustained globalization policy. Attributes such as these have helped the company develop steadily over the years.


Max Böhler (l.) and Ferdinand Weber (r.)

Modest beginnings

Directly after the end of World War II, Max Böhler and Ferdinand Weber founded the company Böhler und Weber – later abbreviated to BÖWE – in Augsburg. Setting up in what had been a cowshed in the Pfersee district of the city, they initially manufactured various products required in daily post-war life from goods acquired from the armed forces. The first milestone in the company’s development into a machine shop was reached in 1950 with the manufacture of a chemical cleaning machine for textiles.

Launch of the paper management business

A further production branch opened up in 1953 with the arrival of a new member of staff, Rudolf Wanner, who brought with him a cutting machine for fanfold paper that had originally been developed by the company Matthieu. The technology required to manufacture a machine of this kind – a mixture of precision engineering and “electronics” – simply wasn’t available at the time. Nevertheless, in the fall of 1953, Böhler and Weber gave the go-ahead for production of these cutting machines. This decision was characteristic of two men known for their vision and ability to recognize forward-looking trends. It also marked the launch of the company’s office equipment product line, subsequently known as “paper management”. The Allianz insurance group and BASF were among the first customers for the new products. The company also managed to get a foot in the door of various German savings banks and power utility companies at an early stage.

Next stop – the world

Starting in the mid-1950s, the company gradually built up a domestic and international sales organization. Thus the BÖWE machines soon managed to capture the international markets. In return, the Augsburg-based company obtained valuable information on international development trends and product requirements as the basis for what was, from the outset, a market-oriented and cutting-edge approach to product development.

Developmental milestones

Demands from the various sales regions led to an extension of the product portfolio for cutting machines, with calls now being made to “expand into other markets”. Besides additional separators, this period saw the company develop its very first proprietary folding machine, which was sold as a “system” in combination with a cutting machine.

In 1959 the company presented its first inserting machine under the product name P5. This system was marketed as a “cutting machine with additional insertion unit”, cutting still constituting the major focus of BÖWE’s development operations.


Always even faster systems

In order to satisfy demand for higher processing speeds during paper separation, the mid-1970s saw BÖWE present its first burster.

Thereafter, Böhler und Weber Maschinenfabrik continually expanded its range of office equipment, culminating in the launch in 1976 of the world’s fastest inserting system, capable of 12,500 insertions per hour.

The company’s growth proceeded unabated, with the sales force announcing one success story after the other. From Japan and Australia to South America, markets were systematically cultivated and captured without ever losing sight of the domestic market, which now extended beyond Germany to cover Europe in its entirety.

In 1984, another BÖWE milestone was reached when the company made a spectacular impact at the CeBIT trade fair with BICOS, the first computer-assisted screen-based operating solution for inserting systems.


Paper management goes it alone

The office equipment division had grown steadily during the first 40 years of BÖWE’s history, and it was thus a logical step to hive it off from the second major product line, that of cleaning machines, in terms of organization. In 1985, BÖWE Maschinenfabrik became BÖWE GmbH, a holding company for two independent businesses: the original office equipment division became BÖWE Informations- und Systemtechnik GmbH, while the cleaning technology division was given the name BÖWE Reinigungstechnik GmbH. Finally, in 1991 BÖWE Informations- und Systemtechnik GmbH changed its name to BÖWE SYSTEC.

The company continued to work on developing new products, even during this period of profound structural change: for instance, when the plastic card market started to boom in the early 1990s, BÖWE SYSTEC was quickly able to come up with a suitable system solution for the insertion and application of such cards.

2000 till today

A collective push towards success

The ongoing performance enhancement of all inserting systems developed to date, the launch of innovative, high-speed feed components, and the setting of new standards in the field of software solutions with products such as the open software architecture BÖWE One in 2006 are waypoints in the company’s more recent development up to the present. From extremely modest beginnings, BÖWE SYSTEC has developed into a global player with 20 subsidiaries throughout Europe, USA and in Japan and a global network of more than 50 general agencies.

BÖWE SYSTEC GmbH was acquired by the financially sound Lübeck-based Possehl-Group in 2010. As a shareholder with a long-term outlook, Possehl will provide the financial stability required by the BÖWE SYSTEC Group.

More information available is available at


Werner-von-Siemens-Str. 1
86159 Augsburg, Germany

Phone +49 821 5702-0
Fax +49 821 5702-234