The company is founded by Carl Heinrich Schäfer as C.H. Schäfer in Ohorn, 30 km north of Dresden. It initially produces and sells special weaving machines for the ribbon industry in the surrounding area.
Max Schäfer takes over management of the business after his father’s early death. The company focuses on manufacturing looms made from metal. Over the subsequent decades, ongoing investment in production focuses on hardened gears and spiral bevel gears.
Max Schäfer develops and registers a patent for a multi-step powershift gearbox. Its primary application is drying cement and coal.
More than 90% of the facility is destroyed during the final days of the war but rebuilding is completed within just a few months. In the early 1950s, more looms and winding machines as well as the multi-step powershift gearbox are supplied to various industry sectors. Karl Schäfer, nephew of Max Schäfer, takes over after his uncle’s death in 1953.
The business is seized by the East German government in 1969. Production continues to expand and the number of employees increases from 200 to 260. In 1991, the company returns to private hands and is renamed as C.H. Schäfer Getriebe GmbH. Over the next few years, more than 30 million euro is invested in production processes and maintenance.
Successful merger of C.H. Schäfer Getriebe GmbH, Getriebe-Schäfer GmbH and Schäfer Components GmbH under the new name – ZIMM Germany GmbH.