About VSM

VSM offers solutions for your grinding process

VSM – More than just three letters

Our understanding of abrasive processes is second to none. Not only do we grind every surface to a high-precision finish, we also analyse our customers’ specific grinding applications to ensure we always find an optimum long-term solution.

Application-specific know-how is a key differentiator for VSM, and is highly valued by industry, trade and retail customers all over the world.
Expertise. Quality. Customer focus. This is what VSM stands for.

Our day-to-day strategy and decision-making is shaped by our company values.

VSM company principles

A successful abrasives business for more than 155 years

Experience in the production of abrasives

VSM stands for expertise

VSM produces its ceramic abrasive grain in Hanover

Grain technology

An outstanding abrasive requires the perfect interplay of backing, bonding system and abrasive grain. And VSM doesn’t leave this to chance! To meet its own ambitious quality standards, VSM develops premium abrasive grain products in-house.

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VSM application engineers have the right solution for your grinding task

Application know-how

The VSM company philosophy envisages being able to offer the perfect abrasive for any application. With over 200 made-to-measure product series and a global network of application engineers, we can find the optimal solution for almost any challenge in technical abrasives.

From abrasive grains to backings and the top bond: VSM manufactures its abrasives in Germany

Manufacturing technology

Our expertise in manufacturing technologies is concentrated at our Hanover site. This is where VSM has been setting standards in the production of coated abrasives for over 150 years. A recipe for success that continues to impress customers worldwide.

VSM stands for quality

Extensive grinding tests are carried out in our own test facilities

Product quality

Routine end-of-line inspections of our abrasive products are carried out in VSM’s own in-house quality lab – from microscopic analyses to abrasive tests conducted on our internal test systems.

Preliminary product quality

Our approach to quality starts with properly checking the raw materials we use. To be on the safe side, we finish our own cloths, and make our own bonding systems and abrasive grains.

Production quality

A climatically encapsulated strewing line, laser-guided weighing, high-precision goods conveyors and multi-stage drying are just a few of the factors for success we apply to our production of high-quality abrasives. The result is VSM ‘Made in Germany’.

Certified and recognised worldwide

FEPA-certified emery paper

VSM is a member of the Federation of the European Producers of Abrasives (FEPA). The safety standards defined by FEPA ensure the safe use of abrasives.

oSa-certified fibre discs

The Organisation for the Safety of Abrasives (oSa) is a voluntary association of abrasive tool manufacturers. VSM is a long-standing member here.

VSM is certified to the ISO 9001:2015 standard

VSM has maintained ISO 9001:2015 certification as the basis for its quality assurance system for many years, ensuring all parts of the company must meet these stringent requirements.

Grinding technology in Europe

As the largest national association for grinding technology in Europe, the Association of German Abrasive Manufacturers (VDS) represents the interests of VSM as a member of the German abrasives industry.

The internationally recognised AEO seal of quality guarantees supply chain reliability

VSM has been certified as an AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) since 2015. This internationally recognised status guarantees the security of the supply chain from the manufacturer of a product to the end consumer.

VSM stands for customer orientation

VSM identifies the optimal solution for your grinding task

Optimising the grinding process

VSM doesn’t just supply the right abrasive but can also analyse your grinding process and make key adjustments to your grinding line. As always, our goal is your optimal grinding solution!

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Application testing and product training in Hanover

Putting grinding centre-stage

The VSM Competence Centre (CC) in Hanover offers a space for product training, seminars and comprehensive application testing. Customer applications can be simulated here and results reviewed. This service from VSM reduces downtimes and cuts productivity losses at our customers.

Seminar dates

Live webinars with grinding hacks for grinding pros

Live webinars

Use your precious time effectively and benefit from our expert knowledge. Our live webinars let you experience practical applications that also have relevance for your own day-to-day work.

Webinar dates

Company management

VSM employs more than 800 people worldwide.
Together, we work to offer our customers the best possible product portfolio with our wide range of abrasive solutions. And to make life a little easier for our customers each and every day.

Chairman of the Board of Management (CEO) Dipl.-Ing. Bernhard von Heyl

Dipl.-Ing. Bernhard von Heyl

Chairman of the Board of Management (CEO)

Responsible for

  • Production and Engineering
  • Conversion
  • R&D and Quality Management
  • Human Resources and Administrative Services
  • Knowledge Transfer
  • Procurement
  • Finance and Management Accounting
Dipl.-Oec. Jörg M. Henkel, Member of the Board of Management

Dipl.-Oec. Jörg M. Henkel

Member of the Board of Management

Responsible for

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Product Management
  • After-Sales
  • Subsidiaries and Affiliates
  • Logistics and Transport Networks
  • IT

History

VSM has been based in Hanover (Hainholz), Germany since 1864

VSM is the short form of Vereinigte Schmirgel- und Maschinen-Fabriken AG, based in Hanover (Hainholz), Germany. Founded in 1864 by Siegmund Oppenheim and Siegmund Seeligmann, the company started life as a sandpaper producer. After 50 years, VSM then moved to specialise in the production of coated abrasives.

With the construction of its own cloth finishing plant, VSM developed into one of the largest companies in the abrasives industry at the time. The wholesale destruction suffered during the Second World War proved to be only a temporary set-back. Careful management of earnings and the active support of its employees meant that VSM was able to resume production as early as 5 October 1945.

This was followed by the construction of belt conversion lines, warehouses, laboratories, testing and trial facilities, and the continuous expansion of production capacity. The final part of this modernisation campaign was the construction of an advanced training centre for customers and staff with its own machine room and conferencing systems. Ultimately, these activities have transformed VSM into the abrasives industry market leader that it is today.

1864–1898: From company formation to merger

Siegmund Oppenheim and Siegmund Seeligmann form VSM in Hanover (Hainholz)

1864 – Company formation

Siegmund Oppenheim and Siegmund Seeligmann form VSM AG. Together, they start producing glass paper by hand in a workshop located in Hanover’s Hainholz district.

Original documents and letters from co-founder and director Max Oppenheim, preserved to the present day

1871–1873 – Letters from Director Max Oppenheim

Three original documents from the co-founder.

Quality award from the World Exhibition in Vienna in 1873

1873 – Quality award at the World Exhibition in Vienna

An award presented at the World Exhibition recognises the outstanding quality of products made by VSM.

Certificate of merger that produced the modern Vereinigte Schmirgel- und Maschinen- Fabriken AG

1898 – Merger

S. Oppenheim & Co. Hainholz and Schlesinger & Co. Harburg merge to form Vereinigte Schmirgel- und Maschinen-Fabriken Aktiengesellschaft.

1900–1945: Boom years and post-war rebuilding

VSM factory premises in 1900

1900 – View from 1900

The VSM factory premises in Hainholz, Hanover.

VSM 50th anniversary

1914 – 50th anniversary

VSM celebrates its 50th anniversary! The company continues to make record shipments of glass paper and emery cloths.

Opening balance sheet from 1924

1924 – Balance sheet

The opening balance sheet from 1924 records a share capital of 3,540,000 gold marks.

VSM specialises in the production of coated abrasives in Hanover (Hainholz), Germany

1929 – Coming out strong from the global economic crisis

The company now started to specialise in coated abrasives. Hainholz in Hanover became the main site for production.

VSM becomes one of the largest companies in the abrasives industry and builds its own cloth finishing plant

1932 – Progress

VSM builds its own cloth finishing plant and develops into one of the largest companies in the abrasives industry.

Vitex trademark

1933 – Vitex

The company registers the ‘Vitex’ trademark, which becomes synonymous internationally for high-performance abrasives.

VSM factory premises destroyed during the Second World War

1943–45 – War damage

During the Second World War, most of the production facilities in Hanover are destroyed.

Rebuilding after the Second World War in Hanover (Hainholz)

1945 – Rebuilding

Without needing to draw on state aid, VSM employees rebuild the production facilities with funds from company reserves. Production is already underway again by 5 October 1945. A brilliant achievement!

1949–1999: Modernisation and internationalisation

Enlargement of premises at the Hanover site

1949–1991 – Capacity expansion

An extensive programme of building work is completed during this period, including a new four-storey building with laboratories, testing and trial facilities, belt converting lines and storage space, completion of a raw materials warehouse and canteen, construction of a high-bay warehouse, processing jumbo rolls of up to 3,000 linear metres of basic goods.

Formation of the first subsidiary, VSM Abrasives Ltd. in the UK.

1955 – UK

Formation of the first subsidiary, VSM Abrasives Ltd. in the UK.

VSM AG celebrates its 100th anniversary together with record annual earnings

1964 – Centennial anniversary for VSM AG

In the year that VSM AG turns 100, it also posts the best balance sheet result in its history.

Formation of VSM Abrasives Corporation in the USA

1978 – USA

Formation of VSM Abrasives Corporation in the United States of America.

Opening of in-house technical abrasives training centre in Hanover

1991 – Training Centre

VSM opens its own training centre for technical abrasives in Hanover.

Formation of VSM Abrasives Canada Inc. in Oakville, Canada. Formation of DUNA-VITEX KFT in Budapest, Hungary

1992 – Optimisation Phase I

Consolidation of production and new logistics facilities. Foundation of VSM Abrasives Canada Inc. in Oakville and DUNA-VITEX KFT in Budapest, Hungary.

Joint ventures with PFERD in Sweden and Switzerland

1994 – Optimisation Phase II

Introduction of distribution strategy for Germany. Joint ventures are launched with PFERD in both Sweden and Switzerland.

Start of joint venture with PFERD-VSM in Poland.

1997 – Joint venture

Start of joint venture with PFERD-VSM in Poland.

Further expansion in Hanover. Construction of additional conversion plant in Hungary.

1999 – Further expansion

Further expansion of capacities in Hanover plus process optimisation work. An additional converting plant is established in Hungary.

2002 to present day: Expansion and extra production capacity

Investment of EUR 2 million in new grain facilities

2002 – Construction of new grain facility

Investment of EUR 2 million in a new grain facility.

Training centre in Hanover reopens for customers and employees after renovations

2004 – Further expansion

Usable space in the packing shop is doubled, plus integration of a new pallet conveyor line. Grand opening of an advanced training centre offering professional development for staff and customers, with its own machine room and conferencing systems.

Capital investment in new production buildings at the Hanover site

2008 – Production expansion

VSM invests several million euros in new production buildings at the Hanover site.

New grain and ceramic grain production facilities in Hanover

2012 – Construction of new grain facility

The new grain facility marks the completion of one of the biggest construction projects in VSM’s history.

Logistics centre in Hanover

2018 – Construction of new logistics centre

In the space of 12 short months, VSM outdoes itself once again by completing the construction of a new, state-of-the-art logistics centre – the company’s largest single project in its 154-year history.