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.
A successful abrasives business for more than 155 years
VSM stands for expertise
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
The Organisation for the Safety of Abrasives (oSa) is a voluntary association of abrasive tool manufacturers. VSM is a long-standing member here.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
Dipl.-Ing. Bernhard von Heyl
Chairman of the Board of Management (CEO)
- Production and Engineering
- R&D and Quality Management
- Human Resources and Administrative Services
- Knowledge Transfer
- Finance and Management Accounting
Dipl.-Oec. Jörg M. Henkel
Member of the Board of Management
- Product Management
- Subsidiaries and Affiliates
- Logistics and Transport Networks
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
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.
1871–1873 – Letters from Director Max Oppenheim
Three original documents from the co-founder.
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.
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
1900 – View from 1900
The VSM factory premises in Hainholz, Hanover.
1914 – 50th anniversary
VSM celebrates its 50th anniversary! The company continues to make record shipments of glass paper and emery cloths.
1924 – Balance sheet
The opening balance sheet from 1924 records a share capital of 3,540,000 gold marks.
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.
1932 – Progress
VSM builds its own cloth finishing plant and develops into one of the largest companies in the abrasives industry.
1933 – Vitex
The company registers the ‘Vitex’ trademark, which becomes synonymous internationally for high-performance abrasives.
1943–45 – War damage
During the Second World War, most of the production facilities in Hanover are destroyed.
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
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.
1955 – UK
Formation of the first subsidiary, VSM Abrasives Ltd. in the UK.
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.
1978 – USA
Formation of VSM Abrasives Corporation in the United States of America.
1991 – Training Centre
VSM opens its own training centre for technical abrasives in Hanover.
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.
1994 – Optimisation Phase II
Introduction of distribution strategy for Germany. Joint ventures are launched with PFERD in both Sweden and Switzerland.
1997 – Joint venture
Start of joint venture with PFERD-VSM in Poland.
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
2002 – Construction of new grain facility
Investment of EUR 2 million in a new grain facility.
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.
2008 – Production expansion
VSM invests several million euros in new production buildings at the Hanover site.
2012 – Construction of new grain facility
The new grain facility marks the completion of one of the biggest construction projects in VSM’s history.
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.