Our History

Our History

The long, rich history of BW Papersystems

BW Papersystems is the combination of 13 well-known global brands that serve the corrugating, sheeting, packaging, stationery, book binding, and security documents industries with roots that date back to the mid-1800’s. It’s a legacy of quality and performance we celebrate daily while continually looking to the future for innovative solutions for our customers.

The company as it exists today began when global capital equipment and engineering solutions firm Barry-Wehmiller acquired Phillips, Wisconsin- based Marquip from founder Carl Marschke and Richard Thomas. Marschke started Marquip in 1968, quickly establishing an industry-leading standard in corrugating.

Over the next 20 years, Barry-Wehmiller continued to add other forerunners in paper through acquisition in various parts of the industry, adding to its services and diversifying its portfolio for customers. In 2002, they brought together three companies, Marquip, Ward Machinery, and United Container Machinery Company (formerly Maryland, founded in 1898.)

From 2002 to 2017, a number of companies with long histories in paper were added to the BW Papersystems family. WillPemcoBielomatik originates from the well-known brands E.C.H. Will, Pemco, and Bielomatik's paper division, E.C.H. Will was founded in 1866, Pemco began in 1960, and the first paper processing machines from Bielomatik were built in the 1950s. BW Papersystems Stuttgart finds its roots in Kugler Automation and Womako Maschinenkonstruktion, which merged into Kugler-Womako in 1999.

In June of 2018, BW Papersystems further accelerated its growth when it completed a historic acquisition—its first in Asia—through a merger with K&H Machinery, a leading manufacturer of complete corrugators headquartered in Dongguan, China.

Currently, BW Papersystems serves customers in more than 120 countries across the globe. Worldwide, the company has more than 2,100 team members who work in one of the companies 21 locations throughout 12 countries. Since 2000, BW Papersystems has risen from a $100M company to a $540M diversified global frontrunner.

Discover more about the history of BW Papersystems and our brands' rich legacies:

Milestones

1866

Company E.C.H. Will founded by Eduard Christian Heinrich Will. First pen ruling machine with manual infeed of single sheets and inking unit.

1932

First rotary machine for the production of exercise books.

1945

Hans Biel founds a design company focusing on automation in Neuffen, Germany.

1948

Hans Biel officially registers bielomatik GmbH in Neuffen, Germany.

1949

First paper processing machines.

1951

First automated exercise book line.

1960

Pemco founded in Sheboygan, WI, by local entrepreneur, Fred Koehn, to rebuild and modify existing packaging machines.

1962

Walter Kugler founds Kugler Automation GmbH. First semi-automatic writing pad machine.
Ward Machinery was founded by William F. Ward, Sr., who invented the world's first Rotary Die Cutter.

1965

First cut-size sheeter for the production of communication paper.

1966

100th anniversary of E.C.H. Will GmbH.
First Pemco engineered cut-size ream wrapper.

1968

Leuze Group acquires bielomatik GmbH and forms bielomatik Leuze GmbH + Co.KG First paper punching machine. First carbon paper inspection and cut-size machines.
Marquip, Inc. was founded as a manufacturer of custom-designed automated machinery for building materials industry; Under the leadership of founder Carl Marschke and his business partner, Richard Thomas, the company refocused to providing machinery for the corrugated paperboard industry.

1970

Completion of the first bank note cut-size and sorting machine.

1973

Hans Wohlfahrt founds Womako Maschinenkonstruktion GmbH.

1976

E.C.H. Will GmbH acquires Womako Maschinenkonstruktionen GmbH, Nürtingen (Germany), developer and manufacturer of machinery for the stationery industry and bookbinderies.

1977

First fully-automatic passport manufacturing line.

1980

Machine for production of suspension files from the web.

1981

E.C.H. Will GmbH acquires Pemco Inc., Sheboygan (USA), manufacturer of complete lines for wrapping small paper formats, folio-size cutters and fully automatic cartoning machines.

1985

E.C.H. Will GmbH acquires Kugler Automation GmbH in Riederich (Germany), builder of machinery and production lines for manufacturing personal documents.

1986

First wire comb forming machine P 496 and the exercise book line P 15- 90 with shrink film packaging line, 100 cycles/min.
The company Maryland eventually became the United Container Machinery Company.

1988

Pemco builds first fully automatic folio ream wrapper.

1990

E.C.H. Will GmbH acquires Wrapmatic S.p.A. of Bologna (Italy), manufacturer of large format, folio-size ream wrapping machines and completelines for pallet handling.

1992

Pemco expands product portfolio by acquiring Clark-Aiken (Lee, Massachusetts), building first DM series folio sheeter

1994

Development of the new machine generation P 2000, a web-finishing system. First 12-pocket cut-size sheeter.

1996

Delivery of the 200th binding machine.

1997

Laser perforation of passports with 50 books/minute.

1998

Flexible high-speed cutting machine for photo paper.

1999

First high-speed label cutting machine for wet glue applied labels.
Merger of Kugler Automation GmbH and Womako Maschinenkonstruktionen GmbH to Kugler- Womako GmbH based in Nürtingen Germany.

2000

Barry-Wehmiller acquired Marquip, Inc.
Pemco enters small folio sheeter market with acquisition of product line from Strachan Henshaw Machinery (SHM).

2001

Delivery of the 100th double wire forming machine.

2002

Barry-Wehmiller acquired Ward Machinery Company which then merged with Marquip to form MarquipWard.
Barry-Wehmiller completed the acquisition of United Container Machinery; the addition of United's wet end and finishing products to MarquipWard's dry end products enabled the merged company to provide a full corrugator and finishing machinery.

2004

Machine for chip-integration in passports. Acquisition of the Combina of Schafer-Etiketten V GmbH labelina machines.

2005

PassPort 4 machine for chip-programming in passports.

2007

Kugler-Womako acquires the existing company premises in Nürtingen.
VortX United, Inc., a manufacturer of high-shear starch mixing systems, was acquired and integrated with MarquipWardUnited.

2008

Apollo Sheeters Ltd. of Bedford, England, was acquired and integrated with MarquipWardUnited; Apollo manufacturers sheeters for paper and board.
First 16-pocket cut-size line.

2010

Kugler-Womako wins the Innovation Award of the German Printing Industry for the new paper binding machine EcoBinder.
Pemco celebrates its 50th anniversary.

2011

MarquipWardUnited acquired Officine Curioni S.p.A. of Milan, Italy, a provider of finishing machinery since 1925.

2014

MarquipWardUnited, a Barry-Wehmiller company, acquires E.C.H. Will and its sister companies Pemco and Kugler-Womako. The new holding BW Papersystems is set up to combine all these strong brands.

2015

Barry-Wehmiller acquires Bielomatik paper processing group.
The new brand WillPemcoBielomatik is created. The large product portfolio now includes cut-size sheeting and packaging lines, folio sheeters, folio ream wrappers, stationery production equipment, and RFID processing solutions.

2016

The manufacturing Location Kugler-Womako GmbH is legally renamed to BW Papersystems Stuttgart GmbH and is now the home base of Kugler-Womako and BW Bielomatik brands.

2017

BW Papersystems adds Zerand, based in New Berlin, WI, a leading manufacturer of high-speed platen and rotary die-cutting machines, to the portfolio.

2018

BW Papersystems acquires K&H, a producer of corrugators founded in 1989 in Taiwan, and Questec, Germany, a manufacturer of innovative sheeters for lightweight materials.

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BW Papersystems has always more than met our expectations in terms of machine and product quality and high productivity. First-class equipment and supplier for first-class customers with high-performance standards. That's why we would buy a BW Papersystems banknote sheeter again.
Anonymous due to Confidentiality, Security Documents Industry