Carl Lüdin establishes a sole proprietorship for the mechanical production of paper bags. The manufacturing facility is located on the lower Mühlesteg in Zürich and the machines are driven with waterwheels. The houses on the lower Mühlesteg in the Limmat River between the Bahnhofbrücke and Rudolf-Brun-Brücke have long disappeared. Today, a pedestrian bridge connects the lower Limmatquai with the Papierwerdinsel (Coop shopping centre).
Heinrich Wipf (1st generation, born in 1882) joins the company as a commercial apprentice. The bags are printed on a letterpress bed one by one.
Carl Lüdin wants to sell the company because he has no offspring. Heinrich Wipf (1st generation) acquires it together with Hans Feldmann. In the same year, they move to new premises on Kernstrasse in Zürich‘s district 4. A new era begins. The first inline aniline (now flexographic) press is coupled with a web-fed bag machine before the end of the year. World War I erupts in 1914, and the first few years are very difficult for the company. Business starts to expand after the war ends. Initially confined to the Zürich region, the company‘s market gradually encompasses the entire German-speaking part Switzerland. For hygienic reasons, more and more products such as flour, cereals, fruit, coffee, etc. are packaged in paper bags with attractive graphic designs to stimulate sales.
Heinrich Wipf‘s son (same name, 2nd generation) joins the company after commercial school and sojourns abroad in England and France. The company acquires an additional warehouse on nearby Brauerstrasse. It begins to produce paper plates and cake boxes.
After the death of Hans Feldmann, the company is renamed Wipf + Co. Papierwarenfabrik Zürich.
Wipf introduces the conversion of cellophane and aluminium foil to better protect and more attractively present bagged products. The company now serves customers throughout Switzerland.
Construction starts on Badenerstrasse in Zürich-Altstetten; the new factory building is completed just before the 1939 National Exposition and the outbreak of World War II.
Offset printing is introduced.
Soon after the end of the war, Heinrich Wipf travels to Germany to find bag-making machines for eliminating production capacity bottlenecks. The company now has 200 employees, many of them still in Manual- labour jobs. It operates about 20 paper bag machines, a letterpress printing machine as well as an offset press, and a die cutter for the in-house manufacture of cardboard products used for bakery goods and pastries.
Expansion and enlargement of building on Badenerstrasse 571 in Zürich-Altstetten.
Around 1950, Hans Schaller has plans for a new building on Heinrichstrasse in Zürich, and Heinrich Wipf decides to get into the booming envelope market. In 1949, he acquires 86% of the Emmishofen AG envelope factory in Kreuzlingen from the Landquart paper mill. By 1951, he owns 100%.
Heinrich Wipf buys the premises of Conservenfabrik Seethal AG in Seon from Hero, a Lenzburg-based producer of canned foods. He then moves the machines from the Emmishofen envelope factory to the larger and more centrally located industrial
property in Seon.
On 1 January 1952, Heinrich Wipf incorporates the Seetal AG envelope factory in Seon. It manufactures envelopes and printed
Heinrich R. Wipf (3rd generation) joins the company after having studied at the Munich University of Applied Sciences and following sojourns in France and the USA. During this period, Wipf AG is specialized mainly in processing paper and cardboard with flexographic and offset presses. The company produces flat and gusset bags, half-block and SOS bags, as well as paper plates and cardboard boxes. In view of the growing popularity of self-service shopping and the emergenceof supermarkets, the focus iof Wipf shifts to primary packaging with protective functions.
Specialization in flexible packaging. Launch of gravure printing and film lamination. Production of sealed pouches and of the first vacuum packages for coffee begins. Discontinuation of cardboard conversion and relocation of offset printing to Seetal
Papier AG in Seon.
The Seetal AG envelope factory is renamed Seetal Papier AG, Seon. The following years are characterized by brisk economic growth and vigorous competition among the envelope manufacturers. Concurrently, Seetal Papier AG takes over offset printing from Wipf AG and now produces printed matter. The buildings are enlarged in consecutive phases.
Merger of competitors Frey & Wiederkehr and Schaller, forming Schaller Frewi AG, and relocation to the building of Mühlebach Papier AG in Brugg.
Incorporation of Wipf Holding AG as the umbrella organization for Wipf AG and Seetal Papier AG.
Planning and construction of a new greenfield factory for Wipf AG due to insufficient space at the premises on Badenerstrasse.
The move to the new factory premises with latest-generation air conditioning Equipment takes place in 1970. To prevent interruptions in production, a new gravure press, a new W.&H. laminating machine, and a new roll slitter are commissioned in Volketswil. Thereafter, further machines are gradually transferred from Altstetten to Volketswil.
Development of retortable laminates.
Development of and patent registration for WICOVALVE® aroma-protection and pressure- relief valves and introduction of blown film extrusion.
Commissioning of first solvent-free lamination system. Increased specialization in Laminates.
Commissioning of first triplex lamination machine and enlargement of extrusion and lamination facilities.
New building for pouchmaking unit.
Commissioning of a new 10-colour gravure press with washing stations. Addition of an 18-metre high cylinder storage facility.
Installation of a second 10-colour gravure press.
Repatriation of Austrian plant assets to Switzerland and stronger focus on Volketswil site.
Wipf AG adopts a new corporate identity and redesigns the company logo.
Outsourcing of PE film production of Wipf AG.
Launch of digital printing for flexible Packaging.
Commissioning of first HP Indigo WS6600 digital press.
Incorporation of subsidiary Wipf Doypak A.Ş. in Turkey.
Commissioning of second HP Indigo 20000 digital press.
Installation of a new pouch making machine, lamination machine and valve production system.
Seetal Papier AG introduces web offset printing. A new envelope production facility is built. Commissioning of first web envelope machines and start of production with the first web offset press.
Schaller Frewi AG launches the Optifix adhesive- flap line in the market.
Holzstoff AG sells Schaller Frewi AG to Biber Holding AG.
Christian Wipf (4th generation), son of Heinrich R. Wipf, joins Seetal Papier AG as a member of the Executive Committee. He had completed his studies in business administration and worked for Philips in Zürich and Canada for nine years.
Production at the Seon site is discontinued. The offset presses are purchased by printing house partners. All photo packaging unit operations are transferred to Brugg. The board of directors of Seetal Schaller AG decides to sell the property in Seon.
Acquisition of Elco Papier AG in Allschwil and Wikon by Seetal Schaller AG and merger to form Seetal Elco AG in Brugg.
Expansion of high-bay warehouse and logistics at Seetal Elco AG..
Change of company name to Elco AG. The brand logo becomes the company logo. Elco wins the ISPA Award for the most innovative product: “ELCO Proclima”. In the same year, the company acquires the direct marketing activities of the Swissprinters Group.
The Direct Marketing Division is transformed into Swiss Direct Marketing AG, a legally independent company.
Swiss Direct Marketing AG will take over the workforce and technical capabilities of Conzett+Walter AG.
Elco goes online with the B2C Shop myelco.ch and the ELCO postcard app. The website is redesigned and the URL changed to elcoswitzerland.ch.
Swiss Direct Marketing AG invests in a Canon Océ ColorStream digital press.
Acquisition of PP Mailing House SA in Givisiez, Switzerland by Elco AG.
PP Mailing House: Change of company name to Swiss Mailing House.
Incorporation of Wipf Holding AG in Zürich.
Expansion into the EU. The Wipf Group acquires Paka Verpackungen GmbH, in Marchtrenk, Austria, later renamed Wipf Austria GmbH.
SAP implementation throughout the group.
The Wipf Group develops business outside Europe and incorporates Wipf Asia Pacific Limited with headquarters in Hong Kong.
Christian H. Wipf is appointed chairman of the board and CEO of Wipf Holding AG.
Family Business Award for the most sustainable family-owned enterprise in Switzerland
The Wipf Group turned 100 on 1 January 2014.
Launch of sterile CPP film production by the newly founded joint venture RC-Film Co. Ltd., Rayong, Thailand.
The Wipf Group relocates to Brugg.
Wipf Holding AG will be 50 years old.
Flyerline Schweiz AG complements the digital transformation at Wipf Group.
The Wipf Group is taking over Christinger Partner AG in Schlieren.