...in the beginning
The foundation stone for the company has been laid in the end of the 19th century. The companies name at this time has been Dau & Companie based in Hamburg. Purpose of this company has been the trade of bookbinding supplies.
The distribution at this time has been made by a "Schottsche Karre", a traditional wheel barrow. The grand-grandfather of the todays owner Hans-Hinnark Schmedt, has bought the company in the beginning oif the 20th century. Within the 1930´s Käthe Schmedt, his grandmother, has taken over the company and led it by a strong hand through rough times. The World war, the complete destruction and the reconstruction left its traces. During the 1950`s Hinnarks father Hanns-Heinrich Schmedt entered the company and throw the points for the development to an international machine manufacturing company. It was him, who made the foundation with the development of the embossing and blocking press PräGnant. It was the beginning of a row of machines which today are used all over the world.
The PräGnant was presented to the public for the first time in 1967 at the international print show "Drupa". This machine helped to make Schmedt international known. As a wholesale trading for bookbinding supplies there were already many deep contacts to the bookbinders. Schmedt has already been a unique allround supplier for the industry.
The company Schmedt is evolving
It was in the mid 1970`s, when Schmedt becomes a company like it is today. At that time there have been two . shops: The wholesale trading in the Wandalenweg in Hamburg and the manufacturing plant Wessenstedt near Uelzen, south of Hamburg. In 1974 the individual enterprise became a limited partnership and Hanns-Heinrich Schmedt was honoroured for his merits within the bookbinding industry by the bookbinders guild in Germany. At the end of the 70´s, his son Hans-Hinnark Schmedt joined the company. He represents the fourth generation of the familiy in the business. He was inventing the first computer and begun to make advertisements. A modern management took place in the Hamburg office and in the mid 1980´s Hinnarks brother Jörn completed the management of the company, As a mechanical engineer, he was responsible for construction and engineering of the Prä-machines from now on.
The two business departments develop
Driven by both of the brothers, there have been developed some new machines like i.e. the casing-in machine PräLeg and the joint press PräForm. With these two machines Schmedt became THE specialist for the making of machines of this kind. More machines will follow.
In the meantime, the production was made on recent CNC-machines. The assortment of the wholesale trading has been developed to a wide range of products at the same time. All craft bookbinders rely on the Schmedt- machines and related products. The business became an important partner for all those who are manufacturing books with a hardcover. With the support of a recent ERP, Hinnark Schmedt could optimized the business and brought up the first catalogue with a price list in the industry in the late 1980´s. This was a long lasting framework for the calculation of many bookbinders.
With the beginning of the 1990´s, the company changed from a limited partnership to a general partnership and moved to the first own building. At this time the company had 15 employees. In 1995 there has been the first own booth at the Drupa in Düsseldorf and the expansion of the Hamburg office. After the withdraw of the father Hanns-Heinrich Schmedt, there was again a change from the general partnership to a sole proprietor (Hinnark Schmedt) at the end of the 90´s. The manufacturing plant, historical based in Wessenstedt between Lüneburg and Uelzen, was enlarged once again. Now there were 15 employees just at the manufacturing plant and another 15 in the Hamburg office.
From the year 2000 on Schmedt became a recent, international acting company with two facilities and a branch in Munich (former Braunwarth & Lütke). In 2003 there was again a removal of the wholesale trading again: Into a new and larger building with more offices and a larger high-rack facility for more than 10.000 different articles. The Drupa-show in 2004 created a high demand for machines made by Schmedt as a result of the digital revolution. This was the trigger for new buildings for the machine manufacturing factory in Bienenbüttel, 10 kms away from the old factory in Wessenstedt. Meanwhile there are working 40 employees for Schmedt. In the internet the first online-shop has been launched.
Schmedt became a brand and got a state-of-the-art corporate design. with a new logo. In 2007 the manufacturing part of the company has its 40th anniverary. and the machine got a new color design.
2008 Schmedt is representing at Drupa with a 180m² booth.
Digital printing and the making of photobooks are demanding Prä-machines. Now 50 employees work for Schmedt and 6 young people being trained for a job.
With the beginning of the 2010`s, the ecenomical crisis reflects not only the graphic and book-making industry but the whole economy. Schmedt is adjusting to the new demans and is developing new machines in a recent new design. Beside that many of Schmedt´s processes were re-organised. The facility in Bienenbüttel has been enlarged by a second production for the needed capacity. In Hamburg, there is arising a new democenter with all Prä-machines for the making of hardcover books.
The new catalogue has been handed out - first time with a hardcover - to the customers.
In 2013 after the cancellation of the Digimedia, we have realized, the 2nd Hardcover Days together with the German bookbinders Guild (BDBI). It was the very first time for the Hardcover Award given to the best handmade hardcover book. This award was written out together with the BDBI and the Bindereport. This event was to cherish the hardcover book and its making of. There was also a open house für the friend of the TV-show "Sendung mit der Maus".
The new professional webshop has been launched successfully and will increase the online-business. Here there will be offerend spare parts for the machines as well in the future. There were some changes within the structures of the company and the distributors network worldwide.
Since 2013 Schmedt has set the craft industry back in the foreground. Developments such as the mobile embossing press PräGnant XS and presenting on craft fairs show this commitment. The company helps the industry producing books not only by selling appropriate products and equipment but also as a sustaining member of many institutions. This goes along with the debut at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2014.
Since 2015 Schmedt operates as Schmedt GmbH & Co.KG. This is to ensure the family tradition in 5th generation. Again fairs and the hardcover days take place to present products and services. Topic in 2016 was Drupa, Düsseldorf and the presentation of the new PräDeka XL and PräziSheet. This goes along with the relaunch of the webshop which has become a better usability.
2016 we were at the Drupa and presented the new machines PräDeka XL and PräziSheet. Furthermore we relaunched our webshop and made it more comfortable to use.
2017 there were some shows and Schmedt´s own IV. Hardcover Days on the agenda. This was the roll-out for the new PräziBind with Riblers-technology for binding layflat books in small editions. In addition we released the new hardcover catalogue.
In 2018 we have been at some trade shows and presented our new machinery. Our lay-flat binding-system PräziBind is now in series production. Our product range has been extended with the digital printable cloth and the new category "restoration"
For 2019 we will attend the Hunkeler Innovationdays and organize the 5th Hardcover Days with workshops, new maschines and the lending of the Hardcover Award.
1967 the first PräGnant
80`s: Schmedt at the Wandalenweg
90´s: Schmedt at the Billwerder Ring
Schmedt´s logo in 2005
2000´s: Schmedt at the Dwengerkamp
Schmedt ´s present logo
Historical Bookbinder Janssen
New design for the machines
Head office and democenter
Schmedt-familiy in 2014
Schmedt at the Drupa 2016