It was the trained watchmaker and inventor Hans Schmidbauer who revolutionised the watch industry in 1948 with the world's first watch movement cleaning machine, the Elma Super Elite. Today, there is probably not a watchmaker in the world who does not know Elma.

Global orientation

Elma is still 100% family-owned. More than 280 employees currently generate an annual turnover of over EUR 50 million. The main products 

are exported to more than 80 countries.

The company's core competences lie in ultrasonic and steam cleaning, where it is the market leader. In the in-house process laboratory, highly qualified process engineers work together with customers to develop process solutions for individual cleaning tasks, which then result in a customised system concept including cleaning processes and chemicals.

On the way to the digital future

More than 75 years later, Mirja Schmidbauer, the third generation of the family business, is now at the helm. Together with her mother Cornelia Schmidbauer, both managing partners are steering Elma into the digital future.

Today, the company can proudly look back on renowned customers from various sectors such as the watchmaking, medical, laboratory and semiconductor industries. In plant engineering, the company serves well-known industrial customers with the highest standards of cleaning technology and process automation - customised high-tech solutions "Made in Singen". In order to successfully achieve the Elma vision of Leading Cleaning Technology, the organisational course has also been set for the future. To this end, the managing directors have divided the company into the four business units

  • Cleaning devices
  • Cleaning systems
  • Operation
  • Commercial

and organised them for the future.

High depth of added value

In addition to the development of innovative products, the optimisation of production processes has also played an important role for many years. Back in the 1980s, for example, the company invested in its own production hall for cleaning chemicals instead of procuring these chemicals from foreign suppliers. In 2009, the company received an award from the Federal Ministry of Economics as a top innovator. Elma realised the leap from a largely workshop-oriented production with a high level of control to an effective, highly flexible production system based on the Kanban philosophy, which represented "best practice".

In recent years, the vertical range of manufacture in the area of sheet metal production has been increased and intensive investments have been made in laser, punching and bending machines in order to achieve the highest possible flexibility. This will further strengthen the Singen site, safeguard existing jobs and create attractive new ones. In 2023 in particular, the company moved into a further 2,500 square metres of production space due to the high capacity utilisation in plant construction.

Continuous pioneering spirit

Elma's pioneering spirit was confirmed once again in 2023. Commissioned by the Süddeutsche Zeitung institute, Creditreform compiled a ranking of the 273 most innovative companies in Germany from 2,575 companies and Elma was ranked 20th. Elma was also recognised as an innovator in 2020. The Top Innovator 2020 award shows that Elma is always at the cutting edge of cleaning technology. And our customers are the main beneficiaries of this. Elma has laid the foundations and is now successfully embarking on the path of digital transformation.