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Pioneer, trailblazer and innovator since 1875

Back to the future

Just a few years after we were founded 1867 we recognised the signs of the times: the rising quality expectations of the ongoing Industrial Revolution generated demand for suitable tools, e.g. for surface finishing. We therefore began producing emery paper and emery cloth in 1875. A market niche had been discovered. In those days we were the only Swiss manufacturer of coated abrasives. Over time our company has grown to be the one of the largest manufacturers in the industry.

Here are the key milestones in the history of our company at a glance:

  • 1809 First known formula for coated abrasives
  • 1875 First «mechanical» production of coated abrasives at the present location
  • 1914 Company converted into a stock corporation called «Schweizer Schmirgel- und Schleifindustrie AG», Frauenfeld
  • 1991 Separation of ownership and operational management
  • 1999 Initial public offering on the Swiss Stock Exchange
  • 2001 Expansion into nonwoven abrasives with the acquisition of sia Fibral Ltd. (UK)
  • 2005 Expansion into the market for abrasive coated foam products (sanding pads and blocks) with the acquisition of sia Abrafoam Ltd. (UK)
  • 2008 Acquisition of sia Abrasives by Robert Bosch GmbH
  • 2009 Delisting of sia shares from the Swiss Stock Exchange
  • 2012 Opening of new Maker 5 production facility at our headquarters in Frauenfeld, Switzerland

Strong workforce growth over past 40 years

40 years ago, sia Abrasives employed fewer than 150 people. Today, it boasts a world-wide workforce of more than 1300 employees devoted to all aspects of abrasive processes, from research and development, manufacturing and production through applications engineering to consultation and sales.


sia Abrasives is highly focused on global markets, exporting more than 90% of its production to over 80 countries. With our own branches in Europe and overseas coupled with a world-wide network of exclusive representatives, sia Abrasives demonstrates its commitment to customer proximity and efficiency in the international arena.