Company history

From simple folding boxes to illuminated packaging. From Karl Knauer’s cardboard factory in the idyllic Black Forest to being a European trendsetter of the packaging and advertising media industry. From down-to-earth values to visionary decisions. From 1938 up until today.


New management team at Karl Knauer KG
With Marco Manna (left in the picture) and Nicki Eberle (right in the picture), a new three-person management team has been appointed around Stefanie Wieckenberg, Managing Partner, since January 2024.
Summer party with 85th company anniversary
It was a celebration of gratitude – a tribute to the hard work and success that has driven the company for 85 years.
Poland site expansion
The company building in Pniewy was extended to include a new social area of more than 1000 m². The aim was to provide comfortable, safe and hygienic working conditions for our employees.
Innovation and sustainability
Our times are defined by constant change. The features that set us apart are flexibility and a sense of responsibility. Karl Knauer is now more open to innovation than ever before, with the large number of lighthouse projects in product development a testimony to this innovative strength. At the same time, sustainability and social relations are a much valued priority.
Highly efficient die-cutting department
The commissioning of the new Bobst MASTERCUT 106 PER 3.0 die-cutter is another important building block in the "overall die-cutting strategy". The measures increase the productivity of the die-cutting department by 20%.
Stefanie Wieckenberg with her father Olaf Pohl
The next generation
Stefanie Wieckenberg, Karl Knauer’s granddaughter, takes over the responsibilities of her father Olaf Pohl for the two companies in the Karl Knauer Group as managing partner. Karl Knauer thus enters its third generation of family ownership.
Karl Knauer Poland
INGA becomes Karl Knauer
A strong company group, with a shared name: the subsidiary INGA International, based in Poland, begins operation under the name Karl Knauer Poland.
Fliegerkiste day-care centre
“Fliegerkiste” officially opened
A multi-award winner: in collaboration with Hydro Systems AG and the municipality of Biberach, the Fliegerkiste day-care centre is launched – to date the only community project of its kind in all of Germany. Fliegerkiste’s unusual qualities include its staff-friendly opening hours and the long eligibility period for childcare, from six months to school age.
Pniewy site, Poland
Launch of packaging manufacture in Poland
Space needed for growth: in 2007 the Polish site was enlarged with a new production hall and administration complex, as well as a new production range. The Pniewy site started producing packaging as well as promotional note pads.
Inga International
Expansion to Poland
Karl Knauer took over the company Inga International based in Braunschweig, Germany, and Pniewy, Poland, in order to further expand its market leadership in the promotional note pad sector. Inga was number 2 on the market at that time. Braunschweig was run as a sales office and Pniewy served as a production site for promotional note pads.
First system from in-house machine construction
Knowledge transfer to machine construction
1988 saw the delivery of the first packaging system to be constructed in-house. It made sense to use the company’s extensive expertise as a packaging manufacture in the construction of packing machines. Customers continue to be impressed by the combining of standard solutions and individual requirements.
First gift packaging
Gift packaging added to the product range
Following a customer suggestion, the company produced its first gift packaging for the wine sector in 1976. Many other developments followed: the market was expanded rapidly, with sales continually increasing. The Karl Knauer Group is now one of Germany’s leading manufacturers.
First promotional note pad
Promotional note pads added to the business segment
The production of promotional products got underway in 1972: the company Gödecke commissioned Karl Knauer with the manufacture of note pads with printed sides. An example of Karl Knauer’s flexibility and enthusiasm for embarking on new projects and seeing them through to success. Karl Knauer is now one of Europe’s leading suppliers in the promotional note pad segment.
Aerial view of Karl Knauer factory
Relocation to new building at the current company headquarters
The company is thriving. The volume that needs to be produced and stored keeps increasing. Karl Knauer decides to relocate to new administrative and production buildings at the edge of Biberach’s city centre. The Zeller Straße site in Biberach has remained the Karl Knauer Group’s headquarters until this day.
First company headquarters in the city centre
Founding of the company
On 2 November 1938 Karl Knauer founded the “Karl Knauer Kartonagenfabrik” cardboard factory in the municipality of Biberach, in the middle of the Black Forest. Stables and storage facilities for wine were turned into a production site for plain cardboard. The 19 employees achieved sales of 41,768 Reichsmark.
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