The Sika Werke GmbH as a company based in Leipzig
with a varied and successful history

Headgear, packaging film, carrier bags, coffee filters and much more – production from years gone by.


A mixed industrial area was planned for the former agricultural area of the Petzscher Mark in the former village of Eutritzsch, north of Leipzig, as early as the end of the 19th century, and was gradually developed until Leipzig’s main railway station was opened in 1915. Dessauer Strasse, laid out in 1898, and other streets in the area received an industrial siding connected to the loading station, allowing neighbouring businesses to transport goods by wagon.

On plot 30, Martin Simon built a factory in 1919 and a contor building a little later. His business was the manufacture of sealing elements for heating systems.


His son Friedrich founded his own company on the same site in 1935, manufacturing similar products for the automotive sealing industry.

During the Second World War the area was almost completely destroyed.


In 1946, former owner Simon made a modest new start.


When the GDR was founded, Simon moved to West Germany and sold the company to his comrade Erhard Kaps, who founded the company Helene Simon Kunststoffverarbeitung und Erzeugung (with F. Simon’s sister, who still lived on the premises), and a little later Sika Erzeugnisse Scharfe & Kaps KG. In the 1960s, rolling mills for the production of PVC, blow moulding machines for the production of polyethylene and a variety of other equipment were installed, which allowed for further refinement by means of printing up to the finished end product. The main focus was on the production of plastic-based consumer goods.


In 1956, Mr Erhard Kaps, who was now the sole director of the company, had the idea of optimising the application of films by laminating them into higher quality products and built a laminating plant with the help of his technically gifted employees and the newly prospering Leipzig engineering company Sartorius. The head of Prescher AG in Leipzig-Leutzsch, Director Nippelt, a friend of his, provided the technical know-how, suggestions and important product ideas.

Sika was involved in the production and development of all types of laminating films, initially primarily for the technical film sector and, from 1967 onwards, as the only manufacturer in the entire territory of the GDR, predominantly in the direction of food packaging for self-service sales in supermarkets.


In 1969, the founder’s son, Dr Rainer Kaps, who had by then obtained a PhD in polymer chemistry, joined the company, followed by other qualified staff, creating a strong R&D department. During this period, a large number of new specialities were developed and patents filed worldwide.


Forced nationalisation in 1972 put the brakes on this development and the company focused primarily on laminated films for packaging purposes. Within a few years, the company was streamlined by dismantling polyethylene extruders, automatic bagging machines and a soft PVC rolling mill.


This development reached a further climax in 1977, when the state planning authorities decided to build a new production facility for laminated films and Sika employees had to transfer their know-how to a second location. By 1990, this modern plant in the south of Leipzig – known as Polyfol Markkleeberg – had three laminating lines, a 6-colour gravure printing line, two high-performance slitting machines, two high-vacuum metallisation lines and a state-of-the-art infrastructure.


After being nationalised in 1972, the company was bought back by the Treuhandanstalt (privatisation agency) in 1990 and rebuilt with old and new family members as shareholders. The fourth generation is now involved in the family business.

The newly built production facility in Markkleeberg was sold by the Treuhand to Scheuch in Darmstadt. Ultimately, the Kaps family decided to give up their claims there and concentrate on the old parent company in Leipzig.

In the eyes of the GDR administrators, the completely run-down company should have been closed down in 1990 and continued only at the newly built site. With the help of subsidies, special depreciation, investment grants and an immediately re-established research department, the headquarters were gradually rebuilt, the existing equipment was modernised and replaced by a large number of new machines.

The company now has four modernised old lines and two high performance solvent laminators, an efficient infrastructure, five high quality rewinders and two incinerators to meet environmental requirements.


The site of the former railway siding is acquired by the Deutsche Reichsbahn and a narrow production and storage hall is built. The eighth laminating line with a working width of 1.3 m is commissioned.

2005- 2010

The neighbouring vacant site of the insolvent former Montagewerk Leipzig was acquired and redeveloped in two construction phases at five-year intervals. As part of this expansion, the ninth laminating machine with a working width of 1.6m and the seventh slitter rewinder with a width of 1.3m are commissioned.


The second afterburner is installed.
A second cross winder adds spooled material to the range.


A photovoltaic system is being installed.