The history of the WEISS printing works began in 1875, when Peter Weiss, a printer born in the Moselle region, bought a printing works with a newspaper publishing company in Monschau. He worked extremely hard to turn this small business into a well-recognised printing and publishing house.


The owner of the printing works, Peter Weiss, died as a result of an accident, leaving behind his wife and five small children. Josefine Weiss (born Mathar) took over the business and completed the building up of the printing works and the incorporated shop for devotional objects. She introduced her children to the world of entrepreneurship.


Josefine Weiss passed the management of the printing works on to her second-youngest son, Jacob Weiss. In 1920, he passed his master craftsman's certificate to be a printer. The new owner of the printing works continued to develop the company and the "Stadt- und Landbote" newspaper. In doing so, his company grew to become an established, respectable enterprise.


Upon the order of Adolf Hitler, in March 1936 the "Stadt- and Landbote" had to be turned into a newspaper that was published three days a week. Jacob Weiss was, however, able to preserve the printing works during this time, although it was reduced to an area of just 80 m². In order to feed his wife and two sons, he had to take on a part-time job in a building firm and later at the Monschau local authority.


After evacuation and incarceration during the war years, Jacob Weiss and his family were reunited after the Second World War, and they worked with renewed vigour to re-establish the printing works in Monschau.


After a new printing hall spanning 400 m² was acquired in 1960, Jacob Weiss passed the ownership of the small company to his son Hans Georg in 1962. This was also the year that the first offset sheet-fed press was purchased.


Hans Georg Weiss founded the "Wochenspiegel". Over time, a strong weekly newspaper with its own profile emerged from the original gazette-style paper, both in the regions around the Eifel mountains and later in the former East Germany.


Hans Georg Weiss expanded his printing works with a modern offset rotation machine, and more followed later. This 16-page rotation saw the small printing works develop into a medium-sized company.


The WEISS-Druck company moved to the industrial estate in the district of Imgenbroich, which became incorporated into the town of Monschau in this year. With 58 members of staff working on 4,000 m², the company specialised in rotary printing. 


WEISS-Druck became a pioneer in the field of offset rotation printing in Germany. The Monschau company was also a trailblazer in filmsetting. In 1974, lead typesetting, which was introduced during Gutenberg's time, was banned and fully adapted to the filmsetting, which had been in use since 1970.


Hans Georg Weiss passed management of the company on to his only son and great-grandchild of the original company founder, Georg Weiss. Thus the Monschau family business was in its 4th generation.


A special highlight in the history of the WEISS printing works, with a political VIP! The commercial printer was expanded for the first time with a 32-page "Compacta S 80" from the Koebau Company in Würzburg – a new printing machine at the peak of technical advancement. German Chancellor Dr Helmut Kohl inaugurated the machine in front of several hundred guests.


During the course of the 1980s and 1990s, WEISS-Druck founded several publishing companies, case rooms and printing works. The medium-sized company was also especially involved in states in the former East Germany. In 1992, a new printing works was built in Neuwiese-Bergen (Saxony). 


In 1994, WEISS-Druck acquired its own printing and publishing house in the Saxony town of Hoyerswerda for the "Wochenkurier" gazette newspapers in Saxony and Brandenburg, which had been launched in 1990. 160 employees still work here to this day.


The business premises grew to an area of 22,000 m², with the expansion of the printing house in 13 construction phases, as well as the construction of the new "Georg Weiss" print centre as a second plant in Monschau-Imgenbroich. The technical equipment in the Weiss Company also grew with the expansion.


The Weiss Group now had 1,200 members of staff; with 600 of these working at the headquarters in Monschau alone. 15 offset rotation machines were available for large-scale newspaper printing and commercial printing for smaller runs. The company specialised in quality rotation printing with heat-set machines, and in four-coloured newspaper printing – naturally with a full service from design to dispatch.


2001 began with the "Georg Weiss" print centre being expanded by a further 8,000 m². Thus the WEISS printing works now covered an area of 35,000 m². A 48-page "MAN Lithoman IV" had been in operation in the new printing hall since January. A printing machine of the same type was ordered for the following year. Ultra-modern "Power-Liner" from the Müller Company were on hand to insert inserts. And a high-bay warehouse with capacity for 1,500 pallets was built especially for handling the increase in inserts. With the construction of the new print centre and the technological advancements, Georg Weiss – great-grandchild of the company founder – laid the foundations for the future.


On the occasion of the 75th birthday of Hans Georg Weiss, the Weiss Print Museum was completed on 9th October 2002 and opened to the public. The newly founded WEISS-Druck Foundation is the sponsor of the print museum. The work of this foundation includes helping members of staff in need. In addition, Weiss expanded its machinery with a "MAN-Lithoman IV" printing machine. Now 70 t of paper could be printed in one hour. The headquarters in Monschau-Imgenbroichum were also expanded to become a large production hall, to incorporate a new adhesive binding row with 27 stations. Thus magazines that are adhesive-bound could now be produced more economically.


On 1st April 2004, Georg Weiss was named Managing Director with sole power of representation for the WEISS-Druck GmbH & Co. KG. Georg Weiss set himself the task of working with dedication and expertise to continue and further develop the lifework of his father in the new millennium. Technology and capacity also increased further: A new sheet-fed printing hall with the latest UV coating equipment allowed Weiss to better realise the products of his clients so that they looked more effective. The next printing hall, which was 30 m x 80 m in size, housed two additional offset rotation machines. Since July 2004, a "MAN-Lithoman III, 32-page" machine has been at work in this hall. It can carry out 60,000 rotations per hour.


The book-binding department was expanded with a "Unidrum binding machine" from Ferag, with five feeder stations, which can complete up to 32,000 saddle-stitchings per hour. 


Another "Lithoman IV" printing machine for 72-pages was set up in the free space in the new printing hall from 2004. It has been working since June 2006. Thus a total of eight newspaper rotation machines and eight commercial rotation machines were in operation. The Weiss Company now had a machine park in the pre-press, press and post-press areas that could fulfil individual customer requirements in high quality, economically and under one roof.


The HGV loading ramps in factory 2 were fully covered. WEISS-Druck integrated the first fully automatic, SAP-controlled pallet high-bay warehouse into this "bridging unit" above the loading ramps. The M-Log Logistics Company installed a high-bay warehouse with space for 1,560 pallets. 1,020 of the spaces were set up in a so-called channel storage system with six pallet spaces behind one another. In addition, there were another 540 individual spaces on the shelves.


A year full of positive, but also sad events.

WEISS-Druck dismantled the two "16-page KBA Compacta" machines to make room for a "Lithoman IV" for 80 pages. The former printing hall was reconfigured. An extension was built for the paper storage for the "Lithoman IV" as well as a new-build for an ink storage centre for the new machine. WEISS established a new adhesive binding row "KolbusPublica". With this new facility – comprising a gathering machine, an adhesive binder, a cooling tower, three-knife trimmer, cross lapper and palletiser – the company was prepared for the further processing of higher print runs. The new machine replaced an old Corona plant and ensured higher speeds, higher quality and better efficiency.

The CTP systems were adapted to suit the new machine configurations. New Kodak exposure systems were installed for the large machines at WEISS-Druck. The new "Kodak Magnus VLF" and "XLF CTP" exposure systems were four-times faster than the old exposure systems and could expose sheets in 2070 mm x 1296 mm and 2260 x 1296 mm formats. Besides these formats and their speed, the systems offered better point quality and registration tolerance, as well as an increased process stability.

WEISS-Druck invested in new printing technology: digital printing. The new Kodak Nexpress S 2500 offered production options for smaller print runs, alongside offset printing. WEISS-Druck thus completed its range of services and offered printing from small to medium to the largest print runs.

However, a sad moment in the company history was also to shake WEISS-Druck: Hans Georg Weiss, owner of the printing works, publisher and winner of numerous awards, died just after turning 81 years old. Georg Weiss now took over the sole management of the company as Managing Director of WEISS-Druck GmbH & Co. KG.


With a large ceremonial event in front of numerous guests from the world of business, administration and politics, as well as honorary guest and ceremonial eulogist Professor Lothar Späth, former State Premier, the new machine park at WEISS-Druck was officially launched.


WEISS-Druck installed the first "manroland 96-page machine" in the world and built a new plant for the machine. In addition, the required peripherals, such as CTP plants and fork-lift trucks, were procured. The largest job rotation and youngest plant at WEISS-Druck now printed paper web widths up to 2,860 mm and, as such, joined the "giants" in job printing. Equipped with MAN measurement and control systems, automatic plate clamping devices and fully automatic washing devices, this machine was suitable for both mass printing and for top-quality productions.


As only the second of its kind in the world, the newspaper printing machine "Colorman e:line" began operation at WEISS-Druck. Around 200 invited guests, including Focus founder Helmut Markwort and the extreme mountain climber Helga Hengge, followed the first print. WEISS-Druck also took another step forwards in terms of the environment: Electricity may continue to come from a plug socket, but it is now generated on site via a modern combined heat and power plant. This does not just bring economic benefits and secure the location and jobs, it is also good for the environment.


Further milestones in the history of the Weiss Group are celebrated in a fourfold festival. The commissioning of the new 96-page offset rotation; the construction of a new bookbinding hall; 50 years weekly newspaper "Monschauer WochenSpiegel"; the honor of Hans-Georg Weiss on the occasion of his 90th birthday.