The industrial manufacture of ball bearings started in 1883. Friedrich Karl Fischer, the son of velocipede inventor Philipp Moritz Fischer, was the first person in the world to build a milling machine able to mass produce high precision, hardened steel balls according to the "centerless" principle.
This ball production technique has remained more or less the same. As a result, the ball bearing industries along with Kugelfischer Georg Schäfer & Co. have endured over the years. The industry brought golden years of prosperity and growth to the town of Schweinfurt; however, in the midst of this growth, World War Two broke out. America resolved to destroy the ball bearing industry in Schweinfurt, a major supplier of ball bearings during the war. For this reason, production was moved to other locations outside of the city. As a result of this decentralisation, in June 1943, construction began on the Eltmann facility for the production of steel balls for ball bearings. Since then, mass production of steel bearings of various sizes and for wide range of applications has taken place on the Eltmann site.
"Kugelfischer Georg Schäfer (FAG)" manufactured balls until 2000 when ball production was implemented in a joint venture with SKF and the American company "NN Ball & Roller". The Eltmann site operated under the name of "Kugelfertigung Eltmann GmbH" until April 2011 when it was acquired by UMBRA Cuscinetti S.p.A. following the insolvency of the American industrial group NN Inc. Since then it has operated under the name "Präzisionskugeln Eltmann GmbH".
Today "Präzisionskugeln Eltmann GmbH" has 105 employees and has close relationships with well-known customers in the field of engineering machinery construction, the wind sector and the electrical and aerospace industries. It specialises in high-quality steel balls in the 18 - Ø 200 mm range. The Company is certified in accordance with ISO 14001 and ISO 50003 und nach EN9100 standards.