A look back at the history of our company

The company grew from a former mill which the Hofmann family came into possession of at the end of the 19th century. Owner Erns Johannes Adolf Hofmann modernized the mill over time. He was a pioneer, always keeping his focus on the changing market, recognizing customer needs early on, and adjusting to them accordingly. The company was acquired by IFGL Refractories, which is headquartered in India, in 2008. Nonetheless, we continue to operate the former family company after the mold of the Hofmann family. For instance, the original corporate values RELIABILITY – INNOVATION – PROFESSIONALISM continue to shape the work of all our employees.

Our continuous development and our focus on customers transcends the years, and still makes a key contribution to the success of our company.


  • 1937
    Mill owner Ernst Hofmann begins building a box furnace with 6 firing systems to produce firebricks for the home hearth and oven industry.
    The mill’s name is changed to Ernst Hofmann, Keramik- und Chamottewerk (Ceramic and Fireclay Factory) in Erdbach/Dillkreis.
  • 1947/1948
    Manufacturing facilities are expanded.
    Construction of two circular kilns with 13 m³ capacity each. Fireproof materials manufacturing, product range expanded to include functional and decorative ceramic goods for household use.
    Example products: Flower vases, bowls, punchbowl sets
  • 1950
    Founding of the company Ernst Hofmann und Söhne by Ernst Hofmann and his two sons Walter and Erhard.
  • 1951
    Production of technical porcelain begins.
    Example products: Caps for thermos bottles (“Stoppi”), tea, egg, and milk savers, milk bottle caps
  • 1953
    Entered as a commercial trading company (OHG) into the commercial register of the District court of Herborn.
  • 1962/1963
    Retirement and death of founder Ernst Hofmann.
    Company management taken over by his sons Walter and Erhard Hofmann.
    The company concentrates on cast ceramics and fireproof specialized products



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  • 1963-1969
    Construction of the drying furnace system for fireproof bricks.
    Mechanical presses for strainer core manufacturing set up.
  • 1964
    Construction of an oil-fired tunnel furnace to produce cast ceramics and fireproof specialized items.
  • 1968
    Construction of a shuttle kiln to manufacture refractory kerbstones and plates in two additional production halls.
  • 1970
    Partition of the fireproof bricks division and founding of an additional company focused on the production and distribution of fireproof items under the name HKS Feuerfest GmbH & Co. KG.
    Entry into the commercial register.
  • 1971
    Ernst Reiner Hofmann, oldest son of Walter Hofmann, enters the company.
  • 1978
    Hartmut Hofmann, son of Walter Hofmann and brother of Ernst Reiner Hofmann, enters the company as a ceramics engineer.
  • 1979
    Initial testing to manufacture oven tiles and tiled stoves.
  • 1980-1990
    Death of Walter Hofmann, general management taken over by his son Hartmut Hofmann.
    Hartmut Hofmann takes over sales and expands exports of casting products within Europe.
    Establishment of company branches in almost every European country.
    Strong increase in the sale of casting products leads to shortfalls in production capacity. The company is forced to purchase some products.
    Strainer cores increasingly replaced by casting filters. Company develops manufacturing technologies to handle this shift.
    Of 4 previous producers, the company Hofmann & Söhne remains the only German producer of strainer cores.
  • 1989
    Death of fellow partner and senior director Erhard Hofmann.
  • 1991
    Preliminary negotiations for the takeover of the two companies Ernst Hofmann und Söhne and HKS Feuerfest by the brothers Ernst Reiner and Hartmut Hofmann; foundation laid, contracts concluded.
    Expansion of product range to include wear-resistant, technical ceramic components for the wire, cable, and textile industries.
  • 1993
    Founding of the company hofmann CERAMiC OHG; the company HKS Feuerfest retains its name.
    Ernst Reiner and Hartmut Hofmann are each 50% shareholders and Managing Directors.
  • 1993-1995
    Expansion of previous operational activities
    – Fine technical ceramics for foundries (hofmann CERAMiC)
    – SiC-stones for foundries (hofmann CERAMiC)
    – Tiled stoves(hofmann CERAMiC)
    – Fireproof components(HKS)
    and addition of the area
    – Sealing ceramics for the wire and cable industry (hofmann CERAMIC)
  • 1997
    Founding of subsidiary companies in Great Britain.
  • 1998
    The company Hickman, Williams & Company becomes our US distribution partner.
  • 1999
    The company E.R. Advanced Ceramics becomes a joint venture partner for manufacturing round hole filters in the USA.
  • 2000
    Restructuring of company activities. Allocation of the following divisions:

    hofmann CERAMiC
    – Fine technical ceramics for foundries
    – Sealing ceramics for the wire and cable industries

    HKS Feuerfest
    – Fireproof components (including SiC-stones)
    – Tiled stoves
  • 2008
    IFGL Refractories Ltd., headquartered in India, acquires the previously family-owned company.
  • 2010
    Introduction of a quality management system with certification in accordance with standard DIN EN ISO 9001.
  • 2012
    Long-term employee and technical manager Thorsten Reuther takes over general management. Continuous expansion of production capacities worldwide, and investment in infrastructure and personnel.
  • 2016
    Establishment of a technical planning division.
    Implementation and certification of an integrated management system for quality, the environment, and energy.