The History of A+W

Success is no coincidence

Our Story of Success

A+W started in 1977, developing innovative solutions for the glass industry. Over the past 40-plus years, we've become the leading provider of ERP and MRP software for the glass and fenestration industries.

To grow into and retain market leadership requires us to consistently innovate and deliver value to users. Together with our customers and partners around the world, we shape the future.

A+W is a company with a long tradition of service and success - See for yourself!

2014 Moving to Pohlheim

Glazed front of the fourth A+W headquarters in Pohlheim at dawn

After nearly a quarter century of intensive use, the company headquarters in Linden are in urgent need of renovation. Work is required partially due to changes in building laws, but also "upgrades" such as cost-effectively cooling the building in summer months.

The huge investment that would have been required spurred management to opt for the third move in the company's history, just a few miles away in Pohlheim.

Visitors to A+W's headquarters in Germany will find a cluster of modern and appealing office buildings with excellent facilities for meetings, training, etc..

Friendly, light-flooded offices are centered in the middle of a charming, park-like landscape, combining individual workstations with comfortable communication zones. The new facility has space for more than 150 employees.

2013 Acquisition by Constellation

On February 5, 2013, the final contracts for the acquisition of A+W by Constellation's Friedman Operating Group (now FOG Software Group) are signed.

A+W is to operate as an independent division of FOG, and will continue to develop, enhance, and market our glass and fenestration industry software solutions world-wide.

With this acquisition, Friedman Corporation extends considerably its product range of ERP and PPS solutions for producers and retailers, while strengthening its presence in the glass-, window-, and construction materials industries.

Following the acquisition, ALBAT+WIRSAM Software GmbH is renamed A+W Software GmbH.

Logo of Constellation Software Inc. and Friedman Operating Group

2012 A+W Dragonfly

Logo of the A+W Dragonfly project

"DRAGONFLY" is the name of a fascinating project which heralded the start of a completely new software offering from A+W.

The first pilot installations turned DRAGONFLY into the product "A+W Business," a new ERP solution for medium-sized flat glass processors and IG producers.

2010 Every third window

After 16 years in the windows and door industry, one-third of the windows manufactured in 2010 in Germany are being produced by a company using CANTOR software.

CANTOR has become the leading product in the German-speaking market over the past two decades.

Stylized shot of a window frame

2007 Part of the Glaston Corporation

The glazed front of the Glaston headquarters in Finland

In July 2007, ALBAT+WIRSAM Software AG becomes part of the Finnish Glaston Group.

Glaston integrates A+W into their "Software Solutions" business area, ensuring a high degree of independence for A+W.

2005 First dynamic optimization

Wolff+Meier and A+W continue their close cooperation in the new millennium.

The pilot project to use A+W software to control both DynOpt dynamic glass cutting optimization and the Hegla SortJet proves an unqualified success.

Industry executives and plant managers from around the world travel to Germany to see the solution for themselves. With this dynamic optimization system, Wolff+Meier achieve a constant flow of glass through production which results in optimum yield.

Glass sorting system Hegla SortJet in a glass production

2003 Paperless window construction

Monitor with A+W Cantor integrated in a workbench in a window production

Schüco is the first CANTOR customer whose window production floor is equipped with monitors.

With the production control system CANTOR CIM, workers are provided with digital production papers right at their terminals, showing all information on the element at hand. The installation of 160 digital terminals has eliminated the need for paper orders moving with each job. Plus, the system guarantees that work instructions and data are always up to date. 

1997 Production process network

For the first time, all processes from order entry and order processing to production control and dispatch are networked.

In 1997, A+W develops a program that makes disks, labels, and paperwork on the shop floor unnecessary: ALCIM.

ALCIM revolutionizes production by making information available right where it is required. Order processing details are available online at the cutting lines, benders, sealing robots, and applicators through the novel use of monitors on the shop floor.

A+W continues to revolutionize production, and cooperation with machinery manufacturers is as close as ever.

Machine in a glass production with a monitor

1994 CANTOR is Launched

Two superimposed floppy disks of the first A+W Cantor

The first MS Windows-based window construction software package with a graphical user interface (GUI) is introduced by A+W.

Six months after launch, contracts are signed for the installation of the CANTOR system in 12 large window factories and at 800 dealers.

1994 Glasstec in Dusseldorf

The nineties saw A+W as a major exhibitor at this important flat glass industry event.

Trade show booths used to be rather bigger in those days because the monitors alone required so much more space...!

The A+W booth at the glasstec 1994

1991 First ERP system

Person working on a computer

A+W started the development of the first comprehensive ERP solution (ALCIB) for the glass industry at the end of the eighties.

In the early nineties, this system conquers the world market. Thanks to our innovative products, A+W quickly becomes the market leader in this field.

1990 Move to new headquarters

After constant expansion during the eighties, the office bursts its seams. The owners of A+W decide to build a new headquarters.

The new facility in Linden has ample space for A+W's 200 employees.

Photo of the front of the third headquarters in Linden

1980 First PPS system

Photo of the second headquarters of A+W

In 1980, the first production planning software (PPS) for the flat glass industry is brought to market.

A+W celebrates more than 100 successful installations of TRAOPT,our glass cutting optimization system, and the glass industry's first-ever order processing system, ALFAK.

The world-wide success of these systems enable ALBAT+WIRSAM to expand, moving the business from an office in the basement of Wirsam’s family home to a spacious villa.

1978 First glass cutting optimization

EDV in the 1970s had an enormous (for the time) 126Kb RAM and a 20Mb hard drive.

This NIXDORF 8870 computer is used by Dr. Renate Albat and Dr. Bernd Wirsam to develop their first optimization programs and the first order-processing software (ALFAK) ordered by glass processors Wolff+Meier of Hessen, Germany.

Woman working on a NIXDORF 8870

1977 Established

Black and white photo of the first headquarters in 1977

The physics lecturers Dr. Renate Albat and Dr. Bernd Wirsam of Giessen University follow their vision to optimize flat glass cutting and reduce waste.

One evening, Henning Meier, a glass processor from Langgöns, Germany, discusses the flat glass industry's problem of cutting optimization with his friend and neighbor, Dr. Bernd Wirsam.

Dr. Wirsam checks possible algorithms for his friend but does not find much information or an immediate solution. He enlists the help of his physics department colleague, Dr. Renate Albat, and together they decide to develop a solution for the flat glass industry.

In April 1977, the two physicists establish ALBAT+WIRSAM Software GbR. Their vision: Optimize flat glass cutting methods to reduce waste in the industry by at least 10%.

Questions?
We can help!

Call Us Contact Us