It was in 1891 that Josef Leifeld established the 'Böttcherei Leifeld' ('Leifeld Cooperage') for producing tubs, vats, butter centrifuges and strawcutters. In 1920, Josef Leifeld II transforms the cooperage into a metalworking shop: 'Josef Leifeld Blechwarenfabrik' ('Josef Leifeld Sheet Metal Goods Factory').
The world's first manual spinning lathe is developed by Leifeld in 1930. The first hydraulic spinning machine in the world follows in 1945. Fifteen years later, the first hydraulic spinning machine with copy control and an automatic programme comes onto the market. Finally, in 1967, Leifeld develops the world's first NC spinning lathe.
The first CNC-controlled metal spinning machine in the world is developed by Leifeld in 1971, followed in the same year by an extrusion-blow moulding machine for the plastics industry. In 1988, Leifeld develops the first machine for producing multiple-component aluminium wheels, and a year later a new process for manufacturing one-piece, weight-optimised cast aluminium wheels, which display a similar strength to forged wheels. The first machine for producing clutch plate supports is launched in 1995.
Leifeld develops the first machine for producing one-piece, weight-optimised forged aluminium wheels and the first machine for the vertical production of aluminium and steel wheels as well as cast and forged aluminium wheels. In 2007, the Georg Kofler group takes over Leifeld Metal Spinning GmbH. In 2010, Leifeld builds the longest stretch machine in the world.
In 2011, Leifeld expands to China and establishes the company Leifeld Machinery Trading in Shanghai. In 2013, a branch plant is set up in Artern. In the same year, Leifeld develops the strongest flow forming machine in the world, followed one year later by the world's biggest horizontal CNC metal spinning machine. In 2015, Leifeld expands into the USA and establishes Leifeld USA Corp. In 2016, the year of its 125 anniversary, Leifeld delivers its 6,125th machine. In 2017, a new site is opened in Russia. A further production facility in Ahlen is being built and opened in 2018.