For 18 years, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT and the Machine Tool Laboratory WZL of RWTH Aachen University have been awarding prizes to the best tool and mould making companies in the German-speaking region. Together with an expert jury consisting of ten jurors from industry, politics, science and associations, eleven finalists from the tool and die industry are selected in four categories, based on a detailed comparison and visits to the respective companies."Calling our category a lion's den sums it up pretty well. We were in direct comparison with large companies. We were there for the first time, but we are well and, above all, broadly positioned. From punching tools to automatic machines, we make everything and have thus been able to hold our own", says Reinhold Hechfellner, Head of Global Tools at ODU.
In its own toolmaking shop, ODU employs more than 50 people and produces on modern robot-integrated production lines for its own needs as well as for external customers. Its portfolio includes injection moulds, overmoulding tools, stamping and progressive dies as well as assembly tools up to fully automated systems.
The day after the award ceremony, the colloquium "Toolmaking with a Future" took place under the motto "Toolmaking at the Turning Point". The organizers and selected speakers presented technological and strategic solutions for ways out of the crisis and showed how the tool and die industry can be successfully aligned in the long term. The companies should position themselves more broadly was the appeal of the managing director of the RWTH Aachen, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Boos. The entire presentation confirmed ODU in what it does and "was worth being there in itself," said Hechfellner.