Germany Honors its Top Mold Builders

MoldMaking Technology has its annual Leadtime Leader Award and through our European Correspondent Barbara Schulz, I learned that Germany has its MoldMaker of the Year Award. And, this year's winner is a company I met at EMO and a shop we featured earlier this year.


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This German honor is a competition called, “Excellence in Production” and is organized annually by the WZL Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering at RWTH Aachen and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT.

All the data in the questionnaire is analyzed and processed with the help of standardized performance indicators. With the personalized evaluation, each participant has the possibility to learn about its own strengths and optimization potentials. They get a decision-making tool based on key figures in technological and organizational areas. An independent jury of selected industry, politics, association and science representatives determines the winners based on these evaluations and company visits. This year 292 companies took part in the competition. Of those 14 made it to the final round after an in-depth analysis. 

The winners are grouped into four categories:

  1. Captive tool and die makers with fewer than 50 employees
  2. Captive tool and die makers with more than 50 employees
  3. Custom tool and die shops with fewer than 50 employees
  4. Custom tool and die shops with more than 50 employees

Haidlmair, a family company from Austria, won the competition in 2006 for the custom tool and die maker category with more than 50 employees, and finished second in the final in 2013. This year Haidlmair won against three top companies in that category, taking the Moldmaker of the Year 2017 title.

“The credit for this success goes to my employees because without them we couldn’t guarantee the high quality of our products,” CEO Mario Haidlmair says.

An important factor in the decision of the jury was the innovative spirit of Haidlmair and
its investments in products, employees and modern machinery.

Haidlmair is one of the leading manufacturer of high performance-injection molds for various storage- and logistics solutions (beverage crates, collapsible and folding boxes, plastic pallets etc.) and recycling container. With more than 270 employees in Nussbach and targeted investments in recent years in the machinery and operational infrastructure, the company can now produce molds up to 80 tons. The Nussbach operation is the main factory of a group of companies with currently 9 operations in 4 countries and about 550 employees. Haidlmair has a North American facility in Ontario Canada.

Each winner was honored at a ceremony in front of 300 guests in the coronation hall of the city hall of Aachen.