ODU GmbH & Co. KG took part in the "Excellence in Production" industry competition for the first time and was one of the top finalists in the "In-house tool and moldmaking, more than 50 employees" category – an achievement to be proud of.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT and the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) at RWTH Aachen University have been awarding prizes for the best tool and moldmaking companies in the German-speaking region for 18 years now. Together with an expert jury of ten members representing industry, politics, science, and associations, they select 11 finalists from the tool and moldmaking sector in four categories, based on a detailed comparison of and visits to the companies concerned.
"'Lion's den' sums up our category pretty nicely. We were being compared directly with major corporations. Yes, we were there for the first time, but we are well positioned and, above all, have a broad base. From punching tools to automatic machines, we make everything ourselves and so have been able to hold our own," says Reinhold Hechfellner, Head of Global Tools at ODU.
ODU employs more than 50 people in its tool shop, where it makes products to meet its own needs and for external customers on modern, robot-integrated production lines.
Its portfolio includes injection molding tools, overmolding tools, stamping and progressive dies, as well as assembly tools right up to fully automated systems.
The day after the award ceremony, the "Tool and Die Making for the Future" colloquium took place; this year's theme was "Tool and Die Making at a 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. Prof. Wolfgang Boos, Managing Chief Engineer at RWTH Aachen, called for companies to position themselves more broadly. The entire presentation confirmed that ODU is on the right path and "it was worth being there for that alone," says Hechfellner.