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Toolmaking of the year 2023 builds the forming tools for BMW vehicles

Hida Winkle is a tech blogger from Ohio with a degree in mass communication and a gift for writing. She is the editor-in-chief of Hida’s favorite subjects are technology and building art. She is also a huge fan of Anime and Manga.

Competition Excellence in Production

Nov 17, 2023

By Martin Ciupek

Despite major challenges for tool and mold making in German-speaking countries, there was reason to celebrate this week. The industry chose its best companies in Aachen.

Toolmaking of the year 2023 builds the forming tools for BMW vehicles | BMW Muenchen Werkzeug 313x0 c default
The tool shop of 2023 uses tools like this to produce external parts for the BMW Group’s production network.
Photo: BMW Group

The organizers of the “Excellence in Production” competition were able to experience how difficult the year 2023 was for tool making companies in German-speaking countries. Since the beginning of 2023, the WZL machine tool laboratory at RWTH Aachen University and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT have been working together with an expert jury to determine the best tool and mold making companies in German-speaking countries. For the 20th time, they had surveyed companies in the industry and even visited the chain stores on site to choose the tool manufacturer of the year.

There is an image gallery with background information on all nominated companies here

According to the organizers, the strong competition from the Asian region and enormous price pressure combined with high customer demands have caused problems for all companies, but especially for external tool making companies. This makes the performance of the companies that made it to the final this year all the more outstanding. The internal toolmaking companies showed equally strong performances in the field of finalists and ultimately provided the overall winner.

The overall winners are the converters from BMW in Munich and Dingolfing

From a field of participants totaling 305 companies, BMW’s joint Munich and Dingolfing toolmaking company emerged as the overall winner. The year before, the team had narrowly admitted defeat in the final. Twelve finalists competed in four categories – each differentiated according to internal and external tool making and the size of the company with less than or more than 50 employees. The day before yesterday, the BMW converter team was celebrated for their success by around 300 guests at the awards ceremony in Aachen’s town hall. The deciding factors for the jury were in particular the strong strategic positioning of toolmaking as a pioneer for vehicle design within the group and the stringent use of Industry 4.0 technology and digitalization. As an outstanding example of this, the jury highlighted the consistent use of augmented reality in quality inspection and to digitize employees’ specialist knowledge.

Toolmaking of the year 2023 builds the forming tools for BMW vehicles | Gesamtsieger D6G7064 EiP 2023 Foto Kurt Beyer

Overall winner in the “Excellence in Production” competition: representatives of the team from BMW toolmaking from Munich and Dingolfing, framed by WZL director Günther Schuh (left) and Michael Stepper, owner and managing director of last year’s winner Fritz Stepper GmbH & Co. KG. Photo: Kurt Beyer | aperture-0

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