Corporate Development


Fields of Expertise

The department of Corporate Development supports manufacturing companies in strategic alignment, goal-oriented development and organizational optimization. The focus is on the industrialisation of manufacturing companies, the development and operationalisation of strategies, the identification and on-site evaluation of international sales and procurement markets as well as the digital transformation of the range of services and value creation.

In addition to the specialization in terms of content, the expertise lies in one-off and small series production, especially for tool and mould making companies. In close cooperation with the WBA Aachener Werkzeugbau Akademie GmbH, a spin-off of the WZL and Center at the RWTH Aachen Campus, contents and solutions are developed and implemented under real production conditions.

Value Added Management

We support you in the industrialization, optimization and (digital) networking of your value-added processes along the entire order processing chain - from the customer's inquiry, through the product development process, to commissioning at the customer's site.

Main Topics

  • Sales and customer acquisition
  • Development and construction
  • Production planning and control
  • Purchasing and supplier management
  • Manufacturing and assembly
  • Commissioning/start-up of series production

Competence Management

We support you in the development and operationalization of your corporate strategy - from the analysis and evaluation of the industry structure, the definition of strategic success positions and profitable business areas to the (digital) transformation within the company.

Main Topics

  • Industry structure (customers, suppliers, competition, substitutes)
  • Vision, mission, strategy, strategic positions for success
  • Range of goods and services
  • Location decisions
  • Company organization
  • Implementation roadmap




Our services focus on the areas of consulting, research, further education and network & demonstration tooling. In all projects and activities we are characterized by a special focus on result and customer orientation as well as flexibility.


In consulting projects, company- and application-specific solutions are developed together with customers in the competence fields. Within the thematic fields of competence, our expertise has been successfully based on individual and small series production for over 30 years. New findings from applied research flow directly into the consulting topics and enable us to offer customers tailor-made, innovative solutions to strategic, organizational and technological problems.


In the area of research, innovative concepts for organizational and technological issues are developed in close cooperation with leading manufacturing companies. There are various forms of cooperation. In annual consortium projects, which are financed independently, a variety of strategic and operative topics are dealt with in cooperation with several partners. Long-term research projects are usually publicly funded and carried out together with other research institutions, associations and companies. Current research focuses are found in regularly published studies.


  Group of people © WZL The Department of Corporate Development

Further Education

In addition to teaching for engineering courses, a comprehensive further training programme is offered in cooperation with the WBA Aachener Werkzeugbau Akademie GmbH. Starting with web seminars, seminars lasting one or more days and certificate courses, participants are taught relevant topics and methods, whose practical application is then tested. The advanced training programme is aimed at junior and senior staff at various qualification levels.

Network & Demonstration Toolmaking

Our partner network is maintained together with the WBA Aachener Werkzeugbau Akademie GmbH and consists of leading companies from the individual and small series production and their suppliers. The large partner network enables an extensive exchange with experts from practice and research. Furthermore, our Demonstration Tool Shop offers the possibility to test our own developed software solutions and other industry 4.0 applications in a real production environment.


Partners and further projects

  • The WBA Aachener Werkzeugbau Akademie GmbH is the leading partner of the toolmaking industry in the business fields of consulting, training, research and network & demonstration toolmaking.
  • Together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT, the department of Coporate Development organizes the annual competition Excellence in Production to determine the best tool manufacturing companies in German-speaking countries.
  • The International Colloquium Toolmaking with a Future has been an annual central industry meeting place for almost 20 years. The event offers practical recommendations to help companies compete successfully in the long term. Renowned experts from the best companies in the national and international tool and mould making industry and from our research institutes give lectures on current topics.