Toolmaking of the Year 2017 - Fourteen Finalists for the Industry Award "Excellence in Production"




Christoph Kelzenberg, M. Sc.

Chief Engineer


work Phone
+49 241 80 27567


For 14 years, the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT have been presenting the best tool and mould making companies. This year, 292 companies took part in the competition. Fifteen of them were thoroughly examined by a team of experts from both institutes and an independent jury nominated fourteen for the finals.


An independent jury of representatives from science, politics, associations and industry will honor both the overall winner and the best in various categories with a valuable trophy and certificates during the award ceremony. Nearly a third of the participants are taking part for the first time this year, some of them have made it directly into the front field of the finalists.

The award ceremony for the "Toolmaking of the Year 2017" will take place on November 22, 2017 in front of around 250 guests as part of a festive evening event in the Coronation Hall of Aachen City Hall and is part of the 17th International Colloquium "Toolmaking with a Future". The winner will receive the prestigious trophy and the corresponding certificate from last year's winner, Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG. The category winners will also be honored at the awards ceremony.

This year, the hosts had simplified the participation for the companies by a reduced questionnaire and a new competition mode: After registration, the participants filled out only the first part of the questionnaire with a selection of central questions. Only in the second competition phase did more detailed questions have to be answered. In addition, two additional on-site visits by the Aachen toolmaking experts were raffled off among all participants.

The finalists are already among the best tool and mould making companies in the German-speaking world. They have proven themselves in a highly competitive environment. The jurors assessed the technological performance and organizational aspects of the companies along the entire process chain. A team of experts from the two institutes in Aachen visited the companies on site and was able to convince themselves of their capabilities. Only then did the jury nominate the fourteen best companies for the final, from which the overall winner will ultimately emerge.

This year's competition and the 17th International Colloquium "Toolmaking with a Future" will again be supported by Hasco Hasenclever GmbH + Co KG, Böhler-Uddeholm Deutschland GmbH, WBA Tooling Academy Aachen GmbH and the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA), Kunststoffcluster Österreich as well as the trade fair formnext. VDI nachrichten and the trade journals FORM+Werkzeug and werkzeug&formenbau report as media partners of the competition.

Overview of finalists by category in alphabetical order

Category "Internal toolmaking with less than 50 employees"

  • Festo-Polymer GmbH, St. Ingbert
  • FWB Kunststofftechnik GmbH, Pirmasens

Category "Internal toolmaking with more than 50 employees"

  • Gealan Fenster Systeme GmbH, Oberkotzau
  • SONA AutoComp Germany GmbH, Remscheid
  • Takata AG, Aschaffenburg
  • TE Connectivity Germany GmbH, Wört/Dinkelsbühl

Category "External toolmaking with less than 50 employees"

  • Hanns Engl Werkzeugbau O.H.G., Bozen (I)
  • Lotec Loh GmbH & Co. KG, Arnsberg
  • WEFA Inotec GmbH, Singen
  • W. Faßnacht Werkzeug- und Formenbau, Bobingen

Category "External toolmaking with more than 50 employees"

  • Haidlmair Werkzeugbau GmbH, Nußbach (A)
  • Summerer Technologies GmbH & Co. KG, Schechen
  • weba Werkzeugbau Betriebs GmbH, Dietach (A)
  • Werkzeugbau Siegfried Hofmann GmbH, Lichtenfels

The agenda and further information on the award ceremony can be found on the website of the Industry Award "Excellence in Production".