How can Austrian toolmaking be characterized qualitatively and quantitatively? What are its particular strengths and performance characteristics?
The Plastics Cluster commissioned the machine tool laboratory WZL of the RWTH Aachen University and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT to collect key figures from Austrian tool manufacturers and to place them in an international context. For this purpose, a nationwide market survey was conducted and this was supplemented with in-depth company visits and expert discussions. Data from the database operated jointly by the two institutions and publicly accessible data on international toolmaking were used as benchmarks.
The study looked at toolmaking in three dimensions: In the product dimension, the complexity of the range of tools offered was assessed and the share of sales from upstream and downstream services was evaluated. In the process dimension, order types and depth of added value as well as process efficiency criteria such as adherence to delivery dates, budget compliance and value generated per day were recorded. The resources dimension includes the analysis of the existing means of production and the assessment of the level of training in Austrian tool shops. Falls relevant: The study was financed by the Austrian Toolmaking Industry and Partners
The “Tooling in Austria” study published in 2020 showed the clear focus of Austrian toolmaking on plastics processing: Injection molding tools (with a production value of 533.3 million euros in 2019) dominate over sheet metal and solid forming tools (78.4 million) and die casting tools (55.6 million), a trend that has further strengthened in recent years. Toolmaking generates two thirds of its sales domestically, with Germany predominating among the export countries with a sales share of 21.7 percent. The main customer for Austrian tool shops is the automotive industry with a 22.4 percent share of sales, followed by the electrical industry with 13.6 percent and the packaging industry with 12.5 percent. The authors of the study give the Austrian toolmaking industry very good marks in terms of performance, resources and level of training, but warn that they should focus more on digitization to increase the efficiency of their own processes and to develop new, data-based business models.
The collected results of the study were published in a comprehensive publication together with company portraits and a complete overview of the providers and their services.
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