The 2024 VDWF Annual General Meeting: Bigger than ever, as warm as ever.

On April 26th, over 220 members and partners of the German Tool and Mold Makers’ Association (VDWF) gathered for the 31st annual general meeting in the Himmelkron event arena in Upper Franconia. 57 new members were warmly welcomed and invited to give a thorough introduction of themselves. This record participation underlines the increasing reach and relevance of the VDWF within the industry. Vice President Anton Schweiger and Chief Financial Officer Katrin Schumacher were unanimously confirmed in their positions during the regular elections.

People as the solution

In his speech at the opening of the general meeting, Association President Prof. Thomas Seul spoke about the future viability of the industry: «Nothing works without tool and mold making. Plastic and metal are malleable materials that can only be processed into the everyday objects of our daily use through the valid production means of tool makers.» This key role should be carried forward as a matter of course. But as companies' processes become increasingly digitalized and automated, the work atmosphere changes, says Seul. It is therefore essential to put people at the center of all considerations. People should benefit from the newly created freedom and be able to use their valuable working time where they can make a significant contribution to value creation with their experience and communication skills. In this context, Seul also presented his vision of Europe’s future: One in which tool and mold making companies can operate sustainably and competitively - with fair framework conditions and affordable ancillary costs. This is the only way business locations can be secured – and the VDWF is bringing this vision to state and federal political attention.

Another event highlight was the election of the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer positions. Incumbents Anton Schweiger and Katrin Schumacher were unanimously re-elected for another three years. «For the Association leadership, the election results represent members’ clear commitment to our work on the board,» explains Thomas Seul, who looks forward to the continued trusting cooperation among this tried-and-true group.

An evening event underlining the VDWF’s culture of meet and greet

At the get-together the evening before in Helbrechts, participants were able to meet and exchange ideas in a relaxed atmosphere. Knarr, the host, catered to everyone's gastronomical well-being and provided a supporting program on both this evening and the day of the assembly itself. Insights gleaned about production and logistics during the company tours at this standard parts manufacturer’s site were another highly interesting component of the evening’s events for guests.

VDWF Managing Director Ralf Dürrwächter summarized the day-and-a-half long event as a successful mix of tried-and-true traditions and new impulses. He emphasized the importance of a strong community and a culture of interactions for the future viability of tool and mold making companies. «Our members use events like the annual general meeting to exchange ideas - and this is where real friendships within the industry are formed.» Dürrwächter says that such open interactions with one another are essential to being able to look to the future of German-speaking countries together.

More information about the VDWF

The German Tool and Mold Makers’ Association was founded in 1992 by committed, forward-thinking companies in the industry. It was founded on the conviction that many skills could only be mastered by small and medium-sized companies when – instead of working alone – they cooperated in a friendly atmosphere and by finding joy in the exchange.  The VDWF’s main objective is to strengthen tool and mold making in German-speaking countries. To this end, the Association bundles and represents the interests of over 500 member companies. Members receive competent advice and practical support on topics such as promoting young talent, training and further education, marketing, joint trade fairs, or management and corporate governance. Further information about the organization and Association networking events can be found at