1992

18 Mitglieder
VDWF – the hour of birth

VDWF – the hour of birth

Eighteen small and medium-sized entrepreneurs met on November 5th, 1992, in the Bad Hotel in Bad Überkingen. Their goal was as follows: found an Association that stands up for the interests of everyone in the industry with a strong voice, bundles the strengths and potential of the many small and medium-sized companies, and represents them within the industry.

1993

19 Mitglieder
Formtech: attempting to establish a trade fair

Formtech: attempting to establish a trade fair

In 1993, the VDWF organized its own trade fair together with the trade fair company Paul Schall in Sinsheim. Ten Association members came together as exhibitors at «Formtech». Lectures and discussions were organized in parallel with the exhibition. This marked the beginning of the VDWF presenting itself using a joint stand concept at important industry trade fairs such as Fakuma, Euromold, WFB, and Blechexpo.

1994

20 Mitglieder
Change in Management

Change in Management

VDWF President Prof. Thomas Garbrecht (right) congratulates Dieter Döttling – the Uhingen management consultant who became the Association’s managing director between 1994 and 2000.

Joint visit to the Euromold in Wiesbaden

Joint visit to the Euromold in Wiesbaden

1995

23 Mitglieder
VDWF logo

VDWF logo

A professionally designed signet replaces the first «homemade» versions of the logo.

1996

25 Mitglieder
First delegation trip: USA

First delegation trip: USA

The VDWF’s first delegation trip was to the USA and around 20 participants went to see automation solutions on site.

2000

40 Mitglieder
Delegation trip: USA and Canada

Delegation trip: USA and Canada

2001

47 Mitglieder
«VDWF News»

«VDWF News»

The voice of the tool and mold making world: In 2001, the VDWF published the first issue of «VDWF News». It was published quarterly as an independent print magazine.

2005

82 Mitglieder
Delegation trip: ArabPlast in Dubai

Delegation trip: ArabPlast in Dubai

«VDWF im Dialog»

«VDWF im Dialog»

In 2005, the Association’s magazine was relaunched as «VDWF im Dialog». Since then, it has been published four times a year with a circulation of around 13,000 copies. In addition to technical news, «VDWF im Dialog» engages with economically and socially relevant topics both within and outside the industry, and reports on the Association’s internal matters.

Barbecue and ski weekends

Barbecue and ski weekends

Informal get-togethers help members to be «ahead by a nose» in terms of organization and technology, and also promote exchanges within the Association network.

Since their inception, the Barbeque weekend (premiered in 2005) and the Ski weekend (premiered in 2006), have been fixed dates in the VDWF calendar.

2009

112 Mitglieder
Marketing and Technology Days

Marketing and Technology Days

Does marketing even make sense for my business? This was a driving question in the VDWF’s first marketing day. The fact that the number of people who registered for this seminar vastly outstripped anticipated demand points to the answer.

With its concept of technology days, the VDWF also wants to convey solution-based approaches for manufacturing processes at the highest technical level.

Technology Day at KWS Kölle

Technology Day at KWS Kölle

2010

123 Mitglieder
CE guideline according to the VDWF standard

CE guideline according to the VDWF standard

In 2010, a «timetable» with complete documentation and a separate VDWF-CE guideline were created to enable CE marking for tool and mold making in a way which is easy, clear, and suitable for everyday use. It provides a foundation for the interpretation and a uniform approach to obtaining the CE mark in tool and mold making. In addition to regular workshops, the Association also offers comprehensive informational material on the subject.

2011

133 Mitglieder
VDWFid YouTube channel

VDWFid YouTube channel

The VDWF presents short interviews and reports from Association events on its YouTube channel.

First VDWF course

First VDWF course

The VDWF opens the continuing education course «Project Manager (FH) for tool and mold making» in cooperation with the Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences (the Association’s official branch office). The two-semester course was part-time, and aimed to optimally qualify specialists and managers for the requirements of efficient, economical, and high-quality tool and mold making. This was the first of what is now a total of six courses.

Development of DIN 16742

Development of DIN 16742

In 2011, the VDWF was responsible for the development of the DIN guideline for the dimensional accuracy of plastics. The Association now offers regular seminars nationwide.

Delegation trip: Japan

Delegation trip: Japan

During their one-week study trip, the VDWF travel group was able to experience the philosophy with which Japan, as a high-tech country, faces global challenges in terms of mechanical engineering, production technologies, and personnel management.

2012

146 Mitglieder
Trainee initiative starts

Trainee initiative starts

Through its training initiative, the VDWF can qualify industry trainees. Trainees are given special knowledge in two-week block seminars in addition to in-company training and vocational school in the Bildungs-Center Südthüringen (BCS) in Zella-Mehlis. In accordance with operational requirements, two courses (1st and 2nd and then 3rd year of apprenticeship) focus on imparting and deepening knowledge and skills in the field of mold making beyond the normal curriculum.

First website relaunch

First website relaunch

The VDWF’s new website has been online since April 19, 2012. Under its well-known domain, www.vdwf.de, visitors will now find a completely redesigned website which is appropriate to the zeitgeist. In addition, there is an integrated digital offshoot of the VDWF magazine where daily news is posted. A feedback channel is open for all content of the new site. Members can advertise online.

Delegation trip: South Africa

Delegation trip: South Africa

The one-week trip through South Africa gave the 12 VDWF delegates a comprehensive impression of the current state of the art and the available know-how in the areas of manufacturing and toolmaking, with a focus on the automotive sector.

VDWF course «Applied Plastics Technology»

VDWF course «Applied Plastics Technology»

The Master’s degree in «Applied Plastics Technology» is launched in cooperation with the Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences.

2013

155 Mitglieder
VDWF branch office WI.SWF

VDWF branch office WI.SWF

The Toolmaking Institute South Westphalia (WI.SWF) becomes an official branch of the VDWF.

Delegation trip: Turkey

Delegation trip: Turkey

A 16 person VDWF delegation traveled through Turkey to the Bursa and Istanbul regions for a week and gained valuable insights into the local production facilities. In addition to sheet metal forming companies, stamping shops, and injection molding shops, the trip’s destinations also included tool making companies.

2014

178 Mitglieder
The Moulding Expo’s Conceptual Trustee

The Moulding Expo’s Conceptual Trustee

2014 marks the birth of the Molding Expo - the new showcase for tool, model, and mold making. The VDWF was the Moulding Expo’s first conceptual and technological trustee.

First user forum in cooperation with VDMA

First user forum in cooperation with VDMA

In mid-September of 2014, the Association of German Machine and Plant Builders East (VDMA Ost) and the VDWF jointly hosted a user forum for tool and mold making in the Chemnitz town hall. An interesting mix of topics on current trends, developments, and innovations from the industry awaited the more than 60 participants. The event has been held annually ever since.

New exhibition stand concept

New exhibition stand concept

When designing the new VDWF joint stand, «Programming» was used. This refers to a design method in which all wishes and requirements of the users (the Association members) are taken into account while the basics are being determined.

VDWF course «Mechanical Engineering and Management»

VDWF course «Mechanical Engineering and Management»

The course «Mechanical Engineering and Management» premiered in cooperation with the Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences.

2015

209 Mitglieder
VDWF working group «Industry 4.0»

VDWF working group «Industry 4.0»

For the first time, the VDWF is offering an «Industry 4.0 in Medium-Sized Companies Working Group». A seminar provides information about the background, history, and case studies. The working group offers development of practical and tangible application options for implementation of Industry 4.0 in companies which are summarized in a guideline.

«voll wild» management meeting

«voll wild» management meeting

In November 2015, the first «voll wild» group took a joint trip. Today, this seminar series has become a fixed event in the VDWF’s event calendar and takes place twice a year. The initiative’s aim is to get tool and mold making entrepreneurs to engage with precisely their own topics and questions and offer them an opportunity to exchange ideas with like-minded people.

One of the most successful trade fair launches

One of the most successful trade fair launches

Moulding Expo 2015: Well over 600 exhibitors filled sold-out Stuttgart exhibition halls. And in the middle of it all, in Hall 6, the VDWF was a conceptual and professional sponsor. Its joint stand had never existed before on this scale. At around 700 m², the stand was then the largest in the history of Messe Stuttgart. The VDWF was well represented with total of eighty-two VDWF member companies exhibiting – with 52 on the joint VDWF stand.

Trainee cinema trailer

Trainee cinema trailer

Prof. Thomas Seul, President of the VDWF, presented the VDWF Cinema Spot at the Molding Expo’s exhibitors’ evening. The film encourages young people to choose a career in tool and mold making. In around 30 seconds, the film shows what young professionals can expect when they decide on an apprenticeship in tool and mold making: high-tech in the range of a few thousandths of a millimeter, operations in the most modern machining centers, and the creation of production equipment for a variety of daily products. A key attribute is that companies can have the film personalized for their own targeted approach.

VDWF medal

VDWF medal

Starting in 2015, VDWF medals are awarded on special occasions or for outstanding services to the VDWF … and we wouldn’t be toolmakers if we didn't make them out of real tool steel!

Take 1: «VDWF is …»

Take 1: «VDWF is …»

Our new YouTube cameras get tested. After the annual general meeting, we spontaneously ask some members: «What does the VDWF mean to you?»

Fakuma 2015

Fakuma 2015

The VDWF joint stand has been an integral part of the international trade fair in Friedrichshafen since Fakuma was founded. In order to expand the stand at the sold-out trade fair, the VDWF resorted to unusual means: For example, the neighboring stand’s kitchen area was used in exchange for their being fed and provided for by the VDWF. New storage areas in the loading yard were also implemented.

Relaunch of the VDWF website

Relaunch of the VDWF website

The Association’s presence on the Internet comes not only with a new look, but also with new functions. In addition to all the familiar features, the site is now noticeably more «elegant» when accessed from mobile devices. The two websites, vdwf.de and vdwf-im-dialog.de, have been merged into a single presence. Furthermore, essential contents of the vdwf.de site are available in English.

«Ahead by a Nose»

«Ahead by a Nose»

The Association’s portfolio has included a comprehensive seminar and workshop program for many years. Both technical topics and «soft skills», which are becoming more and more important in modern corporate management, are dealt with here. The VDWF seminar program, «Ahead by a Nose», provides an overview of the growing number of working groups, delegation trips, and Association events – which are now also offered as «open» events, along with company tours.

2016

245 Mitglieder
Computer Science and Electrical Engineering courses

Computer Science and Electrical Engineering courses

The fourth and fifth VDWF courses («Computer Science and IT Management» and «Electrical Engineering and Management») are launched in cooperation with the Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences.

Innovation forum for plastics technology and mold making

Innovation forum for plastics technology and mold making

On April 8th and 9th, the VDWF, the Center for Further Education, and the Laboratory for Applied Plastics Technology at the Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences jointly hosted the «Innovation Forum for Plastics Technology and Mold Making». Around 80 participants from across Germany and some other German-speaking countries accepted the invitation and could attend excellent presentations on technical topics, social developments, and ecologically necessary objectives during the two-day event.

Presentation of the Dr. Richard Escales Prize

Presentation of the Dr. Richard Escales Prize

Sonja Pongratz receives the Dr. Richard Escales Prize for her merits in «continuously imparting specialist knowledge on the durability of plastics». After this seventh presentation of the award, the VDWF now holds the award together with the publishing house, Carl Hanser.

New logo: Die Werkzeugmacher

New logo: Die Werkzeugmacher

Association President Prof. Thomas Seul presented the new addition of «Die Werkzeugmacher» to the Association’s logo at the VDWF’s annual general meeting in Lüdenscheid in April. «We are ‹makers› and we are people,» said Thomas Seul when explaining the content and appearance of the new handwritten subheading, which will be used as an option in the future.

Take 2: «VDWF is …»

Take 2: «VDWF is …»

At the annual general meeting, members were again asked «What does VDWF mean to you?» – in color this time.

Delegation trip: China

Delegation trip: China

17 participants traveled through China for eight days visiting Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Thaizhou, Hangzhou and Hong Kong – getting an immersive look at the Chinese tool industry and more. The German entrepreneurs exchanged ideas with various local toolmakers during company tours and presentations, and were given the opportunity to deepen relations with the Far East via the CDMIA (the China Die and Mould Industry Association).

Internal VDWF strategy workshop

Internal VDWF strategy workshop

The goals established include: creating a cluster strategy and innovation strategy, increasing both the visibility of tool and mold making in the public and the visibility of our members, the expansion of technology leadership, primary and continuing education, and the conscious handling of the VDWF’s meeting spaces and culture.

Show the flag at events

Show the flag at events

The VDWF is flying the flag as a co-organizer at events such as the Meusburger tool and mold making days in Bregenz, the evomecs-Vordenkerkreis, the Makino toolmaking forum, or at the Hachtel Technology Day.

VDWF press conference

VDWF press conference

At the end of June, the VDWF invited the trade press to the Hofmann Innovation Group (one of its members), in Lichtenfels. VDWF President Prof. Thomas Seul and Managing Director of Marketing Ralf Dürrwächter reported on the Association’s new projects and initiatives, and on insights gained during the VDWF delegation trip to China in the spring. In addition, those in attendance could learn about their host Hofmann’s various production areas and research projects.

2017

295 Mitglieder
1st English edition of «VDWF im Dialog»

1st English edition of «VDWF im Dialog»

The first English-language edition of «VDWF im Dialog» was published in January. Numerous articles from previous German-language editions were translated and compiled here. The magazine offers interested parties the opportunity to learn more about the Association’s work. The English edition was distributed along with other materials in a membership pack.

Molding Expo: The largest trade fair appearance of the VDWF to date

Molding Expo: The largest trade fair appearance of the VDWF to date

At the Molding Expo, the VDWF celebrated its anniversary on the largest joint stand the Association has ever had (1100 m², with 77 exhibitors).

Reversible magazine «VDWF im Dialog» for the Moulding Expo

Reversible magazine «VDWF im Dialog» for the Moulding Expo

The 25-year anniversary issue is published as a reversible magazine with a circulation of 15,000 copies. Its 2-in-1 format underscores the partnership with the Moulding Expo at Messe Stuttgart.

Prime Minister Kretschmann gives a laudatory speech

Prime Minister Kretschmann gives a laudatory speech

The Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, gave the speech at the 25th anniversary of the VDWF and focused on the key role played by the tool and mold making profession in industrial production.

25 years of VDWF: Installation «Guckies»

25 years of VDWF: Installation «Guckies»

Because of insufficient space in the VDWF joint stand, the VDWF’s last 25 years were presented using 200 slides in individual slide viewers.

The Polyman teaching component

The Polyman teaching component

The Polyman is a handy piece of demonstration plastic causing a sensation in the training of tool and mold makers: Using two components – one half is made using a component design suitable for plastic, and the other half is made using a component design unsuitable for plastic. The Polyman project is an exemplary collaboration between technology partners and sponsors. The VDWF jump-started and coordinated the project.

«Dream Company» Challenge Cup

«Dream Company» Challenge Cup

Companies receive the dream company award by getting evaluations on an anonymous employee survey.

Professional and informal – networking at the highest level

Professional and informal – networking at the highest level

Since its foundation, the roles of the VDWF have changed, becoming more comprehensive as the number of members has increased. The office in Schwendi has been continuously expanded and modernized.

Uncharted Territory: The first official training on the subject of 3D

Uncharted Territory: The first official training on the subject of 3D

The first course on 3D technologies, «Application technician (FH) for additive processes / rapid technologies», is launched in cooperation with the Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences.

2018

329 Mitglieder
Trade fair highlight «Polyman project with 3D goggles»

Trade fair highlight «Polyman project with 3D goggles»

At VDWF trade fair appearances, one of the most popular attractions is the Polyman project, and visitors can now admire it in virtual reality. The Polyman is a handy piece of plastic that has caused a sensation in the training of tool and mold makers. The two-component part has one half made from a component design which is suitable for plastic and the other half made from a design which is unsuitable for plastic. It combines everything good and everything bad in the practice of injection molding production in one part and makes it recognizable at a glance. Trade fair visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the virtual reality of this part using 3D goggles. The goggle-animated transparent tool allows viewers to step into the injection molding process and the cavity, and to experience the dos and don’ts of plastic and component-specific tool design up close. The idea and concept came from Prof. Steffen Ritter of Reutlingen University.

Sportswear at the VDWF

Sportswear at the VDWF

The VDWF proved itself to be particularly sporty during its special sportswear offer, where companies could display their logo on the Association’s team clothing. In addition to complete cycling gear (jersey and pants), jogging jerseys from a German branded product were also offered.

VDWF expands its seminar portfolio

VDWF expands its seminar portfolio

The VDWF offers members and interested parties seminars and working groups with a high practical relevance in tool and mold making. This is because the Association is committed to both the development of perspectives for the entire tool and mold making profession in German-speaking countries, and imparting industry-specific know-how for specialists and company bosses. Early in 2018, the portfolio was expanded to include the seminars «Personnel Management», «Qualified Electrician for Limited Tool and Mold Making Activities», «Sales Prof(it) in Tool and Mold Making», and «Dream Company».

Changes in the VDWF office

Changes in the VDWF office

In early 2018, the VDWF strengthened its Schwendi office team by bringing Sabrina Wagner on board. She is a trained hotel manager and clerk for office management. With her, the Association has gained also someone who is both dynamic and gregarious. At the same time, the long-standing Technical Director, Heiko Semrau, left the dual management team, and Ralf Dürrwächter assumed the position of sole managing director.

2nd place in the «Association of the Year» Competition in Berlin

2nd place in the «Association of the Year» Competition in Berlin

Only a micrometer was missing to the top spot on the podium – and that’s why President Prof. Thomas Seul and Managing Director Ralf Dürrwächter smiled with pride and satisfaction when they met at the evening’s festivities for the 16th German Associations Congress of the German Society for Association Management (the DGVM) in Berlin in 2018. They received the second-place award in the «2018 Association of the Year» competition. The VDWF received this award in the «Reform and Management» category.

Premiere of the «voll wild» XXL event with a panel discussion

Premiere of the «voll wild» XXL event with a panel discussion

The VDWF managing directors’ «voll wild» meeting visited the companies Fanuc, F. Zimmermann, and Reichle. Moderated by Susanne Schröder, editor-in-chief of «Form+Tool», speakers including René Haidlmair, Lothar Horn, Ulrich Kromer von Baerle (then head of Messe Stuttgart), VDWF Vice President Anton Schweiger, and former DFB referee Lutz Wagner all pondered the question of what «deciding» means to them. 150 participants made this event the first XXL-format version.

Kunststoff-Institut Lüdenscheid is the official branch of the VDWF

Kunststoff-Institut Lüdenscheid is the official branch of the VDWF

The official opening of the new training center for plastics technology, the Polymer Training Centre (PTC), and the 30th anniversary of the institute at the Kunststoff-Institut Lüdenscheid were all celebrated at the same time. On this occasion, the Plastics Institute also became an official VDWF branch office in order to firmly anchor the topic of tool and mold making in north-western Germany and to promote relevant topics through its numerous events. In addition, the cooperation stipulates that Lüdenscheid offers are to be advertised and offered through the VDWF, joint development and joint projects to be initiated, and trade fairs undertaken together. These two institutions, with over 600 companies behind them, added a new emphasis in their industries and are able to persuade using interdisciplinary projects and development approaches.

Delegation trip to North America

Delegation trip to North America

Travel educates – and this certainly applies to VDWF delegation trips. In mid-September of 2018, an 18 person VDWF delegation left for North America: seven days, two countries, one continent. While in Canada and the USA, the toolmakers from Germany gathered fascinating impressions from their colleagues overseas. The program included on-site visits to tool and mold making companies and to their respective downstream series production, as well as meetings with representatives of associations and with politicians of the respective host countries.

VDWF managing directors’ meeting «voll wild» on tour – including Slovenia, Italy and Austria

VDWF managing directors’ meeting «voll wild» on tour – including Slovenia, Italy and Austria

4 countries in 4 days – in autumn of 2018, the VDWF’s managing directors’ meeting visited toolmakers in Italy, Slovenia, Austria, and Germany. With around 40 participants, the Association toured eleven companies: Engl, Emo, HRSflow, INglass, FCS, Elmann, Imas, Tecos, Gorenje, Haidlmair, and Jell.

2019

368 Mitglieder
Climate-neutral production of the VDWF magazine

Climate-neutral production of the VDWF magazine

Since the publication of the first 2019 magazine issue, the production of the Association magazine «VDWF im Dialog» has been completely climate-neutral. With this gesture, the VDWF not only protects the environment, but also calls upon the industry to follow its example. With the support of the Bechtel printing company, the CO₂ emissions generated during print production are offset by the «Germany Plus Black Forest» climate protection project. In addition, only FSC-certified paper is used.

Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences wins the FernstudiumCheck Award

Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences wins the FernstudiumCheck Award

The FernstudiumCheck is an independent evaluation portal for long-distance students, and it gives an award to the best provider every year. The Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences, where the VDWF offers its courses, is among the institutions evaluated there. The Center for Continuing Education (ZfW) at the Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences made it won first place in the category «2019 Most Popular Distance Learning Provider».

Founding of the «Toolmaking Market Survey» cooperative

Founding of the «Toolmaking Market Survey» cooperative

The successful inaugural meeting of the «Marktspiegel Werkzeugbau» («Toolmaking Market Survey») cooperative signaled the beginning of an initiative to promote future sustainability in tool-, mold-, and model making. The Toolmaking Market Survey is intended to ensure a practice-oriented comparison of companies and give concrete recommendations. The initiative’s aim is to enable a company comparison for the industry and thus create market transparency. The VDWF acts as a partner: Association President Prof. Thomas Seul and Managing Director Ralf Dürrwächter are board member and supervisory board member, respectively, of the cooperative.

Premiere of the trainee magazine «up»

Premiere of the trainee magazine «up»

Imagine a brochure for the young, potential industry players of tomorrow – with this in mind, the VDWF developed the young people’s magazine «up». It offers a colorful mix of topics from the tool and mold making trade. The associated platform at www.vdwf.de gives companies the opportunity to list their vacant apprenticeships in a structured way and sorted by zip code, so that potential apprentices can find what they are looking for at a glance.

Record participation at the VDWF «voll wild» XXL trip in Füssen

Record participation at the VDWF «voll wild» XXL trip in Füssen

Around 180 participants – including entrepreneurs and association representatives from Slovenia, Austria, Italy and South Africa – met at the foot of the Allgäu royal castles in Hohenschwangau for the XXL format of the «voll wild» (or «totally wild») get-together. The agenda included company visits to DMG Mori in Pfronten and to Otto Bihler Maschinenfabrik in Halblech, exclusive specialist lectures, and a keynote by Prof. Cornel Stan on the subject of «Automobility of the future», as well as networking to live music and finger-wrestling games.

«VDWF im Dialog» wins the 2019 mediaV-Award

«VDWF im Dialog» wins the 2019 mediaV-Award

«Young, high-quality, and entertaining» – this was the juried assessment as the VDWF’s magazine received the 2019 mediaV Award for «Best Association Magazine». The award, presented by the trade journal «Association Report», honors outstanding communication projects by associations and organizations. Among other things, the VDWF’s comprehensive communication concept was praised because it builds bridges to the Association’s online presence. The lively, modern, and at times «impetuous layout» along with the high proportion of images provides variety. The covers are aesthetically pleasing and always eye-catching. «Jury members unanimously praised the high quality of the magazine», which thinks outside the box, but above all makes visible the Association and its achievements.

The VDWF becomes an ISTMA member

The VDWF becomes an ISTMA member

The VDWF became the 22nd member of the International Special Tooling and Machining Association (ISTMA). VDWF President Thomas Seul made the announcement at the booth-party during the Molding Expo 2019 in Stuttgart. With this, the Association thus takes on a major role in the exchange of knowledge and experience among companies worldwide.

«Bike’n’Camp» Premiere in the Swabian Jura

«Bike’n’Camp» Premiere in the Swabian Jura

The 13th «voll wild» meeting of managing directors came with an absolute novelty: for this special VDWF meeting, people saddled up – for the Bike’n’Camp tour! After meeting at the campsite in the Swabian Jura, participants hit the pedals for over 100 km. They visited tool specialist Paul Horn in Tübingen, the Kiefer tool shop in Pfullingen, and the special hardening shop Werz in Gammertingen. While the toughest in the group then fought their way back up to the heights of the Swabian Jura, tired bikers and their bikes were taken by shuttle bus back to the campsite from Pfullingen.

Premiere of the VDWF-WBA Practical Forum for Toolmaking

Premiere of the VDWF-WBA Practical Forum for Toolmaking

The «Practical Forum for Toolmaking» is a series of events which first took place in 2019 in Zwickau, when the VDWF and the WBA Aachen Toolmaking Academy joined forces to consider the future of toolmaking companies and provide trailblazing inspiration.

2020

386 Mitglieder
Premiere of the online seminar «11 o’clock break»

Premiere of the online seminar «11 o’clock break»

The Association comes to your home! To quench the thirst for knowledge even in times of COVID, the VDWF created the «11 o’clock break» online seminar. During these free, 30-minute video conferences held every work day at 11 a.m., participants could learn about different industry topics and engage in lively exchanges.

Publication of «Plastics in Medical Technology» book

Publication of «Plastics in Medical Technology» book

Working in close cooperation, two Schmalkalden colleagues, VDWF President Prof. Thomas Seul and the head of the VDWF working group «Additive Manufacturing» Prof. Stefan Roth, wrote a specialist book together which was published by the Hanser Verlag. Plastics in Medical Technology is designed as a guide for the development of medical products and is available both in print and as an e-book.

Debut of the online event «Late Shift»

Debut of the online event «Late Shift»

With «Late Shift», the Association created a second online format to bring the industry together. The informal get-togethers include lectures, company presentations, and international greetings from guests such as Bob Williamson (President of the worldwide toolmakers association, ISTMA), futurologist Matthias Horx, and magician Philo Kotnik, as well as a lively exchange among participants. As part of the Late Shift, the Schmalkalden brewery’s punny «VDWF-Werkzeuglager», or «VDWF Tool Lager/Warehouse» was tasted during an online beer tasting.

Start of the VDWF Theme Days: «All about …»

Start of the VDWF Theme Days: «All about …»

Boosting digitization in Association work – the VDWF started its new online event series, the VDWF Theme Days, at the end of September. In the «first season», around 120 companies presented themselves online, B2B, during 23 all-day events which were moderated by insider Richard Pergler. Lectures could be followed in real time via the YouTube live stream.

Online Premiere of the VDWF-WBA Practical Forum for Toolmaking

Online Premiere of the VDWF-WBA Practical Forum for Toolmaking

«Moving in turbulent times» was the motto for the second Practical Forum for Toolmaking, organized by the VDWF and the WBA Aachen Toolmaking Academy in cooperation with the Molding Expo. The forum, which was moved online due to the pandemic, elicited a great response from the industry: over 70 participants logged in via zoom, and a further 250 guests followed the stream on YouTube and Facebook. Excellent speakers gave well-founded and practical input on digitization and globalization.

Working group develops color table

Working group develops color table

Dirk Falke, chairman of the «Color Table Working Group» and owner of the Falke Engineering Office, presented the guidelines the group had drawn up for the CAD-supported transmission of tolerances. The new framework is intended to facilitate cooperation between companies and help to avoid mistakes.

The VDWF’s annual general meeting streamed online for the first time

The VDWF’s annual general meeting streamed online for the first time

For the first time in the VDWF’s history, the annual general meeting took place as a video conference. A total of 103 participants from all over Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Liechtenstein attended the live meeting. In addition to fixed items on the agenda – the President’s and the Managing Director’s reports, the financial report, and the working group reports – Prof. Thomas Seul expressed his pleasure at the industry’s successful leap into the digital world with the 11 o’clock break, the Late Shift, and the Theme Days.

«Wekzeuglager» – a lager for the VDWF

«Wekzeuglager» – a lager for the VDWF

The «Wekzeuglager», or «Tool Warehouse», is a punny beer brewed by the Braumanufaktur Schmalkalden especially for toolmakers, and all the inventors and hidden champions who always need to have an idea for their machines in the cooler, a special lubricant at hand, and the right coolant for a frothy head. This special brew can be ordered online from the brewery for a company party, or as a gift package.

Update, Upgrade! Training and further education with the VDWF at the Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences

Update, Upgrade! Training and further education with the VDWF at the Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences

Combining studying with working at the Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences – that’s the topic of the first online press conference held by the VDWF and the University. The six courses supported by the VDWF at Schmalkalden Center for Further Education are a real success story. So far, they have around 580 students. The content of these accredited courses was designed in cooperation with the VDWF, and they cover all aspects of a toolmaker’s activities.

2021

441 Mitglieder
VDWF starts the «Sustainability» working group

VDWF starts the «Sustainability» working group

A roadmap for resource-saving and fair management within tool and mold making: This is the VDWF «Sustainability» working group’s objective. Realistic ways in which companies can use fewer or less problematic resources – and thus in turn gain competitive advantages – are to be shown. This is the Association’s ninth specialist group, and it was kicked off in an online format in mid-February 2021.

2021 Practical Forum for Plastics Technology

2021 Practical Forum for Plastics Technology

The VDWF organized the premiere of the new practical forum as a free online event. The event’s content focused on sustainable trade – in both the ecological and economic sense. The event got inspiration and momentum from presentations by Matthias Horx; Futurologist, Prof. Thomas Seul; President of the VDWF, Dr. Christoph Gürtler; head of the «Catalysis and Technology Incubation» department at Covestro, and Prof. Christian Bonten; head of the Institute for Plastics Technology at the University of Stuttgart. The premiere had a full house: the VDWF registered over 200 participants attending the video conference. Thanks to the online format, it was easy to welcome industry colleagues from the Baltic Sea to northern Italy.

«Mouldmaker – The Game»

«Mouldmaker – The Game»

Help from the VDWF can be a strong card in your deck – not only in real life, but also in «Mouldmaker - The Game». The card game is intended to help future students and trainees gain familiarity with the basics of toolmaking and consolidate their knowledge in a playful way. The object of the game is to collect a complete set of tools to make a certain product. Jokers and penalty cards increase the game’s dynamics. The card game was developed by Prof. Steffen Ritter and Simon Horrer at Reutlingen University, and it was produced in partnership with the Molding Expo and the VDWF.

VDWF «Summer Surprise»

VDWF «Summer Surprise»

The VDWF sent out 1,800 packages – weighing around 9.5 tons – as part of its «Summer Surprise». These surprise packages were happily received by members, sponsors, partners, friends, and above all by toolmakers in the DACH region. Among other things, the package included a keg of beer to invite companies to get together – not just to drink beer, but also to work together professionally. In addition to drinks and beer mats emblazoned with VDWF and sponsor information, the Association’s packages also included the card game «Mouldmaker – The Game».

Research Community for Tool and Mold Making (the FDWF)

Research Community for Tool and Mold Making (the FDWF)

The FDWF was founded in early 2021 on the VDWF’s initiative. It has 25 members which include 21 SMEs, the VDWF itself, the Lüdenscheid Plastics Institute, and the Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences. The founding of the FDWF should further promote tool and mold making in Germany and its power to compete. The primary aim is to strengthen relevant science and its transfer in support of the industry, bringing the entire industry further forward and support the internationally leading position of toolmakers.

Talks with politicians

Talks with politicians

A round table discussion was held in Haigerloch to sensitize politicians to the importance of the industry. There, Thomas Bareiß, member of the Bundestag for the Zollernalb-Sigmaringen constituency, spoke to representatives and members of the VDWF in his capacity as Federal Commissioner for Medium-Sized Enterprises. The format continued at a state level four weeks later, with Baden-Württemberg Economics Minister Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut as a guest. The emphasis of this second meeting was again a desire to enter into regular dialogue with politicians.

New event series: «… meets Germany»

New event series: «… meets Germany»

«Japan meets Germany» was the title of the online discussion panel in which toolmakers from both countries exchanged ideas in mid-March. The Japanese industry organization, JDMIA, and the two German toolmaking associations, the VDWF and the VDMA, were invited. At the second event, «Portugal meets Germany», discussion focused on problems in the respective markets and how to tackle them together.

Awards for the VDWF at the mediaV Awards 2021

Awards for the VDWF at the mediaV Awards 2021

At the presentation of the 2021 mediaV-Award in Cologne’s Musical Dome, a special prize was awarded in addition to the three shortlist placements for the Association’s magazine, «VDWF im Dialog»: VDWF Managing Director Ralf Dürrwächter was named «Association Communicator of the Year» by the jury. Susanne Schröder, editor-in-chief of the trade journal «Kunststoffe», gave a laudatory speech in which she emphasized Dürrwächter’s outstanding commitment as a networker – especially during the pandemic’s challenging situation.

Theme Day Special «Road of Tooling Innovation»

Theme Day Special «Road of Tooling Innovation»

Developing innovations together: The «Road of Tooling Innovation» represents partnerships between selected international toolmaking companies and well-known injection molding machine manufacturers. The first results of this cooperation were presented during the «Virtual Innovation Days» at the Molding Expo in June 2021. Some concepts were also shown online in advance at the VDWF Theme Day Special. Interested parties looked forward to informative presentations given in either English or German during these events.

2022

441 Mitglieder
Advertise where it works!

Advertise where it works!

In a large-scale campaign, the VDWF sent printed coffee cups to its members to highlight the special advantages of placing an advertisement in one of the VDWF’s media. The Association magazine «im Dialog», the website, and the e-mail newsletter all provide the industry with relevant news, and information on technology, current seminars, trade fairs, and the Association – routinely reaching thousands of stakeholders in the tooling, mold making, and plastics industries.