New team

leads ifw Group into the future

"Strengthening strengths" is the name of the game with the new management board of the ifw Group based in the Upper Austrian town of Micheldorf. The new three-man team under the leadership of CEO Gerald Neudeck attaches particular importance to the further optimization of customer benefits resulting from the combination of ifw kunststofftechnik and ifw mould tec. This is why they are investing specifically in automation and personnel as well as in the further expansion of research and development.

Alongside CEO Gerald Neudeck, two authorized signatories (Christian Otte, AIE and Ing. Harald Schicklgruber, MIB MBA) have been responsible since May this year for the continuous growth strategy that ifw has committed itself to. The focus here lies both in acquiring new customers and in expanding the offering for existing customers. And they consider themselves to be in an excellent position to do so, not only due to leading-edge technology. Furthermore, the customers will be offered additional benefits resulting from the unique combination of injection mould manufacturing (ifw mould tec) and injection-moulding contract production (ifw kunststofftechnik). CEO Gerald Neudeck: "Due to these synergy effects, we can offer our business partners even more attractive solutions to meet their broad range of needs."

Additional investment in automation and development

The ifw Group offers the entire development and production process for plastic products, as well as only parts thereof. Authorized signatory Harald Schicklgruber: "When a customer comes to us with a vision, we can develop the necessary moulds for them and, if necessary, take on component production in batches of any size and provide the corresponding logistics services. And we are equally happy to handle injection-moulding contract production orders with existing customer moulds as well. Everything is possible, all the way through to providing after-sales service for ifw and third-party moulds." In order to reinforce this positioning as a full-range supplier for all eventualities, the new management team is planning additional investments in research, as well as further automation in the two sister companies. Some of this is already underway.

Progressive diversification of the product range

ifw kunststofftechnik already manufactures an 8-cavity elbow fully automatically in large quantities. In addition, autonomous production planning is currently in the test phase. This will go live during the course of next year. Authorized signatory and co-proprietor Christian Otte emphasizes that no jobs will be lost due to this automation. Quite the opposite. "In spite of automation measures, we have already hired 10 percent more employees this year than last." The employment campaign at ifw is also justified by another fundamental decision that is leading to diversification of the product range. While not only fittings, but also products for the automotive and packaging sectors, are being manufactured in the plastics engineering (Kunststofftechnik) division, the focus in the mouldmaking division is almost entirely on manufacturing moulds for fittings, albeit for various industrial sectors. The aim is to change this step by step from the position of the global leader in quality and to successively expand the product range.