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For the deciding difference

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Feintool is a Swiss technology business specialised in fineblanking systems, fineblanked and formed components, as well as automation technology. The company’s core technology is fineblanking and forming – a highly advantageous shearing process that has made it the global number one in the sector and a preferred partner for the unique difference.

Headquartered in Lyss, Switzerland, Feintool has manufacturing, development and sales operations all over the world, including production plants in Switzerland, Germany, the United States, China and Japan. The Group employs 2,000 people worldwide, including over 300 in Switzerland, and achieved sales of 360 million CHF in 2011.

On a pro forma basis, Feintool expects to achieve an annual turnover of 480 million CHF for the financial year 2012. To a considerable extent, this exceptional growth will be owed to the recent acquisition of the German metal forming specialist Herzing+Schroth.

“The acquisition forms a major step in our strategy of further advancing our leading position in the global fineblanking and forming market,” says Alexander von Witzleben, chairman of the board of directors.

Feintool was founded by Fritz Boesch and Wilfried Hügi in 1959. The two pioneering entrepreneurs developed a mechanical press with knuckle joint drive – an innovation that allowed to precisely control the three forces and made the deciding difference between conventional blanking and fineblanking. Continuously developed further, the unique invention still forms the basis for Feintool’s position as market and technology leader in fineblanking today.

The company started internationalising in the early 1960s when it presented the first fineblanking processes in the USA and Japan. Since then, Feintool has developed into a truly global player and the only supplier covering the entire value chain in fineblanking.

“We provide solutions for the complete fineblanking process, from engineering to tool making through to serial production,” states Mr. von Witzleben. In 1998, Feintool went public to finance the Group’s uninterrupted expansion.

Feintool splits into three business divisions: Fineblanking Technology, System Parts and Automation Technology. Fineblanking Technology offers cost-effective, end-to-end solutions for fineblanking and forming applications in a wide variety of industrial sectors, such as automotive, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, household appliances, tool making and medical technology.

The most important fineblanking customer of Feintool is the global automobile industry. “Fineblanking is a cost-effective, high-precision process that is ideally suited to the high requirements and volumes demanded by such markets as car making,” explains Mr. von Witzleben.

The fineblanking and forming portfolio includes high-performance hydraulic and mechanical fineblanking and orbital presses, a broad range of peripheral systems, customised tool systems, as well as comprehensive services including consulting, engineering, simulation, prototyping and training. The flagship range in the hydraulic segment is HFAplus, which comprises a unique selection of fineblanking presses offering the highest precision and maximum flexibility in production.

The System Parts division delivers ready-to-install, precision fineblanked and formed parts for drive trains, chain drives, safety systems, seat mechanisms, chassis components and many other automotive and non-automotive applications. In addition to fineblanking, the division offers grinding, heat treatment, forming, thickening and part handling.

Feintool’s third business unit, Automation Technology, is the Group’s automation specialist. It consists of IMA Automation, a reliable partner for assembly automation and fastening systems with operations in Amberg and Berlin, Germany.

Feintool has many loyal customers, especially from the automotive sector, and attaches great importance to individual customer relationships. The company’s sustained success, both at home and internationally, is based on its in-depth understanding of fineblanking and forming technology and the unique advantages the technology offers to customers.

“Our systems enable fineblanking and forming in one single process and thus not only achieve superior results but also significant cost and time savings,” says Mr. von Witzleben.

Feintool is currently benefiting from strong demand in the automobile industry. “The automotive sector has been developing highly dynamically since the economic crisis, particularly in the USA,” states Mr. von Witzleben. Other fast-evolving car markets are China, Japan, India and Brazil.

Feintool is also benefiting from technology advances requiring new, precision fineblanked components, such as in the area of automatic transmissions. “These are growing more and more popular, not least due to the fact that automatic gearboxes contribute to saving emissions,” explains Mr. von Witzleben.

As a technology leader, Feintool is well prepared to provide custom-engineered fineblanking and forming solutions for new automotive applications. “We believe that fineblanking is an excellent processing technology, especially for applications in the international automobile industry, and we are determined to continue expanding our leading position in the world’s major growth markets through quality products, technological innovation and focused investments,” concludes Mr. von Witzleben.

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