125 years of the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association

Eleven industrialists, senior managers from the German machine tool industry met for the first time at the Kastens Hotel in Hanover on 7 December 1891. They were following an invitation from Privy Councillor Dr. Ernst Schiess of the eponymous machine tool factory in Düsseldorf. The aim of the meeting: “To strengthen the mutual relations between the premier manufacturers of machine tools”, to quote the old minutes.

This is just as true today. The association and its member companies have a chequered history behind them. Many firms no longer exist, while others have changed their names, their structures and/or their ownership. The sector, however, has evolved most impressively. Today, it ranks among the world’s leading vendors and exporters.

The association has successfully supported it throughout: dependably, responsively and pathbreakingly. The eleven founding members back in 1891 have become more than twenty-five times as many in 2015. As a member in the VDW or in the VDMA’s Special Section for Machine Tools and Manufacturing Systems, you are actively involved in the association’s network and utilise its services.

This is gratifying for us to note, since this close identification under the aegis of the VDW is not something we shall ever be taking for granted. So we shall also be celebrating – with you, our members, our business associates and our staff. You are already cordially invited. On 16 June 2016, the anniversary will be fittingly commemorated, with festivities, a supporting programme and a convivial dinner.

Until then we aim to whet your appetite, and are here presenting for you milestones from the history of the sector and the association itself. Where have we come from – where do we want to go? What has made us into what we are now? And how, after 125 years, are we to remain young and on top of the future? We shall be addressing these questions. Read some entertaining, useful, surprising and contextually significant facts from the German machine tool industry. Learn more about the association and the sector it represents.

You will also see the entire details of what we’ve got planned for the anniversary celebrations. So it’s well worthwhile looking in again from time to time!