Interview Switzerland: OSG invests in Vischer & Bolli
Vischer & Bolli AG has a new major shareholder in the Japanese tool manufacturer OSG. Read all about the backgrounds of this deal in our exclusive interview with managing directors Matthias Buholzer and Urs Zumsteg.
Japanese tool manufacturer OSG is a new major shareholder of Vischer & Bolli. What does this mean for the future of the company?
Buholzer: This is a milestone in the history of Vischer & Bolli. With OSG, we have found an incredibly strong and very cooperative partner, and this new constellation gives us access to the outstanding technological resources of OSG.
How does Vischer & Bolli position itself in the spectrum of technology?
Zumsteg: We have our own construction department in the area of workpiece clamping technology. One particular strength is our zero-point clamping system DockLock, which was developed by us and is produced in Switzerland. A distinctive feature of our corporate structure is that 60% of our sales are generated in Switzerland, and 40% in foreign markets. In Switzerland, we primarily act as trader of tools, including those of OSG, M.A. Ford, Kyocera und Denitool auf. Abroad, it is exactly the opposite - there, we almost exclusively operate as a clamping equipment manufacturer and less as a tool trader.
How did the cooperation with OSG develop?
Buholzer: Vischer & Bolli is OSG's oldest European dealer, we have been working with the Japanese tool manufacturer since 1971. Today, OSG is the fourth largest tool manufacturer in the world and with 4,000 employees the largest tap manufacturer with a share of about a third of the global market.
What were the reasons for OSG joining Vischer & Bolli?
Zumsteg: Very well, not in the least because of our very long constructive cooperation. We (Matthias Buholzer and Urs Zumsteg, ed. note) have bought Vischer & Bolli in 2011 as part of a management buy-out (MBO) from the former owner and have continually expanded the cooperation with OSG in the last couple of years.
You are also well positioned in tool clamping technology with the Regio-Fix clamping systems.
Zumsteg: Our strength is that we can offer customers a complex and high-quality range of solutions between spindle and machine table. This is because we have to realize ever more complex production solutions for our customers. Our broad manufacturing portfolio has convinced OSG that we are on the right track. When the cap on the Swiss franc was abandoned in January of 2015, we knew we needed a strong and financially powerful partner who could make us fit for the future in Switzerland. We were even able to hire new staff in 2015 and 2016, which was only made possible thanks to the cooperation with OSG.