Tool, die and mould making in Poland and the Czech Republic
Polish toolmaking and the tools
The tool and die industry in Poland produced tools and dies worth €141.76m in 2013. This is an increase of 39% since 2010, at which time it was €101.83m. Although Poland and the Czech Republic are frequently mentioned in one breath, Poland’s tool and die production volume is significantly lower than that of the Czech Republic. However, it is said that Poland scores better than the Czech Republic in macroeconomic terms. In 2013, 2,087 tonnes of tools and dies worth €140.12m were exported, which is almost the entire production. Total export is apportioned as follows: €107.19m for injection moulds, €25.67m for solid and sheet metal forming tools and €7.27m for die casting moulds.
At the same time, Poland imported tools and dies worth €226.76m. This included €149.06m of injection moulds, €56.86m of solid and sheet metal forming tools and €20.83m of die casting moulds. The Polish trade of tools with foreign markets for 2014 is illustrated in Fig. 4. The largest trade partners for importing injection moulds are China, South Korea and Germany. Injection moulds are mostly exported to Germany, Russia and Italy. The largest trade partners for importing sheet metal and massive forming tools are Germany, South Korea and China, while they are exported mainly to Germany, Italy and Sweden.
Due to its good education system, Poland is very popular for carrying out engineering services. Meanwhile, there are independent offices or outsourced departments in Poland, which engineer or design tools and dies completely or as an extended workbench. This gives Poland an edge over other countries with comparatively low labour costs but a lower level of competency. Well educated, competent employees in the tool and die industry and the good quality of Polish products positions the Polish tool and die industry well. In the future, the production figures will increase and the industry will gain more importance. However, Poland is not a traditional country for such products, hence implying an average development potential.
Czech toolmaking and the tools
In 2013, the Czech Republic produced tools and dies with an overall value of €313.89m. Since 2010, this value has risen by 48% from €212.22m. Some 5,301 tonnes of tools and dies worth €261.64m were exported in 2013. The export apportions among €172.41m for injection moulds, €85.24m for solid and sheet metal forming tools and €3.99m for die casting moulds. Simultaneously, the Czech Republic imported tools and dies worth €313.54m, including €187.35m of injection moulds, €113.58m of solid and sheet metal forming tools and €12.61m of die casting moulds.
Every year, more than 5,000 mechanical engineers graduate from Czech universities. Engineers are trained for three to four years in special engineering schools and no other European country has a comparable availability of engineers as the Czech Republic. This useful foundation, combined with the foreign language skills, has resulted in an increase in export-oriented tool and die-manufacturers. Like Poland, which also has well-trained and competent workers, it serves as an extended workbench and offers an alternative to companies in southern Germany. Overall, the Czech Republic has been showing positive signs of economic recovery.
- ISTMA International Special Tooling and Machining Association, 2014
- Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD, 2012-2014
- United Nations Comtrade Database, 2010-2014