Participation and process

The competetion is exclusively addressed to companies within the tool and die industry. Suppliers, consultants and customers are not allowed to participate in the contest. The participation in the contest takes place online.

1. Registration

Please register in our system to sign in for the contest and to receive your log-in data for the online questionnaire.

2. Competition phase 1

Please log-in with your individual data and fill out the first part of our questionnaire. In the first phase the companies only have to fill out some selected key questions about your company. The first phase starts on the 19th of November 2019 and ends with the closing date for the first part of the questionnaire on the 1st of March 2020.

Your given data will be evaluated automatically and in the beginning of March 2020 you will receive a detailed indicator analysis as a result of the first phase. This analysis will give you a particular view on your company’s market situation compared to other participants.

3. Competition phase 2

The second phase is closely connected to the first phase. In the second phase you have the opportunity to fill out the rest of the questionnaire until the 1st of May 2020. To qualify for the final and the possible audits, filling out both parts of the questionnaire is obligatory.

The second phase is followed by a detailed analysis of both phases. This detailed analysis includes more than 90 KPIs, which form a potential basis for improvements in your own company.

4. Audits

The best companies of each category will be visited and inspected by a team of experts from Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT). The expert team will inspect the performance of the company with an annually updated audit form, which will be evaluated additionally to the questionnaire. Further the experts will perform two additional Wild Card Audits which will be drawn by lot. As usual the companies receive detailed profile evaluations about strengths and opportunities, which will be drawn from the questionnaire results and the impressions of the audit.

5. Selection of the winners and the participants of the finals

The judges, consisting of representatives of industry, politics, associations and science, determine the winner of each category. Because of the high diversity in this industry the winner will be chosen in four following categories and additionally an overall winner will be awarded. This gives every participating company an equal chance to win and fulfill the high heterogeneity of this industry.


  • Winner of the category “external tool shop under 50 employees”
  • Winner of the category “external tool shop over 50 employees”
  • Winner of the category “internal tool shop under 50 employees”
  • Winner of the category “internal tool shop over 50 employees”
  • Overall winner of the contest „Excellence in Production“

5. Award ceremony

The award ceremony of the contest  „Tool manufacturer of the year“ takes place in a formal evening event in the coronation hall of the Aachen city hall on the day before the Colloquium „Tool and Die Making for the Future “.

You can find further information and impressions of the past evening events here: Winners.

Please take note of the terms and conditions of participation.