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fischer Celebrates 75th Anniversary

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  • From a workshop operation to the world’s market leader in key areas of fastening technology – that’s how you could summarise the development of the successful fischer family business since it was founded in 1948

Waldachtal, Germany

Although the medium-sized business was heavily focused on plastic plugs and on operating in Germany in the past, it has since successfully evolved into a global Group of Companies under the management of Prof Klaus Fischer, particularly in the past 40 years. The company is renowned for its innovative power, through which it continues to develop new products and areas of business. Its fischer InnovationCampus was established for this purpose.

The company’s success story was evident once again in the past financial year, during which fischer achieved a turnover of over one billion euro (1.14 billion euro) for the first time in the company’s history.

Starting with a patented plastic expansion plug in 1958, fischer now offers system solutions and services for planning, construction and operation throughout a building’s entire supply chain. These services now extend far beyond fixing technology.

In addition to plastic plugs, steel anchors, chemical fixing systems and screws, the range also includes facade substructures, installation systems, FireStop solutions for passive fire protection, anchor channels and much more. fischer has consistently launched industry firsts over the past 75 years. Anyone who believed that the world-famous S-plug could not be developed any further was proved wrong by the fixing expert from the northern Black Forest with the introduction of the DuoPower plug. This plug, which has already proven to be more successful than the S-Plug, independently adapts to any building material it is anchored in. It automatically activates the suitable function by folding, expanding or knotting. In 2015, DuoPower was just the beginning of the DuoLine family, which now comprises a wide range of products with an innovative combination of materials.

The fischer Group of Companies operates in 39 countries with 51 subsidiaries around the globe Its headquarters are located in Waldachtal in the southwest of Germany

Efficiency and reliability in construction 
The company is still setting the standard for efficiency and reliability in construction with its innovations and quality standards. One of the current milestones is the world’s first fastening robot, the BauBot, which creates drill holes and installs fischer fixing solutions in walls, floors and ceilings. In another world-first, the fischer Construction Monitoring sensor innovation allows existing prestressing forces in fastenings to be monitored at all times and from anywhere. Today, fischer is a strong and reliable project partner that supports customers with any construction project through a wide range of services, ranging from planning to on-site support until the project’s successful completion. An in-house engineering office, BIM solutions, engineering services and fischer’s FiXperience design software provide support with project planning. Digital services such as plug-finder apps make it easier to select and use fischer products.

Consistent international expansion
The Group operates globally with a result-oriented approach for the benefit of customers and users. Around 80 per cent of the family businesses’ turnover is generated outside Germany. With 51 subsidiaries in 39 countries, the fischer Group of Companies is successfully established in the market and exports to more than 120 countries, with new subsidiaries due to be added. In doing so, company owner Prof Klaus Fischer is consistently expanding the company’s internationalisation. He has been steadily expanding the company’s international commercial activities since becoming its General Director 43 years ago. At the time, the company generated a turnover equivalent to around 50 million euro with around 1,000 employees. In 2022, the fischer Group of Companies surpassed the one billion turnover mark for the first time with around 5,600 members of staff worldwide.

Fitted in a wide range of vehicles
fischer Automotive is the second-largest division of the international Group of Companies. Founded in 2001, the subsidiary made its first move into the automotive supply business in 1982 with the launch of the fischer CBOX, a vehicle storage system for music cassettes. Nowadays, fischer Automotive stands for high-quality products and state-of-the-art manufacturing technology at its headquarters in Germany (Horb) as well as its sites in the Czech Republic (Ivanovice), Serbia (Jagodina), China (Taicang) and the US (Auburn Hills). Its range of products includes air vents, cup holders, trays and multi-functional components that provide organisation and comfort within the vehicle. With its high-quality products, fischer Automotive can also be found in vehicles by Mercedes-Benz, for instance. fischer Automotive also offers innovative components such as fully automated covers for vehicle charging ports for electric vehicles, such as the new e-vehicle generation by the Chinese automotive manufacturers Xiaopeng Motors, Dongfeng and BYD.

A supplier of teaching materials and educational toys
fischertechnik manufactures high-quality, innovative education toys made in Germany. Its construction kits have been popular with children around the globe, as well as in classrooms and educational facilities, since they were launched in 1965. Many schools use the fischertechnik education learning concepts in their work groups to implement projects or hold competitions alongside regular lessons. Organisers particularly appreciate the opportunity provided by fischertechnik to playfully delve into STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). fischertechnik’s objective is to inspire, encourage and empower children to develop their creative and technical skills.

Efficient processes ensure competitive power 
fischer Consulting has assisted companies in optimising their processes based on the in-house fischer Process System since 2004. The consulting firm provides support with the efficient planning of manufacturing processes, factory layouts and strategy development while helping companies undergo a cultural change to become a forward-looking and sustainably competitive organisation through change management approaches. As part of the global fischer Group of Companies, fischer Consulting draws on its extensive experience with optimisation projects within the company. fischer Consulting is the only consultancy with 20 years of experience in implementation in its own plants and in over 50 subsidiaries.

Success with electronic solutions
fischer Electronic Solutions develops and manufactures custom electronic solutions, including sensors, product and system developments based on the latest technology, as well as custom production orders processed in the company’s own production facilities. As an experienced provider of development and production services for custom systems such as multi-touch solutions made of glass and the corresponding controller units, fischer Electronic Solutions forms the perfect link between the customer and the final product.

Optimising everyday construction on multiple levels
fischer pursues one objective with FISCO: to further optimise everyday construction for its customers. FISCO specialises in developing, producing and distributing building components made of glass-fibre reinforced plastic (GFP). These products offer extremely high technical performance characteristics and are easy to process. One example of the many potential applications of the innovative fibre composite material is the GFP ramp system used for accessibility in the rail sector.

An experienced tool and mouldmaker
Founded in 1954, fischer toolmaking offers custom solutions for various applications, using state-of-the-art simulation capabilities and maximum quality. The company’s portfolio comprises close-to-production pilot tools, high-cavitation precision tools as well as stack moulds and multicomponent tools. Over the past year, fischer toolmaking became a finalist at the EIP Excellence in Production machine tools competition by Fraunhofer IPT and WZL RWTH Aachen University for the second time.

Efficient assembly automation 
fischer custom machine construction specialises in automating complex assembly solutions, including packaging. Various application steps such as joining, screwing, welding, lasering, and complex assembly tasks or elaborate component tests are individually designed. Image processing systems are used in addition to automated force testing. fischer custom machine construction also covers linking machine tools and individual automation of packing processes. Its portfolio comprises assembly workstations with a sophisticated assembly assistance system. Each component is thoroughly inspected at every step through camera systems and virtual instruction manuals for the assembly process, meaning there is no need for a final inspection, and excellent quality assurance is guaranteed.

Proactive and responsible
Sustainability has been part of the DNA of the fischer Group of Companies since it was founded. Long before the planned introduction of Europe’s obligatory sustainability reports, the family business decided to take a proactive approach to sustainability. It has been recycling plastic waste since around 1953. Since the 1980s, the company has been using waste heat from its injection moulding to heat buildings through thermal heat pumps. Since then, cooling water storage tanks have been a heat source for thermal heat pumps. With its two photovoltaic systems, the company has achieved energy self-sufficiency of around 23 per cent at its largest site in Tumlingen, making a significant contribution to the energy transition.

The economic, ecological and social aspects of sustainability are of key importance in the mission statement of the Group of Companies, published in 1987 for the first time, and significantly influence the corporate culture. fischer launched the world’s first range of fixing systems made primarily of renewable resources in 2014 with its GreenLine. The company introduced its sustainability management in 2015 and developed its first sustainability report shortly after.

fischer has won multiple awards for its sustainable activities, including the German Sustainability Award, which the Group of Companies won in 2020 in the ‘large businesses’ category. This spring, Germany’s Federal Minister of the Environment Steffi Lemke admitted fischer to the network of climate protection companies. As fischer wants to continue setting the standard for sustainability in the future, the company shares its experiences in this field as an inspiring role model. At the newly founded fischer Sustainability Campus, other companies, organisations, suppliers and partners can request support or book their introduction to sustainability management through a training session. For fischer, sustainability has always meant ensuring the company’s future viability.

A joint celebration and looking towards the future
These are many good reasons for fischer and its members of staff to celebrate its 75-year anniversary and look towards the future, which they already did in summer at a forum to mark the milestone birthday. fischer’s Brand Ambassador Jürgen Klopp, one of the world’s most successful coaches, was a special guest of the evening. The three-time Olympic eventing champion Michael Jung, who is also a Brand Ambassador for the fischer Group of Companies, also attended the event along with many members of staff. “They are our company’s greatest asset and most crucial factor for success, rather than our facilities and buildings,” company owner Prof Klaus Fischer repeatedly emphasises.

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