Our story from garage startup to high-tech enterprise 

The history of Wartenfelser started when the industrial plastic boom kicked off in the early nineteen-sixties. The company was then located in a simple rear courtyard office. Today we are a digital, globally operating "Family Business 4.0"


Founding of the company Köhler und Schwarz as a technical development and design office for decade switches, ammeters, and relays in Buckenhof • Design of the first injection molds


Production of the first injection molds in a small workshop in Buckenhof 


Development of a multi-part relay housing for industrial customers (main partner SIEMENS) • Breakthrough on the market, followed by a series order to produce the entire assembly, incl. plastic injection molding


Köhler and Schwarz go separate ways and Heinz Köhler takes on the large series order to produce the assembly • Erection of his own production plant near the river Schwabach in Buckenhof • Start of plastics production at Köhler with one injection molding machine • Growth in the following years to 10 machines and a total of 15 employees in administration, moldmaking, and injection molding


Erection of a second plant in Waischenfeld (Franconian Switzerland) with a further 10 injection molding machines and 10 employees


Reinhold Wartenfelser, who completed his training as a steel moldmaker at Köhler in 1977, gains his master's certificate and follows Heinz Köhler into the management of the company


Sale of Köhler (2 locations, 25 employees and 20 injection molding machines) to Reinhold Wartenfelser and renaming of the sole proprietorship Köhler to "Reinhold Wartenfelser"


Merging of the factories in Buckenhof and Waischenfeld at the new location in Erlangen/Bruck • Moldmaking and injection molding now have a new and modern home on 3,000 sqm


Change of name and legal status of the sole proprietorship to Wartenfelser GmbH & Co. KG • Production is now carried out on 30 injection molding machines and with a total of 35 employees


Wartenfelser GmbH & Co. KG taken over by Willibald Gruber • Establishment of new customers • Increased focus on fully automated production 24/7


Expansion of production capacities to 35 injection molding machines • Kathrin Gruber (commercial) and Marco Gruber (engineering) join their father's business • Modernization of the moldmaking by acquisition of the first wire erosion machine and 3-axis milling center


Introduction of scanner-assisted warehouse management • Expansion of the production capacities to 40 injection molding machines • Expansion of the product spectrum by a small proportion of our own products (HERIBA music accessories)


The "technical plastic parts" section is taken over from Fürst in Hallerndorf (9 injection molding machines and more than 200 molds) • Relocation of production to the new location in Hemhofen • Start of construction of the new administration building and workshop expansion for moldmaking (completed in 2015)


Asset deal acquisition of the injection molding company Rohringer GmbH at the location Aurachtal (Herzogenaurach) • Acquisition of a further 10 injection molding machines, incl. infrastructure and erection of a subsidiary for production expansion • Acceleration of digital production strategies


Purchase of a new 3-axis milling center for moldmaking • Purchase of a new multisensor measuring machine from Werth (increased measuring range and new measuring technologies)


Injection molding production acquired from a customer • Relocation of the production there to our factory in Hemhofen • Expansion of the production capacities to 60 injection molding machines • Introduction of the Arburg host computer system in injection molding production (advancing digitalization)


Successful transition to the next generation • Authorized signatory Kathrin Gruber takes over operative management and Willibald Gruber leaves the operative business


Relaunch of the website • Building of a new corporate identity • Digitalization and team development are the core topics of the new management team at Wartenfelser