TOOL MANUFACTURING: Wiha's UK boss on innovation & trends

Founded over 75 years ago as a small family business, Wiha is now a global business with factories over Europe, Asia and the US. Wiha Tools UK General Manager Katja Haugk answers our questions…

What are the big trends in the tools market at the moment?
In our opinion, the current trends stand on four main pillars: concept solutions, safety, ergonomics and multi‐functionality. Hand tools not only have to be absolutely safe in their application, but they also need to be ergonomic and increase efficiency.

If you offer hand tool solutions as practical and well‐thought‐out concept solutions, then you bundle the right advantages and benefits of the individual components into powerful all-round weapons in a user‐oriented manner in professional everyday life. Our claim to hand tools is that they help users to protect their health. In addition, the company or factory gains more safety, quality and productivity in all processes. Ergonomic multi‐functional tools, concept solutions, such as our electrician’s case, or adjustable torque tools, we see as exemplary models for this.

What are the biggest challenges for tool manufacturers right now?
Developing new products and ideas is more difficult today than it used to be. Screwdrivers, pliers, bits or L‐keys are already available in a broad range of offerings. Optimising and adapting hand tools so that they really bring more benefits to users is a challenge. For years we have been deliberately taking time to find and define gaps and potential for improvement in our range through close contact with users, surveys and market analyses. Our way of accepting this challenge and even seeing it as an opportunity consists of generating product solutions with unique selling propositions and offering suitable innovations, especially in sets and concepts, for well‐defined segments and sectors.

How has your brand implemented automation into the production process?
It goes without saying that automation  is also finding its way into our  company. We see it as our responsibility, as both manufacturer and
employer, to invest in modern manufacturing technologies and not to ignore future trends. On the contrary. We will prepare our production sites for the future and continue securing them and the quality associated with them, such as "Made in Germany.”

This article was originally published in the February 2018 edition of Torque Magazine. Read the full magazine online here or subscribe for free