Hartmetall Wilke – About us
Wilke Company since 1977 – today
For more than 40 years we have been supporting our customers in Germany and all over the world with the highest quality of our products in production and our diverse product range. These high standards already start with the purchasing of raw materials and continue by using state-of-the-art manufacturing machines and optimized manufacturing processes.
Our customers appreciate our commitment and keep faith with us. This makes us proud and motivates us to continuously develop qualitatively and quantitatively in order to set new standards.
This applies to already established products in various dimensions and executions as well as to new inquiries up to the production of special parts.
The tungsten carbide market is changing rapidly worldwide. That’s why we took strategic steps timely in order to secure the access to the necessary raw materials such as tungsten and cobalt in China, which enables us to ensure reliable supplies for our customers.
The short lead times are the result of our optimized production as well as our excellent logistical handling.
Due to quality and constant development we have been one of the well-known carbide manufacturers in the sector of wood- and metalworking for more than 40 years.
Discover the history of Hartmetall Wilke
History Hartmetall Wilke
- 01.08.1977 Foundation
Foundation of the trading company Hartmetall- und Werkzeugsysteme GmbH in Bad Neuenahr.
- 1980 Enlargement of the office facility
Due to expansion and more employees, we moved into a bigger office facility in Bad Neuenahr
- 1983 Grinding plant
Start of the production of a grinding plant, especially for chipless wear protection of special parts.
- 01.07.1984 Enlargement
Enlargement of the office- and warehouse facilities due to continuous expansion. Expansion of the grinding plant to include a soldering facility.
- 01.01.1986 Own production
Start of own production of Tungsten Carbide for woodworking tools, especially Tungsten Carbide Saw tips for circular saw blades in Arnhem, Netherlands under the corporate name Wilke Carbide B.V. Worldwide, exclusive distribution from the headquarters in Bad Neuenahr, Germany.
- 1986/1987 Expansion
Participation at leading international fairs for woodworking machines and tools in Hanover (Ligna), Milan (Xylexpo), Chicago, Peking, Shanghai, as well as Singapur. As a result, we experienced a huge expansion of the export business, especially south-east Asia and China. In order to increase those new customers we got personnel reinforcement.
- 01.01.1987 Tungsten Carbide for milling tools
Start of the production of Tungsten Carbide for milling tools for woodworking, including a grinding plant for T.C. Inserts.
- 1987 - Today – Export in more than 50 countries
Meanwhile we have an export rate of 50 % and supply to more than 50 countries worldwide, due to the participation at world leading fairs, such as LIGNA in Hanover for woodworking, BAUMA in Munich for mining industry, GRINDTEC in Augsburg for metalworking and FMC/WMF in Shanghai/Peking for woodworking.
- Export to Asia since 1991
Representatives in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapur, Thailand, Indonesia, China, India and South-Korea.
- 1993/1994 Extrusion molding
Start of the production of T.C. Bars by extrusion for tipping profiled tools for woodworking, as well as for strips for planer knives and paper knives.
- 01.11.1995 Move of the company headquarter
Completion and move to the recent built office- and shipping building in Bad Neuenahr, which was necessary due to the huge expansion and enlargement of the team.
- 1998/1999 Development of new grades
Development and serial production of new tungsten carbide grades, for example WKCN1 (Chrom-Nickel Binder) for better wear resistance, especially for the furniture industry. Development of new product groups in order to establish Wilke Carbide as a system supplier for several sectors from automotive industry over engineering industry up to recycling industry.
- New IT-infrastructure
Implementation of a modern ERP system and integration into the new IT infrastructure, in order to cope with the continuously increasing amount of products, customers and employees.
- 2003 Development of new grades
Development and serial production of the special tungsten carbide grade WP28S for T.C. Saw Tips for metalworking, due to the continuously increasing requirements of this application.
- 2005 Move of the production to China
We moved our production to China. Especially to guarantee our customers security of supply for the necessary raw materials
- 2007 T.C. Rods production
Start of the production of raw sintered and ground T.C. Rods. We produce fixed lengths, as well as Rods with 330mm in length with our state-of-the-art factories.
- 2008 Market development in the mining industry
Due to our comprehensive program of B-grades, we managed to develop ourselves to a competitive and powerful supplier in this sector as well. We were able to cope with the continuously increasing requirements concerning our material by developing our grades WB20-WB30-WB40 and not least our grade WB40+.
- 2008/2009 & 2013 Increase of the tools’ life-time
We achieve the aspiration after increased life-time and decreased costs in the sector for industry saws by developing and improving our grade WKCN1, which we could establish on the market in the year 1998/1999. Due to the outstanding and improved wear characteristics of our two Chrom-Nickel binded grades WKCN2 & WKCN3, you are able to reduce grinding- and set-up costs distinctly and therefore significantly increase the life-time of your tools.
- 2011 Enlargement of storage capacity
In order to cope with the increased requirements of our customers regarding stock availability, we extended our warehouse capacity for T.C. Saw Tips, T.C. Rods and Sandwich Silver Solder.
- 2003/2012 Further development of our P-Grades
Advancement of our previous grades for metalworking WP30S & WP28S – By the use of our prime grades WP28S and the further developed WP35S, we were able to achieve an improved life-time by 150% in comparison to the conventional P-grades.
- 2013 Known Consignor
Admission and certification to a `Known Consignor` by the Luftfrachtbundesamt according to regulation (EG) Nr. 300/2008.
- 2014 Webshop
Revision of our website and constant improvement of the linked webshop, by connecting the webshop with the modern IT-infrastructure and our ERP-System.
- 2019 Redesign Corporate Design
Revision of the Corporate Design including the relaunch of our website with a new career page. The next step will be the relaunch of the webshop.
- 2019 Marketing measures
Remake of the product catalog. Furthermore we participated at the LIGNA 2019 in May.
- 2020 Challenge of digitalization
The topic is more present than ever before, and not just because of the corona pandemic. Working from home, automated processes and the online marketing of our products are no longer visions of the future.
- 2021 The hardest year in the company's history
Almost two years in a pandemic, global supply chain difficulties and raw material shortages. In the past, we have always been able to manage crises together and successfully. As if there weren't enough challenges already, our region, the Ahr Valley, and thus also our building, was hit by an unimaginable natural disaster on July 15, 2021. On this darkest day in the company's history, a flood destroyed all infrastructure, a large part of our inventory and badly damaged the building. With a show of strength in the second half of the year, we were able to secure supplies to our customers and in December we were able to partially move back to our completely renovated building. Special thanks go to all the helping hands who have supported us over the past few months!
- 2023 With a new booth and new grades to AGRITECHNICA
Innovation instead of stagnation - just like at LIGNA in May, we were also able to present our brand new exhibition stand at AGRITECHNICA. In addition, with our new grades for soil and rock cultivation, we want to set new standards in wear protection for our customers in the agricultural sector. Thanks to the coarse grain size of the grades, such as WB10G or WB25G, the carbide achieves a high degree of toughness, making it particularly suitable for use in the agricultural industry.