Chinese global player settles in steinwiesen

From faraway east asia to the heart of the frankenwald nature park: the leadmould company opens a new location in steinwiesen. The globally active company with headquarters in china has specialized in tool and mold making for the automotive industry.

In light of the growing european market, the company decided in 2017 to open another location outside of china, he said. "Most recently, 43.8 percent of our moldmaking sales were in europe", ralph borner, head of the german leadmould office, explains. Modification, repair and maintenance work for european customers, which was previously carried out by an external partner, is to be carried out in steinwiesen from the middle of the year onwards.

Official office since 2017

borner himself comes from the district and in recent years also worked from the district town for the swiss company carates AG. In 2015, the swiss merged with the chinese mold specialist – since last year, the official branch of leadmould can be found in rosenau. Up to now, borner and his team have primarily taken care of sales measures and project management from there.

In addition to maintenance and repair work, new mold construction in cooperation with chinese partners could also be carried out in steinwiesen in the future. "We have all the playing fields open in the area of manufacturing", says borner – not least because of the grateful personnel situation in upper franconia. "In terms of personnel, I can draw from the full range here" borner says about the advantages of the choice of location.

New jobs are created

steinwiesen has a large catchment area, applicants from all surrounding regions came for the advertised positions. Leadmould wants to employ ten people at the beginning, until 2019 about 20 employees should work in steinwiesen. How the company ultimately came to steinwiesen?

"A long story and lots and lots of luck, says borner. Originally, the location in eisenach was considered, a preliminary contract had already been signed – but the property was no longer available at short notice. On the way to schwarzenbach am wald, borner, a native of kronach, remembered the former dreefs building. A spontaneous visit on site reveals the vacancy and after a week of fast negotiations he could rent the hall.

Renovation work has been taking place since november. Due to weather conditions, foundation work for a crane system had to be postponed. "We are in our last breaths", says borner. However, with a delay of about six weeks, work is scheduled to start in mid-june to early july. Even though the location is quite attractive, for example due to the freeway connection, there is one major shortcoming: the access situation via the nurner bridge.

This is also a problem for long-established companies in nurn or tschirn, says steinwiesen’s mayor gerhard wunder (CSU). Currently, the maximum load of the bridge is 16 tons – delivery traffic with heavy loads has to take a detour or apply for a special permit. "The bridge is needed", says miracle "we fight for it already for over ten years." 2019 should be it now so far. At the moment, talks on possible land acquisition are still open, but the planning has been completed and already agreed with the building authority, says wunder.

Planning is already in place

this is confirmed by gunter dressel, head of the district road department at the kronach district office. The results of the last soil tests are currently being incorporated into the final planning for the bridge’s so-called "uplift" and renovation – after which an application for funding is to be submitted to the government. A total of about 1.2 million euros will be spent on the project, says dressel. A large part, around 90,000 euros, will have to be borne by the district – minus possible subsidies, he says. The smaller part will be paid for by the free state of bavaria. Work is expected to begin in spring 2019 and continue until the end of the year. In the next step, probably starting in 2020, another section of road from the end of nurn to the beginning of the forest is to be pushed forward.

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