Discover the history of Fill
Most people start small, but only a few think big.
It all started a metalworking shop with a fuel pump. Many metalworking shops had fuel pumps back then. Only a few metalworking shops that once had a fuel pump are industrial enterprises with hundreds of employees today.
Development happens when knowledge becomes desire and desire becomes action
Future has a tradition in Gurten since 1966.
Always looking ahead. That's the direction the Fill family of entrepreneurs has always faced. This attitude has also manifested itself very impressively in the development of the company premises. Barely a year without major construction work; barely a year without investment in state-of-the-art systems and the very latest technologies.
The Early Years
New Business Areas
On the Road to Industry 4.0
Welcome to the Future
The success story begins on July 1, 1966, in a rented property in the Upper Austrian town of Gurten, when Josef Fill founds the eponymous metalworking shop "Josef Fill Maschinenbau".
Innovativeness and pioneering spirit shape activities from the outset and give rise to many new ideas. The first major order comes after just one year: a watercolor packaging machine for a nearby company.
In the following years, the metalworking shop successfully carves out a niche for itself with a particular focus on machines for the ski industry.
As the boss, Josef Fill is responsible for everything: from design and production through to sales and installation, as well as the commercial activities. Drawings are produced by hand with pen and pencil on large drawing boards.
It seems like a minor revolution when the first Commodore computer enters into service in 1975. Even then, the company demonstrates its pioneering role, and the workforce grows in line with the order situation. In 1986, 117 employees generate sales of 82 million Schillings (around 6 million euros).
In Design Engineering, drawing boards are replaced with CAD software. Computer technology finds its way into every company department. Alongside the manufacturing of production machines for the timber and ski industries, the company now gains access to the automotive industry. In collaboration with a German corporation, Fill develops mold carriers (presses) to produce interior parts for the automotive industry and successfully launches them on the market.
In the early 1990s, the first systems for casting and machining aluminum components are produced for a foundry in Linz. Development of the SWINGMASTER decoring system subsequently opens the doors to the international foundry industry for Fill. Thanks to its new-found expertise in casting technology, further orders follow from the automotive industry.
By developing its first production system for door hinges for a well-known German automotive supplier at the end of the millennium, Fill lays the foundation stone for its activities in the metalworking technology sector. The company grows rapidly and technical requirements became more demanding. Fill offers its customers everything from a single source: from planning, design, component manufacturing and assembly to electronics, software, installation, commissioning, and service. By December 31, 1999, Fill already employs 200 people.
In the year 2000, Andreas Fill takes over the reins of Fill Gesellschaft m.b.H. from his father Josef and manages the company together with Wolfgang Rathner from then on. A strategic realignment follows, along with revision of the corporate philosophy and visionary goals, such as becoming the world’s number one in casting technology and creating the best workplaces.
All issues relating to the Industry 4.0 project are already covered in the defined research focus areas: life-cycle calculation, automatic code generation, development of easy-to-use machines, virtual commissioning, and much more besides.
By now, Fill has established itself as a technology and innovation leader in casting technology, decoring and wood bandsaw technology, as well as ski and snowboard production machines. The international automotive and aerospace industries become major sources of contracts. With an export rate of 90 percent, the company does business all around the world and in 2014 it establishes sales and service subsidiaries in China and Mexico.
Plenty of space for all things new. The Customer and Innovation Center is completed in July 2016, just in time for the company’s 50th anniversary. A new reception area, two floors of offices in Technology Center 4, nine meeting and training rooms, as well as the generously extended restaurant area go a long way toward supporting Fill’s vision of offering the best workspaces. A particular highlight is the new “Future Dome” event center, which serves as a unique venue for different event formats.
In September, the "Planet Filli Future" childcare facility also opens its doors.At the end of 2016, around 700 people, including 60 apprentices in training, are doing a great job at the machine engineering company.
In 2018, the production areas are expanded by a further 5,000 m². A 5,000 m² photovoltaic system is installed on the roof of the new halls and provides enough power to cover around 25 percent of the requirements – a milestone in the field of environment and energy..
The newly built “Fill Future Zone” is a center for digitalization, research, and development. It offers space for series production and the latest development projects across all competence centers. Apart from its extraordinary architecture – a mixture of Star Trek and hip industrial design – no compromises were made in terms of indoor climate or acoustics with this construction project.
With the 140 m² "Future Lab", we have created a special kind of transgenerational think tank. Our intention is to make the Future Lab Europe's coolest knowledge factory for digital talent and innovative minds, a place where partners from industry and research can collaborate with educational institutions.
In addition to Andreas Fill as CEO and owner, three new managing directors are appointed. Martin Reiter as CSO is responsible for Sales, Günter Redhammer (COO) takes over Logistics & Production and Alois Wiesinger (CTO) is Managing Director for Mechatronics. (from left)
We continue to drive forward internationalization and establish the sales subsidiary Fill USA, Inc. based in Plymouth near Detroit.
Fill not only connects continents, but also buildings. With the construction of the "Future Tube," the bridge between the production halls and the Future Zone becomes a reality, and at the same time an imposing "landmark" for the Gurten community is created.