Pass Stanztechnik AG from Creußen in Upper Franconia is 25 years old this year. Started in 1995 with 33 employees, the medium-sized family business, now run by the second generation, today employs over 160 people, 20 of whom are trainees.
The history of Pass Stanztechnik AG from Creußen began when Pass Anlagenbau GmbH – a small craft business – was put up for sale. The predecessor company of Pass initially produced moulds, jigs, special machines and, above all, tools for the parent company’s own requirements (Suspa Federungstechnik GmbH).
With the rapid growth of the two companies and due to the prevailing shortage of skilled workers, the founder and then boss Fritz Bauer took over the Creußen metal works and built a modern training workshop there with 40 apprenticeship places. The expansion of the tool shop was also not long in coming.
In the mid-1980s, punching and nibbling tools (at that time for NC punching machines) expanded the production portfolio of Pass Anlagenbau GmbH, which was then spun off from the parent company in 1993 and became an independent company, Pass Stanztechnik AG, in July 1995.
Already one year after the foundation, further investments were made in the passport and within half a year a new production hall was built as the first company in the new industrial area at the current location “Am Steinkreuz” in Creußen. In the first year at the new location, sales have already increased by 10 percent.
The topics of environmental protection and sustainability were also at the forefront at that time. In 1998, Pass Stanztechnik AG was the first company in the Bayreuth district to receive the EC Eco-Audit certificate, with which companies undertake, among other things, to carefully check production processes with regard to their environmentally friendly execution, handling and possible subsequent disposal, as well as to purchase the latest generation of machines with significantly lower energy consumption.
The establishment on the international market was not long in coming. In 1998, 50 percent of all orders came from other European countries. The first steps towards the USA were also taken in the same year: the first product samples left the Upper Franconian production facility for America. The international sales network of the punching tool manufacturer was successively expanded. Passport now has a local presence with around 40 agencies; and the trend is upwards. Pass Stanztechnik AG has a total of around 5,000 customers from over 170 countries, who are supported and supplied from Creußen.
In 2004, the Creußen-based company passed on to the next generation: Michael Bauer, grandson of the founder Fritz Bauer, took over the position of the board of directors and successfully continued the Pass Stanztechnik AG according to tradition. Following his previous posts of Head of Production and Deputy Board Member of Pass, Florian Keller was entrusted with the post of Second Board Member in 2014. Since then, he has been responsible for the Technology division as COO. Sales management at the executive level has been in the hands of Stefan Kraft from the beginning, who acts as Vice President Sales in the company.
Three extensions in 2004, 2007 and 2017, due to the rapid increase in sales and the steep growth in the number of employees, also secure the next generation of skilled workers in the region with the construction of a training workshop with Industry 4.0 standards.
Since the start of training in 2018, trainees for industrial or machining mechanics can look forward to their own training workshop of around 200 m², which is equipped with modern, high-quality machinery similar to that used in production. This ensures up to six training places per apprenticeship year.
Previously, the company relied on a training cooperation with a neighboring company, where the Pass trainees completed their practical units. The digital training concept of Pass with its own tablets including special learning software rounds off the training project.
Throughout the company’s history, Pass alone has trained more than 50 industrial mechanics and machinists, five technical product designers and two IT specialists for application development/system integration. Currently, 13 apprentices as industrial mechanics and two technical product designers complete the team of Pass Stanztechnik AG.
With the valuable experience of the employees, some of whom had already been with the company for many years, Pass Stanztechnik AG was able to develop within a short time into one of the world’s leading and largest punching tool manufacturers for the Trumpf, Thick Turret and Salvagnini systems.
Within 25 years, the Creußen-based company was able to increase its turnover fivefold and quadruple the number of employees. Numerous patents in over 60 countries also speak for themselves:
Pass’ in-house developments are groundbreaking in the stamping industry. From the very beginning, the Upper Franconian company also took part in national and international trade fairs and established itself as a permanent fixture at the world’s leading metalworking trade fairs such as Euroblech in Hanover or Blechexpo in Stuttgart. In the meantime, the Creußen punching tool experts are represented at over 20 trade fairs worldwide every year.
The success of the CNC punching tool manufacturer has already been recognized with numerous awards for various innovations in the field of patented tools.
In the future, the Creußen-based company plans to further expand its international sales network. Tool innovations that have successfully shaped the path of Pass Stanztechnik AG in the past will be continuously developed and improved, and new and further developments will be pushed forward – that is the promise.