As the leading manufacturer of solid carbide milling cutters, Hofmann & Vratny enables companies throughout the world to manufacture their products. Every day, the strong team works on the collective goal of producing the best milling cutters in the world. Companies from the medical industry, semiconductor industry, machine and plant construction, aviation, aerospace engineering and, not least, the automotive industry have been using the milling cutters of H&V for many years now. Quality – Made in Bavaria. The success of the company is built on innovation, a culture of cooperation, open dealings on an equal footing and many years of successful and trustful collaboration with business partners. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? Hofmann & Vratny: H&V developed a full service around milling cutters which includes a serial production of highest quality solid carbide milling cutters from diameter 0.1 mm up to 32 mm, highly application based solutions, an original regrinding service, digital sales and services and the production of special tools by considering the conditions of our customers. E.E: What’s the news for 2020 about new products? Hofmann & Vratny: This is still a secret, because you can see it in the catalogue coming up in the beginning of 2021. But we can give you a little insight like we will update our product program with over 50 new article groups. For example, there will be new milling cutters for the mould industry for the prehardened steels and also our product range for titnanium and inconel will be enlarged. E.E: What are the ranges of traded products? Hofmann & Vratny: H&V is specialized in producing solid carbide milling cutters for nearly every application and milling operation. In total we offer over 12.000 different products. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? Hofmann & Vratny: In the current situation with the virus that is quite hard to estimate but in the previous year we recorded a decline in the sales to automotive industry due to alternative engines. In the aerospace and medical industry was a moderate growth while the development of the classical field of engineering companies stagnated. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? Hofmann & Vratny: It is foreseeable that the demand of ultra fast special tools will increase due to the more flexible production and it is also to be expected that the digital tool lifecycle will become more important and that the business processes are getting more and more digital, so that there is a high transparency. Furthermore, we expect the development of tools for semi-finishing and finishing of additive manufactured parts in the field of highly expensive materials like titanium. To be more sustainable it exists high potential for the implementation of ecological product programs. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? Hofmann & Vratny: One of our biggest steps so far was the implementation of the configuration mode on our online platform. Our customers have the possibility to find the right semi-standard tools or to create simply their own special tools. Furthermore, we reached a significant milestone by creating our inconel and titanium milling cutters for aerospace and medical industry. After the introduction on the market, these were the most competitive ones and it was also a novelty to split these two application areas completely with two different product programs. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2020? Hofmann & Vratny: It is very difficult to estimate what happens in the immediate future regarding sales due to the pandemic. It will change a lot for a longer time and not everything will become like it was before. For example, digital working and digital application consultation will probably get a greater priority. Now we are using the time for researching and developing new product programs, updating our strategy for entering new markets and also building up digital business models.