Our company history starts in Mühltal in Hessen in the post-war period as a small one man business in the mainly manual manufacture of molding tools for the furniture industry. Today, we are one of the leading quality system suppliers for precision, highly automated clean room articles with more than 330 employees on a total area of more than 55,000 m2. Over 70 years in which we had enough time to jointly expand and further develop our competences, technologies and materials for our customers.
Fritz Albert Riegler started with the construction of molding tools for the furniture industry in a rented room and thus laid the foundation for a company with constant growth. The first customers included the Lautenschläger company in Reinheim, today Würth Group Künzelsau.
Riegler manufactured hair curlers for hair cosmetics on the first manually operated injection molding machines. The close collaboration with the internationally operating hair cosmetics group Goldwell also started in 1949. The mold and tool making range was extended to injection molding for thermoplastics.
With the purchase of a plot of land in Mühltal/Nieder-Ramstadt, the first hall for the mold making and an administration building with three company apartments and rooms for light assembly work could be built.
Fritz Albert Riegler pursued the ambitious objective of manufacturing injection molding machines for in-house needs and for series production in the market. A machine with two injection units and alternately operating closing system for two injection molds was successfully patented. However, the competition at this time in Germany was already so strong that the idea of constructing in-house injection molding machines was soon dropped with a heavy heart.
At the beginning of the 1960s, Riegler developed spray valves for hairspray, packagings and mixing trays. The intensive collaboration with Goldwell resulted in many patent applications for the area of permanent waving and hair dye, mixing and dispensing systems. The hair curler was also still produced.
The successful collaboration with the hair cosmetics industry resulted in the acquisition of a further manufacturing site in Grasellenbach-Hammelbach. Riegler started with the manufacture of hollow bodies on extrusion blow molding systems for hair cosmetics; for example, packagings for permanent waving liquids, shampoos or hair conditioners. The packagings are decorated in multiple colors using screen printing.
The surprising death of Fritz Alfred Riegler and his wife in January 1968 resulted in an abrupt change in the company management. His son, Horst Riegler, took over the company management and successfully continued the management of the company with the support of all the employees.
A collaboration of many years in the field of consumer electronics started with the manufacture of packagings for Philips Eindhoven. Technically challenging plastic parts for record players, cassette recorders and CD players were jointly developed and manufactured for numerous European and later also Asian and central American Philips factories. This collaboration resulted in good qualification of our employees.
Packagings for food were a focus point for the 1970s and 1980s until the mid-1990s. Riegler produced closures for well-known brands such as Livio and Biskin and soon expanded to the production of yogurt cups. Cleanliness and low bacteria level were requirements for the high volume production.
The need for the laundry and care products industry was wakened in the middle of the 1970s. Bottles in many different shapes, appropriate closures for them with diverse pouring systems and attachment eyes of well-known brands like Vizir and Lenor were included in the range. Multi-cavity molds with automatic capping were used for the manufacture.
The Montreal Protocol of September 1987 meant the global exit from CFC production and use. Consequently, we produced systems for spraying using breathable air; a battery-operated pump for generating compressed air is located in the base of the spray nozzle.
The breakthrough for today's development and production focus - plastic parts for medical technology - succeeded with the development of packaging trays for contact lenses. Development orders for dental medicine, the chemicals industry and the diagnostics and biochemicals area followed at short intervals.
A major challenge was the development of hygienic kits for the detection of ATP. Maximum cleanliness of the production facilities and training of the staff were prerequisites. Contamination-free production requires clean rooms. Today we manufacture more than 75% in class 7 clean rooms according to DIN EN ISO 13485.
Premises with an area of 10,000 m² were acquired in Ober-Ramstadt for a new manufacturing site. The hollow body extrusion followed the requirements of a rational material flow. A high-bay warehouse with 5,300 storage places was built. The manufacturing site in Grasellenbach-Hammelbach was closed; the employees changed to the new factory.
Riegler celebrated the 50 years of existence of the company on April 1, 1996. A time with constant growth and success as supplier for many different industries.
A new administration building provides outstanding working conditions. The manual assembly department is in the basement. Mold making, quality assurance and a clean room for assembly systems are located on the ground floor. The commercial departments are set up on the upper floor.
After long considerations, the Riegler family decided to sell the company for age reasons. The efforts to put the company successfully operating in the market again into private hands were rewarded. Wirthwein AG, owned by the Wirthwein family, took over the Riegler company completely and is continuing to manage it successfully as a family company into the future.
A third manufacturing site with a land area of 44,000 m² and a building usable area of 13,500 m² was purchased in May. A new center for the manufacture of medicine products has been established since then. 3.200 m² clean room areas and a high bay warehouse with 4.200 pallet storage spaces emerged.
Wirthwein AG purchased the Spiegelhauer company in Erbach in October 2007 and initially continued the manufacture for automotive parts at the same location. The production was finally relocated to Mühltal into Factory II.
The board of directors of Wirthwein AG was expanded on July 01. Frank Wirthwein is responsible for "Sales", Marcus Wirthwein for "Technology" and Rainer Zepke for "Finances". Udo Wirthwein remains as chairman of the board. Frank and Marcus Wirthwein as well as Rainer Zepke have been board of directors of Riegler GmbH & Co. KG since then.
The creation of additional clean rooms forms an outstanding base for further growth. Riegler GmbH & Co. KG has more than 250 employees. Our training has tradition. Many employees are former apprentices. Periods of employment of 40, even 50 years were and are not uncommon.
Dr. Thomas Jakob is the new Director of the Business Unit Medical Technology of Wirthwein AG with simultaneous overall responsibility for Riegler. Jointly with the Technical Director, Thorsten Hassenzahl, the 46 years old chemistry graduate and manager, takes over the destiny of the company with immediate effect.
Riegler celebrates its 70 years anniversary at the beginning of September 2016. In the presence of the Wirthwein and Riegler families as well as many former and current employees, the entire corporate family looks back on its remarkable growth course. From the beginnings as hair curler producer on manually operated injection molding machines to food packagings to the entry into clean room production – in full appreciation of the jointly achieved milestones, young and old agree on the new challenges and growth opportunities.
In addition to targeted organizational optimization and the recruitment of new employees in all areas, Riegler is accelerating the company's focus on the business areas of diagnostics, medical technology, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics for future sustainable growth. Riegler will also be relaunching its modern website in July. The planned internationalization by gaining new customers in the USA is progressing. Numerous investments have been initiated in the framework of the EUR 10 million investment plan. Investments have been made in new technologies in the areas of extrusion blow molding, injection molding and 3D prototyping. The construction of new clean room capacities (700 m²) for future growth has been started. Sustainable measures for lean and energy management have been implemented.
The year 2019 was characterized by additional investments as well as the expansion of production capacities and investments in the expansion of digitalization. Riegler invested in a total of 17 fully electric injection molding machines. Additional expansions in the assembly of modules by means of a new fully automated assembly line including laser welding were also implemented.
A new document management system with FDA compliant signature control and a completely new machine data documentation system were successfully introduced. In July 2019 Riegler took a new measuring laboratory into operation and at the same time a new tactile measuring machine with automated palletizing system was added. Riegler also supplemented its quality management system with the standard for primary packaging materials and was successfully certified according to DIN EN ISO 15378.
Highlight was the golden jubilee with 50 years of service of the jubilees Harald Plößer and Wilhelm Ross.
Today, Wirthwein Medical is one of the quality leading system suppliers in plastic processing and a sought-after specialist in clean room production. Based on healthy company development, we also want to focus on what we can do best in the future. Solve ideas innovatively, qualitatively and for our customers.
Would you like to help shape our future? Then join our team and go with us on the growth course.