Analysis of Polish tool industry regarding polymer processing

Analysis of Polish tool industry…

Moulding industry is a highly specialised and exceptionally innovative industry sector which is critical to the development of many other sectors. Given how complex the tools for plastic processing can be, as is the case with other industry sectors such as construction or automotive industries, many workplaces involve tool design and development activities. In order for it to become a final product, it requires an entire chain of relationships – suppliers of steel, standardised parts, software, various machinery, systems and many others, as well as the knowledge of properties of plastics, their flow characteristics within mould injection channels and much more other data, all requiring extensive experience.

Among economies such as Germany or Portugal, Poland is a domineering European producer of tools for processing of plastics used in many sectors, automotive, construction, packaging, home appliances, electronics, medical and many others. None of these sectors could function without high quality tools.

The only national organisation bringing together and representing the moulding industry is Bydgoszcz Industrial Cluster (BIC) which undertook this particularly challenging task of assessing the condition of Polish tool industry.

Since 2006, the Cluster is an organisation that supports companies in the sector by providing assistance in promotion, international cooperation, education, research & development, as well as conducts a series of integration activities. In 2016, BIC was given the status of the Key National Cluster awarded by the current Ministry of Economic Development, Labour and Technology. The Cluster is also involved in a series of European initiatives regarding international industry networks, carrying out business projects and R&D activities (such as H2020, COSME, Eureka).


Survey research “Analysis of the Polish tool industry regarding plastics processing” is the first such research conducted by Bydgoszcz Industry Cluster.
Survey study was conducted between 13th January and 12th February 2021 and involved using CAWI method. 34 out of 113 service toolshops in Poland which means the response rate was at about 30%.

The questions referred to the situation of toolshops in 2020, comparing it with 2019. For the purpose of the study the tool industry was defined as manufacturers of comprehensive tools for plastics processing conducting service activities.

General information

Taking into account the regional structure, the voivodeship with the highest number of companies is Kuyavian-Pomeranian voivodeship, 30, which constitutes about 22% of all. Other domineering voivodeships are Masovian (16 companies), Silesian (15 companies) and Greater Poland (13 companies). The leading position of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian voivodeship is most definitely the result of the rich industrial traditions of the region, including the key historical significance of FORMET Metal Mould Plant S.A.
The vast majority of the entities operating in the sector have been on the marked for at least 10 years. There are few new companies – the ones within the 3–5 year range comprise only 6% of the survey population. Information above shows that the sector is in a long-term relationship with Polish economy and its companies possess long experience and often are important participants on the competitive European market.

The survey also involved the examining of the capital ownership structure (regarding the companies) – as many as 82% of participants in the survey are entities with exclusively Polish capital and only in 9% of the cases the owner- ship is entirely foreign. This information is very important because it shows that the sector is firmly set in Polish industry.

As for the number of employees, in 56% of the surveyed entities the number of employees does not exceed 50. At the same time 15% of the entities employ at least 200 workers. As indicated by the data, the sector is dominated by small and medium companies. The positive outcome of this is the high degree of flexibility of companies of this in respect of reacting to market changes and crisis situations. On the other hand such company structure may be somewhat limiting and impeding to R&D activities or building own laboratory infrastructure which are mostly done in larger companies.