100 Years of innovation, precision and local support

Thanks to our employees, and based on our technologies, we feel well prepared for the future, because we have acquired a sound know-how over the past 100 years.

When it comes to “setting goals, achieving them and never giving up”, his name would have to be mentioned in every guidebook: Richard Glimpel.

100 years ago, Richard Glimpel laid the foundation stone for the EMUGE-FRANKEN family business in Lauf an der Pegnitz in Central Franconia.



Born in 1894 in Silesia as the son of a farmer, Richard Glimpel went out into the world at the age of 15 as a travelling journeyman to complete an apprenticeship as a locksmith. During this time as an apprentice, his decision to become self-employed matured. It was clear to him that he wanted to learn a lot more about materials, techniques, tools and processes, prior to taking this big step, so he set out on a journey.

​​​​​​​His professional path was interrupted by the First World War. As soon as Richard Glimpel had the opportunity, he continued to gain further experience in various companies, including the Howaldt shipyard in Kiel and the company Reinecker in Chemnitz.

“I sharpened the remaining stump of the tap and chamfered the cutting edges at an angle – which replaced a precutter. And it worked! The single-finishing tap with spiral point was born!”   Richard Glimpel | Company Founder


Richard Glimpel absorbed a wide range of technical knowledge; in his free time he studied at technical colleges and took additional private lessons. Finally he ended up in Franconia, in Rückersdorf to be precise: The company called FRANKEN was manufacturing precision tools at the time and he spent about three years working there. But his stay there did not last long; after all, he had a big goal. And he achieved this in 1920: He founded his own small tool company in Lauf an der Pegnitz, initially with just three employees.

An exceptionally good company name

In the same year, the 26-year-old Richard Glimpel accepted Otto Moschkau as co-owner, which is still reflected in the company’s name, albeit rather hidden: Moschkau & Glimpel, short: MuG, sounds pronounced like em-u-ge.

​​​​​​​Richard Glimpel’s talent for improvisation came in handy shortly after the company was founded, because the first challenge appeared very fast: The young company was focused on small tools, but soon the opportunity arose for a lucrative contract for very large threading tools used in steam locomotive construction. The problem: the machinery was not designed for this at all. With his very own feeling for good business coupled with confidence in himself and his employees, he accepted the large order.


The devaluation of the money resulting from inflation paid its toll in 1922: Otto Moschkau and other, in some cases subsequent partners, left the company. However, Richard Glimpel believed in his company and fought his way through all the adversities of the next few years, such as the world economic crisis in 1932. Otto Moschkau continued to work for as an accountant at EMUGE; his son Eugen later joined the company as a technical draftsman.

The boss gets down to work

Richard Glimpel was fully committed to his company: He was the first one at work in the morning and the last one to leave in the evening; he never considered it beneath him to lend a hand – whether at the hardening fire or at a lathe. As an example, in the 1930s the boss personally delivered parts to Bosch in Stuttgart so that they would arrive at the customer’s premises on time – by motorcycle.

​​​​​​​Management out of the glasshouse was out of the question for Richard Glimpel. Today, his credo would be described as “Management by Walking Around”, i.e. the desired proximity to the employees, which he sought in the form of tours, among other things. The employees often saw his dog running around the corner before the boss himself arrived.


1956 his son Helmut joined the company after he had completed his studies to become a graduate engineer. Richard Glimpel registered over 70 of his own inventions as patents; he received the Diesel Medal in Gold (a German Inventor’s Prize), the Gold Citizen’s Medal of the City of Lauf and the Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class for his entrepreneurial work.

After a busy life, Richard Glimpel passed away in 1978 at the age of 84.

“A customer is someone, who comes to us with his wishes. Our task is to fullfil these wishes in a profitable way for him and us.” Richard Glimpel | Company Founder

These Milestones Have Shaped the Company

EMUGE-FRANKEN makes history


Richard Glimpel revolutionised tapping in the very year the company was founded. The EMUGE single- finishing tap with spiral point developed by him offered a three-in-one combination. Fewer machining operations meant two thirds less machining time and thus lower costs – an interesting solution for customers, not only in times of industrialisation.

​​​​​​​The following years of EMUGE were characterised by the production of large taps for stud bolts in steam locomotives, which were required in a wide range of standards. Richard Glimpel recognised the advantages of a well matched tooling system and added tool holders to the threading tools.


As a licensee of the Spieth workpiece clamping system, Richard Glimpel focused on diversification and thus laid the foundation for something that continues to have an impact to this day: At that time EMUGE laid the foundation for high-precision clamping tools. Today 270 employees are involved in the business area of clamping technology.


This year, the further develop ment of the EMUGE single -finishing tap with spiral point, which has been in production since 1920, provided a further single-finishing tool: With the steep spiral fluted tap, the chip is not pushed forward, as was previously the case, but thanks to the spiral cutting edge, an even cutting process takes place, with the chips being removed to the outside.


FRANKEN’s business was slow and so this traditional company was up for sale. Richard Glimpel knew about the excellent products of his former employer – and that a competitor from Nuremberg was interested in them. In order to prevent EMUGE’s competitor in Lauf from literally getting closer, he bought the company and laid the foundation stone for the EMUGE-FRANKEN company association.


The Softsynchro® tap holder with its separate transmission of axial force and torque brought significant improvements to the market. This technology was continued in the Speedsynchro® collet holder, which was launched in 2010. Its internal transmission gear enables faster thread production, especially in automotive series production.

As EMUGE-FRANKEN has had decades of expertise “at the front”, i.e. in thread cutting, drilling, gauging, clamping and milling technology, we were able to offer innovative solutions “at the back” with the suitable tool holder and establish us as an experienced system provider.


In order to further optimise its portfolio, EMUGE-FRANKEN acquired a stake in NAWA Präzisionstechnik GmbH, a company that is well positioned in the market of tools with cutting edges made of polycrystalline diamond (PCD). Further custom-made special tools made of carbide and HSS round off the standard programme.


2009 we have launched a range of dental tools for various implants made of wax, various polymer materials, zirconium oxide or glass ceramic allow for a perfectly fitting and natural shape for crowns and replacement teeth. Today, dental technicians have more than 400 different FRANKEN dental tools at their disposal.


Although EMUGE-FRANKEN has always been a down to earth company: The acquisition of the company Mytec propelled the company skyward. This decision to expand the portfolio of hydraulic expansion workpiece clamping enabled us to convince customers in the aerospace industry in particular of our competence.

​​​​​​​In the same year we developed the pioneering circle segment end mill. Thanks to the new end mill geometry we could offer our customers in the machining industry a faster and smoother surface.


This year was marked by a groundbreaking invention: the new Punch Tap thread technology. Thanks to the completely new motion sequence, our customers save three quarters of the time previously required to produce an internal thread in aluminium and thus a huge investment in machinery. The following year we received an innovation award for this technology.


The patented cutting edge geometry of FRANKEN’s “Cut & Form” end mills makes it possible to trim components and produce a polished surface in one operation. This eliminates the often costly mechanical or manual polishing rework.


Especially in aircraft construction, 3D printing was very popular because of the lightweight construction required: hollow inside, metal outside. However, the surface must be re-milled – which is possible with our milling cutters for hybrid additive manufacturing.


FRANKEN became a tool supplier for film props of one of the most successful American television series: “Game of Thrones”. Among other things, FRANKEN has supplied tools for the production of the legendary “Iron Throne”, which is composed of swords.

In the same year EMUGE- FRANKEN develops another revolutionary thread technology. The name: EMUGE Taptor® . The functional principle: This tool drills the core hole and produces the thread in a single operation during blind hole machining. The advantage: a significant saving of time.


We look back proudly, humbly and gratefully on 100 years of company history combined with a lot of confidence for the future.

Know-How and Flexibility

An Outlook

Thanks to our employees, and based on our technologies, we feel well prepared for the future, because we have acquired a sound know-how over the past 100 years. In other words: We have a profound knowledge of what we are doing.

And our customers appreciate that. As a global player we can participate very closely in the development of technical trends with our products. Whether it’s industry 4.0, 3D printed components, new materials or a new field such as dental tools: It is and remains exciting to be at the cutting edge of our industry.

Of course, the change in the automotive industry will also have an impact on our business. We do not know exactly what technologies we will be dealing with in ten years’ time, but we do know that we will also take on this challenge.

​​​​​​​We are convinced that we will continue to master the technical complexity by remaining open to change all together.

3D Print and new materials

Our new building

With our values of proximity, innovation and precision, we are ready for the increasingly rapid (technical) changes. In order to continue to meet the needs of our customers, we continue to grow at a healthy rate. And that is why we do not build just any functional building somewhere in the world where it is cheaper – and it would be cheaper almost everywhere – but rather: Our new building will be completed in Lauf by 2023.

We are investing in a 20,000 m2 production hall here because we consider the proximity to our existing EMUGE plant in Lauf and FRANKEN in neighbouring Rückersdorf to be important. We believe in our strengths and we will – together with our employees – embark on our future here from Lauf.

A glass bridge will connect the existing building with the new one. People coming from the west, for example from Nuremberg, are greeted by this bridge in Lauf. Two storeys will provide space for logistics, additional production areas and a new training workshop, while the “penthouse” at the very top will house the building services.

​​​​​​​Just as EMUGE-FRANKEN has adapted to the needs of the market for 100 years, it will continue to prove its flexibility in the future: “If the customer demands something new, we already have the infrastructure for it,” say the managing directors Helmut Glimpel and Gerhard Knienieder, looking forward to this, what is yet to come.

“We want our new building to look good. After all, Lauf is our home town.” Helmut Glimpel and Gerhard Knienieder | Managing Directors