Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Company History of Injecta AG, Teufenthal

I found a article titled "The company Injecta AG , Teufenthal (1921-2011)". 


Its about the history of the company that made the INCA woodworking machines.

The article was written by "Dr Felix Ackermann" and it was published in the magazine "Argovia: annual publication of the Historical Society of Canton Aargau"

Its in German. With the help of Google translate and a bit of guesswork, I summarised the most interesting parts as best as I could. Any errors are mine.
Injecta AG, Teufental" (1921–2011) was a aluminium and zinc die casting company based in Teufenthal, Swizerland. They also did zinc electroplating, brass parts, and plastic molding. Their slogan was "Diecast and more". They became known for the high quality products which where exported around the world. The company at its peak had almost a thousand skilled employees. 
Injecta made products and parts, used internally by the machine industry. They also made parts for other companies to use in their consumer products. Examples are parts for cameras (Sinar, Hasselblad, Leica), motorcycles (BMW, Triumph, Stella Bassecourt), sewing machine (Elna, Singer), electric shavers (Philips), steam iron (Jura), pencil sharpeners (Wyna), etc.
Injecta also made their own consumer products sold under their own brand name: "INCA". INCA products where things like woodworking machines, kitchenware (scales, nut-crackers, juice-presses, corkscrews), door handles, ashtrays, etc.
In 1905 Herman Doehler invented die-casting (in New York, USA), and it started a whole new industry. The Swiss company "Karrer Weber & Co" sent Ferdinand Wuffli to the "Doehler Die-Casting Company" to learn their process. When he came home to Switzerland after 8 months he got to lead the newly founded Injecta company (1920), as the sales and technical director, until his death in 1960. 
From 1930 to 1970 Walter Helbling was the key figure responsible for the industrial design of Injecta's INCA products. As a young man had wanted a creative and artistic education. But due to pressure from his parents he instead did an apprenticeship as a technical draftsman and afterwards studied to become a mechanical engineer. At Injecta he was free to come up with new INCA products designs, and was a regular at the patent office.
A generation shift happened in the 1950s when many influential people retired.
In the 1970s, sales of the woodworking machines continued to rise, those of other products declined sharply. The earliest woodworking machines had been selling well for decades without much change to their design. The first INCA table saw dates back to 1931.
After Walter Helbling retired, an external industrial designer named Felix Fedier Baden took over deign of INCA products. He helped develop larger woodworking machines  aimed at the professional market. These new machines where not as big a success as the old hobby machines, as there was already a lot of competition in the professional sector. The Hobby market, was also becoming more competitive with cheaper options from competitors in the field. 
 In 1978 production of INCA woodworking machines moved to France. 
In 1989 The Injecta plastic factory in Triengen (est.1971) was sold off. In 1990 INCA (in France) was sold off.  What was left of the company was renamed "Injecta diecast AG" in 1995.
When the company celebrated its 50 year anniversary (back in 1971) it also marked the end of its heyday. Increasingly, directors and management where replaced by people from the financial sector. Loyal investors with close ties to industry where replaced by investors looking for short term profits. The company suffered and struggled with low margins and high costs. After many restructures and management changes Injecta finally went bankrupt in 2011. 
The nearby museum of Aargau was invited to take the items it wanted for its portfolio when the Injecta Teufental factory closed down. A small but representative collection of items about "ten pallets" worth is conserved by the museum.


Edit: I emailed the author "Dr Felix Ackermann". He was nice enough to send me some old Injecta and INCA catalogues and documents. I added them to the [catalogues] section of this blog.

3 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the article and find your translation nearly perfect. Hearty thanks!

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  2. I can't thank you so much.

    I have looked for information on the history of Inca for almost a decade. And couldn't find much.

    And now.. You got it all!

    My compliments!

    I am gratefull :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Richard (and Moraghan and Harry). I'm happy this information is of interest to other people also. For a while I suspected I might be the only one. Have a nice day!

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