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From workshop to large factory: Hjerno turns 75

Hjerno Tool Factory turns 75 this year.

And although the physical framework, customers, solutions and not least the production equipment have undergone major changes over the years, there are still a number of common denominators that recur from when the company was founded in 1946 as a machine factory at Rugårdsvej 130 in Odense by our founder, Walter Hjernø.

Concepts such as quality, innovation, a penchant for the difficult and creative tasks - and not least a well-developed ability to continuously reinvent itself as a company.

“When you dive into our history and listen to the people who have been involved for many years, it becomes clear that Hjerno as a company contains a basic matter that still defines the company to this day, ” says Aage Agergaard, who bought Hjerno Tool Factory in 2004 and who today is co-owner and head of business development.

It started with punching tools

Aage Agergaard took over a healthy but also investment-heavy tool factory, which employed about 20 employees.

At that time, Hjerno had long been known for its injection moulding tools, but in fact the company back in the day was established as a traditional machine factory that produced special precision components and production machines for the local companies in Odense.

Over the years, Hjerno has increasingly focused in particular on bending and punching tools, but already in the 1980s serious investments in injection moulding tools for the plastics industry were made.

“Regardless of the type of task, Hjerno has always been known for high-quality tools, where a great deal of work has been put into making them ready for production right from the start. That spirit has lived on in the company throughout the years,” says tool maker Erling Jensen, who has been part of Hjerno since 1981.

Things moved fast in the 00s

When Aage Agergaard took over the company in 2004, the production department had only one computer. Today, Hjerno houses some of Scandinavia's most modern production equipment with a focus on high-precision machining and advanced IT control systems for efficient and competitive production.

“I came to Hjerno for the purpose of introducing IT in the production, and since then things have moved rapidly. It only took a few years before each employee in the production had his own computer for generating, among other things, CAM files,” Aage Agergaard explains.

The basic matter is the same

This development was further accelerated when in 2019 the private equity fund VækstPartner Kapital bought into the company and increased, among other things, the investment base. Today, Hjerno employs over 65 people and delivers ultra-precise injection moulding tools to some of the largest customers in the Scandinavian plastics industry.

“So, like so many other production companies, Hjerno has grown from modest post-war conditions into today’s large production company characterised by IT and modern technology. But the basic matter in terms of high quality and high innovation is still the same,” Aage Agergaard concludes.