MAPAL Group mourns Dr Dieter Kress
Dr Dieter Kress passed away on December 27, 2023 at the age of 81 after a long illness. He was a passionate entrepreneur and an impressive personality. Dr Dieter Kress was at the helm of the MAPAL Group for almost five decades. He shaped the once small company into an international company group. He retired from active management in 2018 but continued to take a lively interest in the company's developments. "MAPAL is my baby and that's why I will never let it out of my sight completely," he once said. The entire workforce joins the Kress family in mourning the passing of Dr Dieter Kress.
Dr Dieter Kress joined MAPAL Dr Kress KG in 1969 after graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering and business administration. His father, Dr Georg Kress, had founded the company in 1950. While working at the company, Dr Dieter Kress completed his doctorate on the subject of reaming, which was the basis for the success story of MAPAL: Dr Dieter Kress developed high-performance special tools from the standard reamer product. This also became the essence of MAPAL - always close to the customer to find the best solution for him and his machining.
With great vision and personal commitment, Dr Dieter Kress managed the company for 49 years as President. The product portfolio was continuously expanded under his leadership and MAPAL established itself on the market as a full-range supplier. Tools for drilling, countersinking, milling, hard turning and boring were added to the reaming range. Chucks and devices for setting, measuring and dispensing as well as numerous tool-related services further expanded the portfolio.
In addition, company acquisitions and foundations were responsible for MAPAL's enormous growth. Dr Dieter Kress followed his very own strategy. For him, it was important to respect and preserve the respective culture of the acquired companies. In his 49 years at the helm, Dr Dieter Kress transformed a regionally active manufacturer of taps into an internationally active, broadly positioned company group.
Today, MAPAL is represented in 44 countries and employs around 5,000 people worldwide, including around 1,700 at the headquarters in Aalen. In 2018, Dr Dieter Kress handed over responsibility to his son Dr Jochen Kress, who is now the third generation to run the precision tool manufacturer.
In addition to his entrepreneurial activities, Dr Dieter Kress was also involved in a number of honorary positions. The region and the training of young people were particularly close to his heart. He attached great importance to training junior staff directly at MAPAL and invested in the corresponding infrastructure. Today, MAPAL is one of the largest training companies in the East Württemberg region. There are as many as 300 apprentices at MAPAL worldwide, with around 130 learning different professions at MAPAL in Aalen - from cutting machine operators to warehouse logistics specialists and IT specialists. Dr Dieter Kress also supported research and education at Aalen University - among other things by setting up an endowed chair in cooperation with other companies and as a member of the university council. He was active in committees, initiatives and associations, including as Chairman of the VDMA Precision Tools Association and as a founding member of the P.E.G.A.S.U.S. association, which supports company founders.
Dr Dieter Kress has received numerous awards for his services, including the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Golden Staufer Medal of the State of Baden-Württemberg. He was also one of the first recipients of the German Mechanical Engineering Prize. Aalen University confer him the dignity of Honorary Senator.
The MAPAL Group and its employees owe a great deal to Dr Dieter Kress. He has shaped, developed and promoted the company and its employees as the driving force and motor.
It is with great gratitude and deepest sympathy for his family that the shareholders, management, works council and employees take their leave.