[Translate to English:] Erste Werkstätte in der Landshuter Strasse in Straubing
[Translate to English:] Peter Ilmberger im Gründungsjahr 1945

The Beginning of a Success Story


The beginnings of the Ilmberger company date back to 1945, when Peter Ilmberger was a mechanical engineer with 20 years of professional experience at the Hurth company in Munich.

From there he was transferred to the subsidiary Bayernwerkzeug GmbH in Straubing as plant manager. 


Foundation and Expansion


After the Second World War, Peter Ilmberger took the plunge into self-employment in July 1946 and started repairing agricultural and commercial machinery.
In 1949, gear production began with the first gear cutting machine that he designed and built himself.

Soon the space in Landshuter Straße was no longer sufficient and in 1953 Ilmberger leased several disused motor vehicle halls together with 20,000 m2 of the former artillery barracks in Straubing Süd.


Products and Customers


Ilmberger was a versatile company that manufactured a wide range of products, including gears and agricultural and construction machinery of its own design. 
Customers of the gearing technology included renowned companies such as the tractor manufacturer Eicher, Hans Glas GmbH (now BMW AG) and MAN in Munich.

Helicopter gearboxes and nozzle components were supplied as far afield as England at the time, due to the scarcity of materials meant that the metal chips produced during machining had to be sent back to the customer.


Coating Systems


The beginnings of automatic painting machines date back to 1956, when the first machines were developed. The range quickly expanded to include specialized machines for spark plugs, followed by rotary indexing machines and even automatic surface spraying machines. Machines were developed for a wide variety of applications and exported all over the world. From children's balls to water taps, from alarm clock housings and lipstick cases to fire extinguishers - Ilmberger had a solution at the ready.

Today, green tire spraying systems are the core business of Ilmberger Surface Technology.


Economic Crisis and a New Beginning


In the 1970s, life in Germany was dominated by an economic crisis. Despite this, Ilmberger continued to invest in buildings and modern machinery. With the introduction of computer-controlled machines, the workforce was also considerably reduced. In the 1990s, Irene Ilmberger took over as managing director. At this time, the company had to react to the loss of orders due to the fall of the Iron Curtain. Many things could be produced more cheaply in the East. In order to escape this competitive pressure, the company specialized in high-quality products in small and medium quantities.


Heat Treatment


The senior boss realized very early on that having its own hardening shop was a huge competitive advantage for a gear manufacturer. This is why the company started hardening in a salt bath back in the 1960s. 
In 2014, a large atmosphere batch furnace was installed and the company switched to the less distortion-prone case hardening process. This was followed by the complete rebuild of the rotary hearth furnace in 2016. At the same time, the outdated salt baths were gradually dismantled. Due to the enormous heat, the wear on such systems is high. As a result, a new fireclay lining of the atmosphere batch furnace became necessary in 2022.


75th Anniversary


The anniversary celebration took place in September 2022 in our assembly hall. On Friday, we invited around 250 students from the graduating classes in Straubing. Also some celebrities from politics and society joined us. It was a great event and everyone had a lot of fun.

The party for our employees and their families took place on Saturday. Many funny stories from the company's long history were exchanged over hearty music, suckling pig and beer. Many had not met their former colleagues for decades. And everyone agreed: a lot has happened in the first 75 years of Ilmberger.


Apprenticeship Initiative


From around 2015, the shortage of skilled workers also became apparent in our region and Ilmberger once again increased its focus on in-house training in order to secure the skilled workers of tomorrow and keep them in the company. 

Projects such as Technik für Kinder e.V., the district's Trainee Bus, the annual Apprenticeship Fair and, last but not least, the company's own Apprenticeship Day as part of the 75th anniversary celebrations in 2022 were planned and organized with great enthusiasm. 
The training workshop has been equipped with state-of-the-art milling and turning machines since 2021.


Four Day Working Week at Ilmberger


The introduction of the four-day working week at Ilmberger in 2023 is undoubtedly a milestone in the company's history. This step was a win-win situation for everyone. Employees are happier because they have more time for family, friends and hobbies. And the attractiveness of Ilmberger as an employer has increased due to the better work-life balance.





Due to the shortage of skilled workers, we started investing in automation in 2019. New, flexible robot concepts that can be quickly converted without complex programming were the solution.

With an infeed and outfeed conveyor and a simple device for fishing out the finished workpiece, the right solution for our new twin-spindle turning machine was found.

We now have a total of six of these silent colleagues in use - and the number is set to increase.




Gear manufacturing is a very energy-intensive business due to the heat treatment required.

Saving energy has therefore always been a top priority at Ilmberger. 
The maximum possible in-house production of electricity is a key factor in our energy supply. The rooftops of our production halls  therefore become our own power plant. The first construction of our 450 kWp photovoltaic system was completed in 2023. The second part will get connected to grid in 2024. Actually we will not feed any electricity into the public grid because we consume it all ourselves.