Success story

From a garage into the world of plastics


If you see our pictures from back then, you will think you are watching a movie. It may remind you of from some scenes in Silicon Valley, but the same thing happened near Rheine bei Muenster. It was in a garage, and Stephan Konstanzer started what is now called the Hidden Champion. But that word ‘hidden’ bothers him a bit. He wants to keep changing that.

When you hear Stephan Konstanzer talking about his plastics today, you can still feel an enthusiasm that is exciting. ‘We are talking about gigantic variety’. That was already his credo back when he founded his company with this idea in 1991. And diversity is multidimensional. He talks about it, and it’s clear that he’s done it countless times before. An enthusiast who finds the right level of explanation regardless of who he is talking to.

Whether on an in-depth technical level or more generally for non-specialists, he will can come up with examples from the meta-technology world that illustrate what diversity means: Sometimes it starts with the range of materials that can be used quite comprehensively due to their properties. Or it begins with the processing options, for which meta-technik meanwhile has a manufacturing plant that covers three broad indoor areas and has several systems with different dimensions that are ready for any technology.

Konstanzer is a tinkerer, an optimiser. Tools  are organized in the same way as the flow of goods or the learning areas for trainees. He gets involved in every new customer project just like the pioneer he was back then, only today he has the experience of a widely travelled entrepreneur.

Customers now include well-known OEMs and companies across Europe. They come to meta-technik from a variety of sectors. They either had specific ideas but didn’t know much about plastics, or they had vague ideas before they were introduced to the world of construction plastics and gradually replaced their old solutions with plastics.

Solutions that were previously made of metal can often be implemented much more effectively with plastics.

That’s how it was with a swing door system. An example that Konstanzer likes to cite because he is allowed to talk about it. That is to say, this is namely not the case for many applications since companies have faith that meta-technik will maintain confidentiality. ‘The swing door suspension was made of metal, and assembling it was quite expensive. It also required heavy and expensive maintenance. The solution today is one with a low noise level. It will not rust and is resistant to chemical influences. The main thing is that it is much cheaper to produce’. That is how Konstanzer puts it and then adds ‘that’s usually the way it goes’.

The company grew rapidly during the 1990s. In 2006 there was a move from Rheine to Hoerstel. Having 12,000 square meters of space was an important step toward achieving today’s efficiency. The number of people that meta-technik employees is now 150. And what’s more, the company still has big plans.

What motivates Stephan Konstanzer most is the question of how he can convince even more companies to think in terms of ‘his’ plastics. With meta-pro the company has developed an analysis method that reveals the potential of individual applications in a structured manner as well as the meta Academy that was founded to share knowledge with employees at customer companies and partners After all, a knowledge of plastics is no secret, but it is in fact complex. That’s for sure.

Milestones


  • 1990 Garage 
  • 1992 Founding of meta-technik by Stephan Konstanzer and a new building in Carl-Zeiss-Strasse
  • 1994 Acquisition of Rekaplast (a deep drawing company) 
  • 1996 Move to Sandkampstrasse, Rheine
  • 2000 Expansion of the turning shop, milling shop, deep drawing 
  • 2006 Move to Nobelstrasse
  • 2010 Further expansion of the turning, milling and deep drawing divisions
  • 2015 LM4
  • 2016 Factory 2.1
  • 2016 Factory 2.2
  • 2019 TZ T10