Around the world, ODU has a total of 2,300 employees. Of those, 1,300 are based at the ODU headquarters in Mühldorf, Bavaria. There are also 140 trainees and students pursuing a dual degree course with ODU. This September, a further 34 trainees and students will start their career path at ODU in different vocational and professional fields.
“A close relationship with our clients has always been very important to us, and this year more than ever,” underlines Managing Director Denis Giba. In 2018 and 2019, ODU made major investments, primarily in global know-how and production networks as well as in technology. This included the opening of its new production site in Sibiu, Romania. Three central product categories are manufactured there: ODU push-pull circular connectors, including the ODU MINI-SNAP®, PCB connectors such as the ODU FLAKAFIX and ODU CARD along with cable assemblies. ODU customers also benefit from one-stop complete solutions, high-quality connectors with a complete and comprehensive cable assembly.
Last year, the company introduced SAP. “Our customers collaborated extremely well in this changeover, which is why we were still able to achieve almost 5% overall growth despite the weakening economy and a production break of several weeks in Mühldorf,” reports Dr. Kurt Woelfl, Technical Director and management spokesperson. Growth amounted to over 7% averaged over all sectors besides automotive. ODU is expecting a “comeback” in the automotive sector in 2020. “We have amazing customers that make specialized products for their markets. They are innovators creating many important developments in their markets and we create and supply the respective capacities and technologies on a global scale,” says Denis Giba. An American customer, for example, has implemented a tiny ODU connector in high-end in-ear loudspeakers that are used by professional musicians such as Ariana Grande and Bruno Mars. Originally, these particularly lightweight connectors were developed for military communication.
ODU connectors are also used in the Chinese Transrapid trains and silicone overmolded connectors including cable assembly are used for catheter applications in the medical field.
ODU connectors are used worldwide in a growing number of ways and by more and more customers around the globe. ODU believes strongly in a global network of expertise. “It’s important that we can provide service and supply to our customers in Europe, Asia and North America locally,” says Kurt Woelfl.
On January 7, the ODU management team gained a new member, Dr. Josef Leitner. As Commercial Director, he leads the departments Finance, HR and IT. Dr. Leitner is originally from Austria, and is a trained technician and business administrator. He previously held the position of Commercial Director in a renowned manufacturer of safety and airbag modules for the automotive industry. Thanks to his expertise, he will help to shape ODU’s future together with Denis Giba and Dr. Kurt Woelfl and actively work towards optimizing the company’s organizational structure: “We also want to use this year to review our administration processes.”
In 2019, ODU has extended its surface engineering (electroplating) division. The capacity of the conveyer, rack and barrel plating systems was increased and silver surfaces introduced. Electroplating technology is the process of separating metals in an aqueous solution using an external electrical source or a chemical reaction. The surfaces are changed for the sake of corrosion protection, improved look or feel, or different physical properties – depending on the requirements. Thanks to a 128 person-strong team and all available systems technologies, ODU now possesses the most varied electroplating facility in Germany in the field of process engineering. The company’s objective is to offer complete systems solutions to existing and future ODU customers.
“’Made in Germany’ and more importantly ‘Engineered in Germany’ is still considered a stamp of quality,” says Dr. Woelfl.