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INNOVATION

HILTI, A BUSINESS THAT RUNS ON QUALITY

Hilti's focus has always been on an uncompromising approach to research, manufacturing and delivery of products and services

Written by Rhizlaine Benabid | November 30, 2022

A quick Google search for the key words ‘Hilti Quality’ yields no less than five million results. Blogs, news articles, forums, specialized websites and others are abuzz with chatter about Hilti’s quality. Internet users have found thousands of ways to ascertain what goes into making Hilti products so universally accepted as high-quality tools. In terms of granular details, a full-sized book might be needed to fully explain everything that goes into making Hilti’s legendary quality a reality. 

To give you a broad understanding of how we at Hilti approach quality, it is imperative to view quality as a core trait from various angles. Right from its inception, the company has been producing and delivering products that have high quality. The focus has always been on an uncompromising approach to research, design, manufacturing and delivery of products and services that become industry benchmarks on their own. An excellent metric in this regard is the fact that each and every one of the company’s 32,000 strong workforce is responsible for setting and maintaining a level of excellence and quality. And it’s not just the products. The finest details, related to even the packaging material used in our products, are chosen under a defined set of guidelines in order to meet customer expectations worldwide.

Hilti is one of the very few companies to have a dedicated Innovation Center that tests the quality of our fastening systems. 338 tons of concrete are used for this purpose every year, and that is just the beginning. Once the testing is over, these concrete slabs are cut and broken into pieces using breakers and diamond cutting tools. The tools are tested against worldwide standards in the process. Once this part of the evaluation process is complete, the concrete pieces are recycled and used in creating new concrete. 

While we continue to focus on quality, we do not lose sight of our commitments, as a company that promotes sustainability, to achieve carbon neutrality within our own operations in 2023. Moreover, quality and sustainability have never been viewed as a compromise since they actively complement each other in Hilti. Our tools are designed to last longer, hence their durability and repairability make a constant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions and helping to make our customers’ business more sustainable. This is also reflected in the fact that our operations are run on 100 percent green electricity worldwide – either through purchase or by using our own photovoltaic systems. And we’re constantly working to do even more for sustainability. (READ: 2021 Sustainability Report)

Transparent & traceable by design

In order to further bolster the company’s credentials as a responsible organization focused on quality, Hilti has put processes in place to employ external auditors. These auditors regularly audit and oversee our manufacturing lines and those of our suppliers. In 2021, 136 such audits were conducted and 138 suppliers and internal departments were certified. This proactive approach to quality has ensured that our products and services remain consistent in any market around the world. These processes are in addition to the thousands of tests that our products undergo. 

Our fastening systems are also tested and certified by leading independent labs that conduct the most detailed tests related to quality and usability. Globally, Hilti products hold many approvals from these independent organizations. Technical data generated by these tests is used to further improve the products and offer customers deeper insights into our products and their long-term usage. In fact, our fastening systems are even qualified for use in nuclear power plants which offer some of the most challenging operating environments for any tool or accessory.  

Traceability is another facet that ensures consistent quality for our customers. This is done using a set of predefined standard industry processes that help trace everything from the raw materials to the final installed fastening point. In the process we issue inspection documents and material certificates to our customers every year.

Born tough

We give our tools a really tough time, because we want them to be ready for our customer’s needs on the jobsite. For example, before a new interior finishing fastening tool is released, prototype tools are dropped from a height of three meters and are even placed in a concrete mixer to see how long they continue to perform up to our expectations. Our internal quality checks are so stringent that more than one million fastening repetitions are done with the tool before it is cleared for mass production.

Setting the standard for quality

On any given day Hilti employees interact with customers more than 1,280 times across the globe. This level of customer focus has resulted in the creation of tools and services that best serve our customers in any given market. To be ahead of the curve, Hilti proactively engages in creating building codes and safety standards for tools and fastening systems. Globally, Hilti employees are currently engaged in several committees aimed at creating safe products and ensuring safe working environments for end users. 

Installation & beyond

Ensuring the quality of the end product is just one facet of the entire customer journey. The real test of quality comes when customers expect timely and precise support for the issues they face. For after-sales support, Hilti has set up a large team of field engineers who interact with customers daily to understand and solve their product- or service-related issues in real-time. On average, Hilti has more than thousands such interactions on any given day. This uncompromising commitment to customer service, alongside the adherence to strict processes, has always ensured positive outcomes for us and our customers.  

Quality is something that is part of Hilti’s DNA. As one of the most customer-oriented organizations in the business, we firmly believe that our products should not just meet but exceed existing norms and standards.