Ing. Thomas Rhomberg honored in retirement ceremony

After 32 years of successful service, FRIES Kunststoff GmbH Managing Director Thomas Rhomberg entered into well-deserved retirement in a ceremony on 9 November. The occasion commenced with a short tour of the company at corporate headquarters in Sulz, followed by festivities at the 2erlei in Rankweil.

As Managing Director for Research and Development, Rhomberg significantly has influenced the company’s success story in recent decades. After completing his studies in plastics engineering in Vienna and spending several years abroad, he began his professional career at FRIES in 1986. Rhomberg was appointed authorized signatory in 1988. In 2002, he assumed the helm as managing director under trade law, and has been a managing partner since 2007.

With his extensive techincal knowledge of plastics and plastics processing, Rhomberg has influenced countless product as well as material and process innovations. FRIES holds numerous patents and has garnered several awards for innovation (including multiple national awards, in addition to being a Worldstar and Eurostar award winner). Through his great dedication and his tireless scientific activities in the polymers sector, Rhomberg was able to share his knowledge and know-how in various expert groups throughout Europe. Rhomberg is also a winner of the Ernst Schmitz Prize (TGM) and a recipient of the silver badge of honor (ÖNORM), in addition to being awarded with the H.F. Mark Medal.

In addition to his wife and family, the evening’s well-wishers included Sylvia Hofinger/Johann Pummer (Association of the Austrian Chemical Industry), Michael Washüttl/Peter Krojer (Austrian Research Institute for Chemistry and Technology), Michael Amann (Vorarlberg Chamber of Commerce) and Karl Wutschitz (Mayor of Sulz).

The evening’s well-received entertainment was provided by solo cabaret artist Gabi Fleisch, who performed excerpts from her successful show “i hau ab”.

Pictured from left to right: Gerhard Marte (Fries executive management)/Martin Rhomberg (Fries partner), Sylvia Hofinger (Association of the Austrian Chemical Industry)/Thomas Rhomberg, Katharina Rhomberg, Gerhard Bertsch (Fries executive management

Ground-breaking ceremony for new warehouse

With a symbolic ground-breaking ceremony, the FRIES Group began the construction of the warehouse in Sulz.

Fries Kunststofftechnik GmbH of Sulz, Austria, is expanding its headquarters with the warehouse, which will be built in two construction phases. Additional storage capacity has become necessary, due to an average annual sales growth of 6% in the group of companies in recent years. The new building will also include new loading ramps and additional employee parking spaces. The first phase of the construction is expected to be completed by July 2019. Rhomberg Bau GmbH, the specialist for the new construction, is in charge of the execution and the reitbruggerGAU company (Wolfgang Reitbrugger, DI) is in charge of the planning. The investment volume is estimated at 2.5 million.

In the picture, from left to right: Daniel Mohr (Rhombergbau) / Gerhard Marte, Thomas Rhomberg, Katharina Rhomberg, Gerhard Bertsch (Fries management) / Stefan Gisinger (Rhombergbau)

Thomas Rhomberg receives the H.F. Mark Medal

Thomas Rhomberg, managing director under trade law, is nominated for the awarding of the H.F. Mark Medal in 2019 and will receive this award in the oratorio at the Vienna Imperial Palace. The H.F. Mark Medal is one of the highest awards in the field of polymer sciences. This brings the scientific aspect of processing in the plastic industry in the foreground once again. With his extensive techincal knowledge of plastics and their processing, Thomas Rhomberg has influenced countless product as well as material and procedural innovations. Through his great dedication and his tireless scientific activities in the polymers sector, he was able to share his knowledge and know-how in different expert groups throughout Europe. Thomas Rhomberg is also a holder of the Ernst Schmitz Prize (TGM) and received the silver badge of honor (ÖNORM).

In the image: from left Dr. Johann Pummer (trade association from the Chemical Industry in Austria), Mr. Thomas Rhomberg

New three-member senior management at FRIES Kunststofftechnik GmbH

Generational shift at Fries Kunststofftechnik. The retirement of long-standing director and partner Martin Rhomberg means that a new senior management team will be taking over the responsibility for the business of the innovative plastic processor in Sulz with effect from 1 August 2017.

Within the three-member senior management team, Katharina Rhomberg from the owner family will be taking over the role of chairman and will be responsible for human resources and commercial agendas. Gerhard Marte will manage the areas of technology and production and Gerhard Bertsch will be responsible for the area of sales/marketing.

The commercial director and partner Ing. Thomas Rhomberg will continue to manage the R&D department until his retirement at the end of 2018.

Fries is involved in the production and development of a wide range of innovative products sold on international markets. A variety of products are made using injection moulding or extrusion blow moulding. Production, product development and administration are located in Sulz. The company has diversified its business into packaging, food service industries, industrial racks and technical moulded parts.

The company is Europe´s market leader in the manufacture of dishwasher racks for trade and industry. The racks are used worldwide. In prestigious hotels around the world such as the Burj al Arab, Dubai, and in the Singapore Airlines Business Lounge. Industrial racks are used to clean technical components from well-known car part suppliers or metal working companies, including parts for Air France aircraft turbines. Reusable cups for major events (rock concerts, festivals or German Federal League soccer matches) are sold by the Cup Concept (D) subsidiary.

Fries also specialises in industrial packaging. Barrels, canisters, buckets and cans are used for transporting foodstuffs, hazardous materials, pharmaceuticals, chemicals or for storing explosive materials.

Fries was founded in 1896, manufacturing paper and supplying the textiles sector. The company has undergone many profound changes since then. Two factors have remained constant during all these years of change: continual Investment in the Sulz location and, most importantly, capable, motivated and committed staff who have made Fries Kunststofftechnik what it is today.

Fries invested almost Euro two million in machinery for the Sulz facility in 2016 and 2017.


» Total sales 2016: Euro 23 million

» 155 employees (78 at the Sulz location)

» Export quota : 87 per cent

» approx. 4,000 tons of granulated plastic are processed each year

WorldStar for Packaging Award 2017 for the tech-rack variogrid

The “tech-rack variogrid – workpiece carrier system” won the international WorldStar for Packaging Award 2017. After having received the award for the “Smart Packaging 2016 state prize” in November 2016, FRIES is now delighted to have received the top international award in the packaging industry. The prize will be presented on the occasion of Interpack 2017 in Dusseldorf by the international packaging organisation WPO.

Find out more about the tech-rack variogrid

120 Years of FRIES

We can look back with pride at the 120 years of Fries Success factors that are still prominent at Fries today are also clearly evident in the company’s history: continuous innovation, adaptability and employees at the centre of success. Fries was founded as a “paper tubes factory operating using water and steam” from the times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Although the factory had to be used as a weapons factory during both World Wars, afterwards the company still managed to become the market leader as part of the economic upturn and the booming textiles industry. As early as the 1950s, Fries started to focus on plastics  

Nowadays, we no longer work in paper production, tubes or the textile industry. Rather, we have a wide range of innovative products that are sold on a global scale. In all those years of transitions and changes, two things have remained constant. Ongoing investments at the site in Sulz and, above all, expert, capable, motivated and committed employees who have contributed to making our company what it is today.

Everything about 120 years of FRIES

Smart Packaging 2016 state prize for tech-rack variogrid reusable packaging for industry

The “tech-rack variogrid reusable packaging for industry” was awarded the prize of “Smart Packaging 2016 state prize” on 15 November by the German Federal Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management and the Federal Minister for Science, Research and Economics. This system is used in logistics, industrial parts cleaning and storage. FRIES achieved highly in the excellence fields for the environmental sustainability, technical functionality, design and convenience of the new system. FRIES is delighted to have received another award.

Find out more about the tech-rack variogrid

Excellent Apprenticeship Company for 2016

FRIES has yet again been named this year’s “Excellent Apprenticeship Company”. At the headquarters in Sulz, four apprentices are currently been trained in the areas of metal technology/tool-making technology and plastics technology. There is a long tradition of apprentice training at FRIES. Apprentices have been trained in Sulz for 60 years. Over the course of the company’s 120-year history, 122 apprentices have completed an apprenticeship at FRIES. We are proud of our apprentices. The importance placed on the apprentice training is reflected both in the award of “Excellent Apprenticeship Company” and in the excellent scores received by the apprentices at various competitions.

ARENA CUP for SCR Altach

Produced in our head office in Sulz and sold by Cup Concept, Sexau, the ARENA CUP reusable cup has been used in the Altbach Bundesliga stadium since 2016. The SCRA fans have reason to be pleased because the stackable handle means they can hold up to five cups in one hand. Thanks to the use of the in-mould labelling process, the ARENA CUP is scratchproof and its colour withstands frequent washing. Using reusable cups also means doing your bit for the environment. Thanks to its special geometry, the safety-optimised and break-proof stadium cup lets go of any liquids mid-flight and it has already stood the test in numerous German stadiums such as at VfB Stuttgart, Eintracht Frankfurt, Fortuna Düsseldorf and many more.

Trade fair innovation – tech-rack variogrid variable workpiece carrier system

tech-rack variogrid

With the new tech-rack variogrid workpiece carrier system, FRIES Kunststofftechnik GmbH is showcasing yet another highlight in industrial parts cleaning at the parts2clean trade show. The variable and modular grid plate extends the range of all-in-one workpiece carrier systems. Variogrid represents the individual design of workpiece carrier systems – the workpiece carrier plates can be adjusted to the required size. This enables the plates to be adapted to the conditions in the cleaning machine and also aids storage in the small load carrier (SLC), for example. The rotary stacking bolts can be positioned anywhere on the grid plate to allow stacking in any size. Tech-rack variogrid therefore offers numerous application possibilities for process-optimised production – from the machine bench and parts cleanings to transportation and storage. A variety of plug pins, partitions (dividers) and accessories round off the intelligent workpiece carrier system.

New additions to Clixrack range

Glass rack group

Two additional extenders are now available for the Clixrack system of the fries-rack range. Extender P can be used for glass heights of up to 245 mm. Extender S can be used with our 500×500-mm racks for glasses of up to 115 mm and with our 600×400-mm racks for glass heights of up to 145 mm.

The new additions mean there are now 8 extenders in total for rack sizes 500×500 mm and 600×400 mm. For more information on the possible versions, please refer to our brochures.

Fries equipes largest hotel and conference center in Europe

Fries is supplying the Berlin-based conference and event hotel Estrel with more than 1400 dishwasher and storage racks. With over 1300 beds, the Estrel is the largest hotel in Europe. Usually, these kinds of order involve between 30 and 40 commercial dishwasher racks. Fries is the European market leader for commercial dishwasher racks.

tech-rack industrial rack with new PAG material


The new material, glass-reinforced polyamide (PAG), for the tech-rack 600 x 400 industrial rack was presented at parts2clean 2015. The polyamide version was designed to meet increased demands in industrial component cleaning. The racks can be used for cleaning processes with aqueous mediums, solvent-based products, and ultrasound.

2014 Reusable Innovation Award

Arena cup

Cup Concept – sales partner and subsidiary of Fries Kunststofftechnik GmbH for returnable plastic cups wins the 2014 German Reusable Innovation Award for its ‘ARENA CUP’, which was developed by Fries and produced in Sulz. The award was presented by Deutsche Umwelthilfe in Berlin on April 2, 2014.

The ‘ARENA CUP’ minimizes risk when cups are thrown at large events. The edges of the cup are rounded down and, if thrown, it empties itself out in a matter of seconds, as it’s the remaining contents of the cup that are a significant cause of injury. With the she safety-enhanced Arena Cup, returnable cups meet the highest safety requirements at major events. This makes the returnable concept a safe bet – for organizers and visitors.

New techtray workpiece carrier system

techtray workpiece carrier system

Fries Kunststofftechnik GmbH is launching another innovation on the market with its patented workpiece carrier system ‘techtray’. In sensitive industries such as metal working, medical engineering, mechatronics, microelectronics, and precision engineering, cleaning components is a key element of many production and assembly processes. Part-specific workpiece carriers therefore come into play to fix the workpieces in a certain position and at certain points in order to achieve the best possible cleaning result.

New Basys R500 500×500 basic rack

 Combi rack 500x500_0002_web

Another product has been added to the Fries Rack System range:

Basys R500 basic rack with an option to install terrace glass inserts GR500.

All the benefits of the new Basys R500 basic rack can be found in the product information sheet

2013 Fire Service-friendly Employer


Every two years, the Austrian Federal Fire Brigade Association (ÖBFV) awards companies from all federal states who have promoted their fire service-friendly practice in recent years with the ‘Feuerwehrfreundlicher Arbeitgeber’ (Fire Service-Friendly Employer) prize.

Put forward by the National Fire Brigade Association, FRIES was awarded the 2013 Fire Service-friendly Employer prize by the President of the ÖBFV.

FRIES Kunststofftechnik GmbH, based in Sulz, manufactures packaging, technical components, cleaning and storage racks for the catering industry, and returnable cups for football stadiums, concerts, and other major events.

Company Director Gerhard Marte and Chief Fire Officer of the Plant Fire Service, Herbert Rauter, are to accept the 2013 FIRE SERVICE AWARD on October 24 as part of the ceremony in the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs in Vienna.

The FRIES plant fire brigade was founded in 1951 and currently comprises 14 firefighters. As a result, this makes every fifth employee a member of the plant fire brigade.

Of the plant fire brigade members, 6 of them are also employed by a local fire department.

The plant fire service were also to thank for preventing even further damage in a major fire incident in 2006. The production process was also virtually able to continue uninterrupted because the production facilities and shaping tools required for this had not been damaged.

Outstanding teaching 2013

Fries apprentice
FRIES receives ‘Outstanding teaching’ title – ‘Ausgezeichneter Lehrbetrieb,’ a shared initiative between the region of Vorarlberg, the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, and the Chamber of Labor bestows the title of ‘Outstanding teaching’ upon companies that guarantee high quality in training their apprentices through a motivated and dedicated training program.

FRIES is very pleased that we have been rewarded for our dedicated and intensive apprenticeship training program.

The emphasis on apprenticeship training is also reflected in the exceptional performance of our apprentices in the 2013 competition of achievement.

Change of name as at October 1, 2013

View of company

From Theodor Fries GmbH & Co KG to FRIES Kunststofftechnik GmbH

Our company will now go by the name of FRIES Kunststofftechnik GmbH.
The operations of Theodor Fries Gesellschaft mbH & Co KG shall be transferred to the newly founded company by way of universal succession from October 1, 2013.

The address as well as all contact and bank details will remain the same.

Please pay attention to our new company name when creating future invoices.

Thank you very much for your trust so far and we look forward to continuing our successful cooperation.


Theodor Fries GmbH & Co KG


Martin Rhomberg MA

First watertight can

Round can 110 ml PP

Fries is launching the first watertight can (in line with the European ADR Agreement para. 2) without an additional seal. The snap-on lid is easy to close and suitable for automation. The smooth interior surface ensures residue emptying. The circumferential protective ring and tight-fitting lid ensure maximum safety during transportation.

XL racks – 3 new racks in size 600×500


We have developed three new dishwasher racks in XL size 600×500 mm.

Non-intrusive positioning ensures less wear and better cleaning results and the possibility to insert a combination of shallow and deep plates in one rack creates more flexibility. The XL size provides an increase in capacity, meaning a higher hourly output at lower unit costs:

1) XLP (plate): plate rack

  • for 24 flat plates with diameter 140 – 240 mm
  • for 22 flat plates with diameter 245 – 290 mm (very flat plates up to 320 mm)
  • for 22 deep plates with diameter 140 – 270 mm
  • for 11 deep plates with diameter 275 – 320 mm (also 11 small plates, combination can be inserted in one rack)

2) XLB (basic): for pans, bowls, and similarly large tableware

3) XLT (tray): tray rack

  • for 10 GN trays or 12 trays with max. length of 470 mm

    ..(the last row is not filled for this)

New plate inserts for bistro rack 350 and 400


Add a new plate insert to our 350×350 and 400×400-mm bistro racks. This will give you a whole host of new bistro rack benefits:

  • The bistro rack can also now be used to wash plates
  • Suitable for plate diameters of between 120 and 290 mm
  • The staggered position of the plates ensures they are inserted non-intrusively; when two rows of plate inserts are used with the bistro rack 400, it is possible to add plates with a diameter of 120 to 210 mm.
  • Also possible to fit existing bistro racks
  • Adaptable positioning in bistro rack (fixed in place by 4 snap locks)
  • Also suitable for deep plates
  • Mixed placement (small and large plates in one rack)
  • Combi-placement possible with cups and small plates
  • Bistro rack 400 plate insert: 9 flat plates (2 inserts – 18 plates)
  • Bistro rack 350 plate insert: 8 flat plates

2011 ACR Award

Fries + OFI receive ACR Award (Austrian Cooperative Research) for

plastic container with barrier properties

Standard containers made from polyethylene or polypropylene do not always meet the increasing customer requirements and statutory regulations.

In partnership with OFI, FRIES has developed a concept that combines the positive properties of plastic and metal. This enables containers to be manufactured, which are not only practically impermeable but also combine the positive properties of plastic (e.g. chemical resistance).

The chosen approach enables the development of containers that reliably protect the filling material against environmental influences (e.g. oxygen, water vapor, UV radiation, etc.). At the same time, none of the components of the filling material (e.g.: VOCs) are released into the environment.

New compartments for 500 x 500 mm racks

 44 compartments

The Fries Rack System 500 range has been extended to include compartments for 20 and 44 glasses.

The new compartments are very convenient to use and demonstrate yet another advantage of the Fries Rack System.

2008 State Prize for exemplary packaging


Special ARA system award goes to FRIES

Innovative packaging manufacturer from Sulz receives the special ARA System Award as part of the 2008 Austrian State Prize awards ceremony for exemplary packaging. Engineer Thomas Rhomberg will accept the award at 6 pm on November 5, 2008 in Vienna.

plastic multipurpose transport container (600 x 400 mm), in which the filling material can also be cleaned directly in commercial cleaning units, will be presented for the first time. The modular multipurpose system Clix-Rack 600 (CR600) is designed in line with EURO pallets (1.2 x 0.8 m).

The innovation lies mainly in a newly developed compartment with a honeycomb structure. The development has since become patent protected. This new compartment offers users around 30% greater space utilization compared to conventional solutions, resulting in considerable savings in transportation costs. A new ground grid design also provides better cleaning results when it comes to conserving resources such as water and energy.

The panel of experts were won over by the substantial savings in transportation costs and the advanced development in relation to the environment and conservation of resources.

2002 State Prize for exemplary packaging

STP block packaging 12 f

Electrically conductive plastic bucket

18 L hobbock

Electrically conductive plastic bucket, UN type tested for the transportation of liquids.

Its innovative material mix of polypropylene and stainless steel fibers makes the bucket electrically conductive. Its metal lid and seal also ensure it is tightly closed for liquids and that it remains sturdy if knocked or if a drop in temperature of -18°C occurs.

Worldstar Award 2000

Measuring in-line wall thickness in canister manufacturing

FRIES wall thickness scanning (FWS)

Fully monitored wall thickness distribution in the manufacture of selected canisters.

FRIES receives this award as the first company in the new Hazardous Materials category.

2000 State Prize for exemplary packaging