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Home / Company / History

Our history

Founded in 1980 in Plaffeien in the Canton of Fribourg, we have grown from the original three-man operation purely involved in manufacturing to become a diversified and international company with over 200 employees worldwide. Our emphasis is on innovation, precision and high technology. Our product range has developed continuously, like the entire company. Whereas we mainly previously manufactured solid tungsten carbide rods  for the tool industry, these days we offer our customers and partners tailored solutions for their individual needs, in addition to a comprehensive product range.

In 1980…

… EXTRAMET was founded by Otto Mihm in Plaffeien.  Plaffeien is located in the picturesque Schwarzsee region. Outside  cantonal and national borders, the area is known less as a typical industrial location than as a tourist resort. In the early years our products were mainly distributed through carefully selected trading companies.


In 1988…

… brought the first expansion of our production facilities. With the acquisition of the Sinter-HIP plant, the largest of its time, an important step was taken towards continuing to meet the increasing demands of our customers.


In 1995…

… the grinding shop was integrated into the business,  in order to meet our customers' demand for ground rods and semi-finished products.


In  1996…

… the commissioning of an additional tungsten carbide production facility, equipped with advanced manufacturing equipment, meant that capacity was tripled.


In 2008…

… the fourth and largest ever expansion project  since the company was founded in 1980 was inaugurated at EXTRAMET. The newly constructed building can accommodate all the logistics and administration as well the finishing processes (slitting and grinding). The building services are a centrepiece of the new building:

  • The closed circuits for all installations cooled by water or other coolants reflect our responsibility for the environment.
  • When it comes to raw materials, we take our responsibilities seriously, with both primary and secondary recycling across all the production facilities.
  • Thanks to an innovative heating and cooling concept, the waste heat of production is used to heat the entire building complex.


In 2010…

… EXTRAMET invested in new technologies and increased the added value of products by using an optimised production flow. Various items of operational machinery were optimised and automated. CEO Hans-Jörg Mihm described the importance of the largest expansion project in the company's history in a nutshell: "We believe in Plaffeien as a location and want to make healthy growth possible in the future."



… EXTRAMET defined its future and growth markets outside Europe, in the SPIRIT countries (Singapore, Poland, Indonesia, Russia, India and Turkey)

These countries have a great potential. As a Swiss company, we are ideally placed to develop these domestic markets on the basis of local SMEs.



... EXTRAMET added new carbide grades to its product range. Coinciding with the new products, which are aimed at cutting and stamping technology, a new product portfolio for wearing parts was also launched. These products offer solutions in sectors such as the food and watchmaking industries, together with medical technology. The automotive and aerospace sectors represent another existing segment that is continuing to play an important role.