Röchling, a billion-dollar German company known for its automotive technical innovations, is planning a major ramp-up in the medical field, including technology transfer and investments in a new U.S. acquisition, a company official told Plastics Today.
"We want to expand our activities in the medical and health care market , this is the reason for the acquisition of Advent Tool & Mould by Röchling," said Hartwig Bleker, communications manager, for Röchling Engineering Plastics. The parent company, which is based in Mannheim, Germany, has its roots in the coal and steel industry, but has been totally focused on plastics since 2006.
|Lewis H. Carter, president of Röchling Engineering Plastics, North America, will also function as the president of Advent Tool & Mold Inc.|
"This points out the importance of the acquisition and shows that we have a keen interest in strengthening and further developing our market position in this field," Bleker said in an interview with Plastics Today. "Please understand that I cannot give you detailed information on investments planned."
Röchling invested €10 million ($12.5 million) in the Brensbach facility, which molds dialysis equipment and other medical components in clean room conditions. Röchling maintains the largest inventory in Europe of medical-grade semi-finished plastic products at Röchling Sustaplast in Lahnstein, Germany, according to Bleker. These materials are used to manufacture medical equipment such as sterilizing trays, handles for medical instruments or breath biopsy units for medical examinations using MRI.
Advent Tool & Mold Inc. (Rochester, NY), has 250 employees and generates annual sales of about $35 million, producing precision molded components for medical, electronic, and transportation markets. Advent molds the plastic casing that holds a camera lens in the new iPhones.
The company is ISO 13485 certified and has captive toolmaking and in-house design capabilities. The highly automated plant includes 24 Arburg injection molding machines ranging from 28 tons of clamping force to 275; five Engel machines, ranging from 200 to 450; and three Toshibas, from 250 to 390. In an interesting quality process, the company has the RJG eDART cavity pressure sensing system hardwired on high-volume presses
Ludger Bartels, chief operating officer of the Röchling Group and also CEO of the High-Performance Plastics Division, said: "This acquisition allows us to significantly expand the position of Röchling as a provider of sophisticated plastic products for the life science industry. In addition, we expect the acquisition to translate into synergies with other Röchling subsidiaries, which cater to the life science industry."
Lewis H. Carter, president of Röchling Engineering Plastics, North America, will also function as the president of Advent Tool & Mold Inc. The general management will remain in the hands of Ken Desrosiers, who founded the company in 1978.
CMC Consulting Group, an international M&A and consulting firm specializing in health care, advised Röchling in the acquisition.
"The Röchling Group will surely participate in the knowhow of Advent concerning injection molding especially under clean room conditions", Bleker said.
The company has a foundation of technology, particularly in automotive molding, that could be a boon to development of technical medical molding in the United States. One example is projectile injection molding technology (PIT) developed to make cowl grilles. Röchling has also developed new plastics technologies to replace metal tubing used in air management and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems.