Strong Network, Strong Sites

Large-scale investments have characterized the Medical division of the Röchling Group over the past twelve months. With company acquisitions and the expansion of existing sites, Röchling has been rigorously pursuing its growth strategy. A strong third sector, alongside the Industrial and Automotive divisions, should make the company less dependent on economic developments. The area of medical technology provides long-term and above-average growth prospects.

“We are evolving into a network of companies, which gives us a good basis for stable company development in the future,” says Prof. Hanns-Peter Knaebel, who is CEO of the Röchling Group and responsible for the Medical division. Medical technology is one of the most innovative and fastest growing sectors: health will always be important, particularly at a time when the population is getting older and older. There are also many areas of medicine where it is now possible to replace traditional materials, such as metals, with high-tech plastics. This is where Röchling steps in with its material expertise. With its six sites on three continents, Röchling Medical is already offering its partners a global presence with a wide portfolio of technological expertise.

Röchling Medical Lancaster Expands the Network
In June 2018, Röchling Medical Rochester acquired American medical technology specialist Precision Medical Products, Inc. (PMP), based in Denver, Pennsylvania. Since then, the company has gone by the name of Röchling Medical Lancaster. The company has more than 50 years of experience in the manufacture of medical equipment and nearly 100 years of experience in the development and manufacture of needles and other precision-manufactured metal products. The products include autoinjectors (special syringes for anaphylactic shock), medical products (minimally invasive instruments for eye surgery), bifurcation needles (special needles for vaccinations and allergy testing) and special syringes for bone cement. The ability to manufacture high-quality precision components with extremely narrow tolerances and complete demanding projects to a high degree of quality has generated significant growth in the past.

Lewis H. Carter, Director Business Unit Medical North America, highlights the fact that the Röchling Medical Rochester and Röchling Medical Lancaster companies complement one another perfectly. “The combination of our injection molding expertise with PMP’s know-how in metal and fine precision technology enables us to offer medical technology manufacturers in North America a broader range of services than before,” says Carter. Existing customers will be served extremely effectively, and the company will be able to tap into new markets.

Reinforcement from FRANK plastic
When it comes to making decisions about acquisitions, the main thing for Röchling is that the new “family members” integrate well into the group. As a mid-sized, owner-managed company, PMP fit the bill exactly – as did FRANK plastic AG, based in Waldachtal in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, which Röchling acquired a few weeks later. “In terms of size, focus, technical competence and cultural outlook, FRANK plastic AG fits into the Röchling Group very well,” says CEO Knaebel. This is also the opinion of Dr. Christian Holzherr, who has continued to manage FRANK plastic after the takeover by Röchling: “I am certain that we will successfully continue on our well-trodden path towards growth as part of the Röchling Group.”

FRANK plastic AG is a family company rich in tradition. It was founded in 1940 in Waldachtal near Freudenstadt in the Black Forest. Over recent years, it has vigorously developed from being a supplier for various industrial sectors to become a manufacturer focusing on medical and selected industrial segments. In the field of medical technology, FRANK plastic particularly supplies the areas of cardiology, infusion, angiography (CT/MRI), surgery and ophthalmology. The company’s industrial division supplies selected market segments with extrusion profiles, complex injection molded parts as well as valves, pressure flow meters and fittings. It now works closely with Röchling Industrial.

New Facility in Neuhaus
The Röchling Group has built an essential foundation for future growth in the Medical division with one of its largest single investments in an existing site: 35 million euros have been invested in the Neuhaus am Rennweg site in the state of Thuringia in Germany – creating around 70 new, modern jobs with a high level of automation for specialists and managerial staff in the process. The production facility for the manufacture of primary packaging for pharmaceutical products, such as inhalers, under ultra-modern Class GMP C (approx. 1,100 m²) and Class GMP D (approx. 500 m²) clean-room conditions opened in April 2018. GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practice.

This has not just significantly increased the capacities of Röchling Medical to manufacture primary packaging for the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industries. Röchling Medical Neuhaus is also strengthening its market position by positioning itself as a strategic partner for holistic packaging systems. The company has been successfully supplying its customers with a wide range of bottles and containers for years. The site in Neuhaus now offers its customers complete systems from the bottle and cap to the application device and is therefore continuing to expand its business relationships.

Smart Factory in Brensbach
Röchling has also expanded and modernized its existing plant in Brensbach, Germany. Production has also been taking place in hygiene-sensitive GMP Class C areas since October 2018. The existing clean room area has been modernized and expanded to 2,000 square meters, almost doubling its size. The investments amounted to 7.2 million euros and were primarily used to firmly place the focus of the Brensbach site on medical technology and pharmaceuticals and make it fit for the future.

Röchling Medical has been manufacturing high-precision plastic products at the Brensbach site since 2008. “Our products are used in innovative drug delivery systems, primary packaging systems, surgical instruments and disposable diagnostic items,” explains Joachim Lehmann, Director Business Unit Medical Europe. Manu­facturing takes place in clean rooms that comply with ISO class 7 and ISO class 8 standards according to DIN EN ISO 14644. The new clean room meets the increased requirements according to GMP Class C for the first time: in order to achieve the greatest possible flexibility, Röchling Medical has implemented a concept for the new building that enables injection molding and assembly systems to be fully integrated in the clean room. The topic of smart factories was also taken into account. All logistics, production and building technology systems are connected. This allows any arising faults to be detected and remedied at an early stage or even before they occur. Furthermore, data on clean-room quality, energy consumption, the intralogistics system, and the central plastic granulate supply is constantly collected and visualized.

In 2018, Röchling Medical invested in itself to further increase its performance capacity for customers, therefore strengthening its market position. Providing customers with excellent product quality reliably will continue to be the main driving force for all employees in the future.

 
 

Prof. Dr. Hanns-Peter Knaebel

Röchling Group, President & CEO

CEO Medical

Phone: +49 621 4402-295

hp.knaebel@roechling.com

© Röchling Group