Plastics processing in medical technology. An interview.

09.01.2019 - 11:55

ElringKlinger Kunststofftechnik GmbH is among the top 100 innovators 2018. Mr Seeber, Director Sales Medical & Life Science, reports about their recipe for success as a motivation driven company that faces more and more complex challenges in medical technology.

ElringKlinger Kunststofftechnik GmbH (EKT) was recognised as a top 100 innovator in 2018. What makes your company so successful in forging new ideas?

The medical technology market is subject to enormous dynamics. That is what drives us to develop our manufacturing technologies further and further and so stay on top of the competition. In order to maintain our technological leadership in future, we cultivate a close exchange with our customers and respond to their every need. “What will this product look like in five years? How should it look in order to still meet your requirements then?” These are questions we ask our customers so that we detect new trends early on and identify innovative application areas.

The pressure to innovate versus legal demands and cost efficiency - how can they be reconciled?

The challenges in medicine become ever more complex and the legal requirements are increasing, too. We at EKT are therefore very innovation driven and pursue a continuous improvement process. When we launch a new product on the market, we start working on its further development straight away. Our customers benefit from the short innovation cycles and the economically sensible solutions that we offer.

Not all plastics are the same: What are the fundamental differences?

At ETK, we rely on biocompatible high performance plastics that meet an extraordinary range of requirements like heat and pressure resistance, chemical inertness and little friction. Our products are characterised by high reliability and safety for the patients and they are used in classical surgery as well as in minimally invasive surgery and in the dental area, but also in analytics and dialysis technology.

What are the advantages of plastics in medical technology compared to other materials? And what are their limitations?

High performance plastics can not only be designed to contain the desired properties but also provide advantages that are decisive in medical technology like higher degrees of freedom in construction, light weight, multiple use, biocompatibility etc. The use of plastics is limited with regard to sterilisation, static loading capacity and thermal applications.

Why did you choose T4M - Technology for Medical Devices? Which success factors have you defined so far?

T4M supports the connection of various subject areas and serves us to expand our network. Therefore, we consciously decided to become engaged in the trade fair advisory board.

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