As part of its international activities and strengthening of its Medtech division, Acrotec recently acquired Singapore-based Team-Metal and Ireland-based Takumi. The two acquisitions open its doors to the Asian medical device market and the cardiovascular cluster in Ireland.
Acrotec Group launched its development in the medtech sector at the end of 2018 with the acquisition of AFT Micromécanique, a company specialising in implants and instrumentation. The aim was to diversify the existing business, building on extensive expertise in high precision, whether in watchmaking or microtechnology. Swiss companies Diener Precision Pumps (pumps for analysis and dialysis), Diener Precision Machining and Tectri (high-precision machining) joined the group in 2019, followed recently by Team-Metal. In total, 27 companies now belong to the group. About ten of them are active in the medical sector and are already ISO 13485 certified or on their way to becoming so.
Today, the companies in the medical sector generate sales of CHF 120 million, which accounts for 25 % of the group’s sales.
Acrotec is currently working on about 15 medtech projects, each involving at least two companies of the group. One project involves the development of a tool for implanting intraocular lenses in the treatment of cataracts. No fewer than seven companies are involved in this project. Whether machining, surface treatment, laser welding or finishing – the technological competences complement each other perfectly. Acrotec is therefore increasingly perceived today as real a one-stop shop that is able to carry out almost all work steps in-house. The customer still has several contact persons, but can if he wishes, select a project coordinator.
“Very few of our competitors are able to offer the range of services offered by Acrotec,” says François Billig, the CEO of the Acrotec Group.
The group is structured in a decentralised way, similar to an association. The subsidiaries retain all their decision-making power and their employees. They continue to focus on their business. Their managers retain full operational control of the company and become shareholders of the group. Acrotec’s participation in the various companies gives them access to a wider range of machinery and resources. They can also benefit from synergies with some sister companies, both on a technical and commercial level, which represents a real growth opportunity for them.
The group already has a very strong presence in the European market, especially in Switzerland of course, but also in France and Ireland. Acrotec is now looking for new partners in the German market, which is why the company was recently at MedtecLIVE and will be at CompaMed in November.
Acrotec already has an attractive presence in the US with DienerPrecision Pumps, which manufactures prototype custom pumps for analysis or dialysis purposes. These devices are then produced at the parent company in Switzerland. In the medtech sector, the US market is Acrotec’s second most important market after Switzerland.
Given the challenges of penetrating the Asian market from Europe, the acquisition of Team-Metal has opened new doors for Acrotec in this region of the world. The Singapore branch is of particular interest as most major American companies are located there. In addition, Team-Metal’s teams are proficient in Mandarin, which enables them to market their services to major corporations based in China and Hong-Kong.
Established in 1988, Team-Metal employs 600 people in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and China. These technicians have expertise in engineering, logistics, milling, precision turning, finishing, surface treatment and modular assembly. Acrotec supports Team-Metal with its expertise in micro-precision and also enables the company to increase its production volume.
Two markets with great potential have been identified for Acrotec: China, especially for implants, and Japan in particular for the promotion of Diener pumps. Here the group has so far worked with a local partner. In the long term, all the group’s companies active in medical technology should benefit from the opening of the Asian market, as they have expertise in miniaturisation and high precision.
The predominant priority continues to be the American market. Acrotec already has many customers in this market who are served from Switzerland. Local contacts in the market could enable the group to position itself advantageously for larger projects.
The medtech market is now a global market. Having a physical presence on all three continents is an undisputed advantage that is much more in line with the demands of end users.
Acrotec’s growth strategy is based on external and organic growth in a very balanced way. One does not exclude the other. Quite the contrary. The group invests massively in new machines, new buildings, the recruitment of new skilled workers and cross-divisional research and development. The focus is on acquiring resources to serve customers better and to capture new market share across sectors.