This spring, Beck Automation AG officially entered the international medical market. The focus was on automation solutions for producers of medical consumables manufactured by injection moulding. After three months, the first positive developments can already be summarized.
High demand for IML solutions in the medical sector
"At the beginning, we assumed that our market entry would be positively evaluated by medical companies. However, we did not expect so much positive feedback and requests," Ralf Ziemer, Sales Manager Medical at Beck Automation, recalls. It was not only the reactions to the market entry in the social networks that were extremely positive, but also the requests received in the following period. Beck Automation had to correct the estimates. It had been assumed that there would be less demand for in-mould-labelling applications, and we initially concentrated on applications in the area of high-speed take out and downstream.
However, IML solutions have also been in high demand until now, which is why Beck Automation has adapted its strategy. "We didn't necessarily want to push IML in the medical sector, but about 50% of all requests have to do with IML. Some of these are specific, high-precision applications. For example, we are currently working on a solution to insert an RFID label into components that will later be used with pre-filled syringes. We received the request for this future-oriented technology because we are the only automation company that can offer such precise solutions," says Ziemer. In addition, other promising projects were generated.
"We convince our business partners with our engineering and our understanding of the structural design of a medical system. As soon as we address this topic and show examples of what we understand by Swiss engineering, we call the customers attention. As a result, we receive mostly relate to functional and high-precision IML. This is very important, especially in the medical sector," Ziemer continues. For example, the Beck Automation engineering team is currently working on a solution to apply the scale of a centrifuge tube using IML. In this case, IML is to replace the printing technology used so far. Ziemer is aware that the IML process must be very precise, reliable and repeatable. To some extent, tolerances (print to cut) of the labels have to be compensated too.
"We are able to reproduce these very precise IML processes. In doing so, we combine our experience with the innovations we have developed. Moreover, we are already working on future technologies, such as high-precision positioning, which we will present this year during the K trade fair in Düsseldorf," Ziemer explains further.