Five successful years at the heart of medical technology
In February 2016, the Starrag Group opened its new Tech Center in Immendingen, a municipality ten kilometers from Tuttlingen in Baden-Württemberg in south-west Germany. As the region dubbed the “world center for medical technology”, the facility is particularly focused on this sector. The Tech Center houses high-precision Bumotec turn-mill centers that can be used to produce manufacturing solutions bringing technical and economic benefits to medical technology manufacturers and suppliers for many applications.
In the five years since it opened, the Tech Center in Immendingen was able to increase its network, as well as tests conducted and samples machined; it has been a time full of intensive discussions and shop talk. “Successful years” is how Michael Paulus describes them. He has been head of the Tech Center since the beginning of 2019 and relocated to the district of Tuttlingen in October 2020. A native of Bavaria, Paulus has worked for Swiss company Starrag Vuadens SA for seven years. “At that time, I was the first permanently employed salesperson to sell Bumotec machines in ’eastern Germany’, says the trained precision mechanic and master toolmaker with a smile.
The Bumotec s181 and s191 turn-mill centers are particularly suitable for the complete machining of small, complicated parts such as implants for orthopaedics, traumatology and dentistry, but also for other medical components and instruments.
Since then, Starrag has been showcasing their exclusive technology – the Bumotec top sellers s181 and s191H – in spaces measuring almost 6,458 sq. ft. (600 m2). Both machines are high-precision CNC turn-mill centers, which are suitable for six-sided complete machining of demanding parts. The modular design of the s191H series in particular allows it to be configured for a variety of machining tasks and expanded into a central unit with seven axes and three spindles. Paulus emphasizes how the machine is “ideal for many small and complicated medical technology parts, which can be completely turned, milled, ground, splined and even polished in a single operation”, adding that “for smaller series in particular, the investment in a Bumotec s181 or s191 quickly pays off”.
Bumotec is a well known name in the watch and luxury goods industry. Most of the more than 600 s191’s sold are in use there, as well as a total of over 2,000 Bumotec machines. The medical technology sector is expected to catch up, and Michael Paulus and his team of experienced application and service technicians at the Tech Center are doing a convincing job to this effect. “Here in the Tuttlingen area, we have around 400 companies in this sector, employing about 12,000 people in total”, says Paulus. “Many of them are involved in machining and are very interested in our solutions”.
“Looking at it mid-term, I can see our visitors frequency increase and the number of our employees doubling”. Michael Paulus, Starrag Tech Center Manager
Instead, the two Bumotec turn-mill centers in Immendingen, the s181 and s191, are permanently set up and ready to demonstrate their machining strengths using prepared components. “This arrangement has been proven successful”, says Michael Paulus, “because we now have a higher frequency of visitors. On average, one or two potential clients come by every week to see a demonstration of the machines and their capabilities. We also keep in close contact on a weekly basis, in which we discuss requirements and strategies using specific examples”. The Tech Center is also a point of contact for representatives of partner companies. When it comes to complete machining of sophisticated medical technology parts, all peripheral devices are important. Companies such as SolidCAM, Condat, Schaublin Spannzangen, Haimer, Rego-Fix and Dixi Fräswerkzeuge are represented on site via a permanent exhibition.
Michael Paulus believes that he and the Starrag Tech Center in Immendingen are in exact the right position: “Many people are enthusiastic medical technicians, accomplished machinists and people with the knowledge and experience in these matters who – like ourselves – enjoy detail and have a constant eye on cost-effectiveness”.
Michael Paulus manages the Tech Center, but at the same time he is the Regional Sales Manager for Bumotec and SIP machines, both of which belong to the Starrag Group. Whenever time permits, he is on site with his customers. “That is the most important part of my job, and I’m glad that I have the qualified staff in Immendingen to enable the shop to be run without me being around”.
Paulus believes that he and the Starrag Tech Center in Immendingen are in exactly the right position: “There are enormous prospects here for us as Bumotec representatives. Many people are enthusiastic medical technicians, accomplished machinists and people with the knowledge and experience in these matters who – like ourselves – enjoy the details and have a constant eye on cost-effectiveness”. Last but not least for this reason, he is convinced that a successful future lies ahead for the Tech Center in Immendingen: “Looking at it mid-term, I can see our visitors frequency increase and the number of our employees doubling”.