Roechling Medical is a family-owned company with a history dating back close to 200 years. The company originally was started as a coal trader in 1822 by Friedrich Ludwig Röchling in Germany, and has since then grown into a global plastics group.
The company is divided into three business units with 91 locations of medical, industrial and automotive. All are focused on keeping alive the entrepreneurial spirit and family presence on which Friedrich Ludwig Röchling built the foundation.
The medical division works with medical device providers in the surgical, pharmaceutical, diagnostics, dialysis and fluid management industries as a contract manufacturer. In its six locations on three continents, Roechling Medical can cover its customers’ needs around the world.
Roechling Medical infoTwo of the six locations are in the United States in Rochester, NY, and Lancaster, PA. These locations focus on minimally invasive surgical, diagnostic and laboratory devices by combining metal and plastic that is more difficult to manufacture than most can accommodate. These two locations choose to focus on customized products rather than commodities due to the talent and precision these types of devices and customers require.
As Bill Ruth, director of sales and marketing for Roechling Medical Lancaster, states, “We are a very vertically integrated supplier. Everything the customer will need is within our walls at Roechling.” Roechling offers its customers full-service manufacturing of their medical and surgical devices. From design, tooling, production and assembly, along with verifying quality, sterilization and packaging, Roechling provides a one-stop shop to its customers to ensure satisfaction every time.
Partner of Choice
As Jim Andolina, sales manager at Roechling Medical Rochester, states, “Our goal is to connect and partner with our customer to understand their goals for the next three to ten years. If our customers need for Roechling to have a presence where they are located to help grow their business, Roechling will consider the business case and support the customer in the best possible way.”
A perfect example was the market need for a medical presence in China. Roechling carved out space from an existing Roechling automotive location in Suzhou, China, and built cleanrooms that are certified for production. As Andolina states, “Roechling is nimble and goes where the market has need.”
Ruth adds that Roechling Medical is not only a single-source provider, but offers both agility and greater speed than its competitors. “In a cumbersome industry, we have the ability to turn a finished device around as quickly as possible due to our resource availability and the financial backing of being part of a larger business,” he says. Roechling Medical Rochester can quickly perform rapid prototyping of plastic parts while Roechling Medical Lancaster has the same quick capability for metal prototypes.
Based on the changing needs of the customer, Roechling Medical Rochester has changed its approach from parts-based to one of full assemblies. This approach makes it easier for a customer to have one supplier that manages all parts for that device. When a customer has a new product they would like to explore, Roechling Medical Rochester or Lancaster reviews it to see if it is compatible within their current manufacturing environment.
Roechling Medical 2After a business agreement is reached, a full team is established to work through the project together. Everyone helps to support the project and the customer to ensure complete success. Business in 2018 was very good due to significant customer growth and new partnerships built, but Roechling looks forward to further growth with existing and new customers in 2019.
Employer of Choice
Like so many companies, Roechling Medical’s biggest challenge is recruiting and retaining qualified employees. “One big initiative at Roechling is to be the employer of choice,” Andolina says. “This initiative comes directly from the CEO and the feeling is shared throughout the divisions. In Rochester, we have a lot of universities. It’s a challenge to attract people, particularly young people, to a business that is not well known. We are working with universities to recruit interns and students. We have a New York State apprenticeship program for mold making. Students can obtain college credits while learning here.”
“One of our main objectives is to become recognized as a global leader in medical device manufacturing,” Ruth says. “We’re doing a real significant brand push to make sure everyone recognizes our name – that we are not just automotive or industrial, but have a viable medical division as well.”
Pride is Prevalent
Being a member of the Roechling family is a source of pride. Employees realize “what we are doing every day is improving or saving lives,” Bill Ruth says. Jim Andolina agrees: “Every employee, whether in the office or on the floor manufacturing parts, understands the full story of what these products do. We’re not just making a component, but we’re making a device that is used in a surgical procedure that may save the life of someone’s wife, mother, daughter, husband, father or son. Monthly meetings are held to show the application so the perspective of the component that person may touch is part of a broader picture of what that component is going to do and the criticality thereof. Failure is not an option, we deliver on time with quality that is unmatched in the industry.”
Roechling Medical is a family-owned company that has passionate, empowered employees to help customers develop their products and businesses. When Roechling is selected as the partner of choice, the expectation of a full team of people to support the development is a guarantee. The pride that is felt among the Roechling team cascades to the customer to ensure the product that is created is unparalleled.