Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 18

moulds & tooling

A European success story
While not quite an endangered species,
the past fifteen years have not been
easy ones for many European mould
makers. Many, but not all, and IGS
GeboJagema is a case in point - a case
that shows the difference automation
and focus can make. By Karen Laird.

W

hile the name may seem
somewhat complex, it ensures people don't forget
us," says Sales Director at IGS GeboJagema, Hans Arts. "It's complicated
- but that's exactly what we do," he
added. The name derives from an
amalgamated history: in the past, the
two mould makers IGS and GeboJagema, the latter of which also the
product of an earlier merger, became
IGS GeboJagema.
In 2011, the mould maker purchased HTP Tooling, another toolmaker, located in Eindhoven. IGS
GeboJagema - originally located in
Tilburg (NL) - relocated to Eindhoven
and, in the words of Hans Arts, has
'never looked back'. Up to then, although both HTP and IGS GeboJagema were active in numerous areas,
each had, next to a number of
less-than-successful activities, an
area in which they excelled. In the
case of IGS, this was moulds for the
healthcare sector, while HTP's specialty was building tools for optical
applications. The strategic decision
to shed all activities not directly related to these two core competencies,
and to go forward as a specialist in
healthcare and optics proved to be a
prescient one: despite a ferocious
economic recession, during which
many mould makers foundered or
switched directions, becoming die

Polishing the mould

IGS solar moulds
makers or manufacturing precision
parts, IGS GeboJagema showed an
incredible pace of growth. In the
past seven years, the company has
seen its turnover soar from €10m to
€30m+, with over 90% of its moulds
headed for customers abroad. "Only
10% of our market is here in the
Netherlands," said Arts. "And that
percentage is shrinking."

Market focus
Innovative power and a stringent adherence to these two areas of expertise are part of what are behind the
company's success, says Hans Arts.
"In 2011, a month after relocating to
Eindhoven, we were granted our first
order from one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the world.
The moulds were for a complex dry
powder inhaler - complex, because it
was for a dual blister device that delivered a combination product that -
in the device - was separately formulated into single mono therapy
blisters. It was a new development in
the area of device delivery systems.
"Since successfully engineering and
building that mould, orders from one
after the other pharmaceutical company have followed. Producing
moulds that run the gamut from insulin pens, metered dose inhalers and
other drug delivery systems to in vitro
diagnostics devices, Arts estimates
that IGS GeboJagema serves, indirectly or directly, between 85% and
90% of OEMs in the pharmaceutical
industry. "Pharmaceutical customers
are in it for the long term," Arts said.
The cost to develop and market a
new product is extraordinarily high,
and the development process can

18

take up to 15 years. "These companies take great care when selecting a
toolmaker and look for someone who
can do more than provide a mould.
They are looking for a long-term partner with in-house capabilities to handle the entire project, from design to
mould validation. The moulds we
build tend to be costly - complex,
multi-cavity hotrunner moulds with
extremely tight tolerances. We ensure
that when the mould leaves our
premises it is ready for production."
Working for the medical device industry also means that full and detailed traceability is essential, in connection with liability issues. "To that
end, we document and report the
entire production process, from the
materials entering the plant, the machines, components, even the operators, in order to be able to track and
identify each and every part produced."
In the optics area, the company
produces tools for sensors, glasses,
contact lenses, ophthalmic devices -
e.g. smart lenses - advanced solar
panels and more. According to Arts,
augmented reality is poised to become the next 'big thing' in this area.
Over the years, the company has
developed an expertise in optics application that is virtually unmatched
in the world. Growth is by word of
mouth, says Arts - 'no marketing required'.
Everything is done here in Eindhoven, the company's only location.
Meanwhile, IGS GeboJagema is also
tentatively moving into a third focus
area: high performance packaging,
which the company sees as a logical
extension of the current activities.

june 2018



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Contents
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