Gelenau, Germany – portal „Economy in the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains)“ published news about SIGMA Medizin-Technik
In an interview with our managing director Mr. Dr. Jochen Schwind the “Regional Management Erzgebirge” team learned many interesting facts regarding the history and the products manufactured by SIGMA Medizin-Technik. In the following you may find the news release…
SIGMA Medizin-Technik: The only manufacturer for clinical EEGs and EMGs in Germany is located in the Ore Mountains
17.11.2016 | Success Stories from the Ore Mountains
SIGMA Medizin-Technik produces devices and accessories for neurological diagnostics under the NEUROWERK brand. The company from the Ore Mountains is Germany’s only manufacturer of clinical EEGs (electroencephalographs) and EMGs (electromyographs), widely used devices for the diagnosis of the central and peripheral nervous system. Here, the Ore Mountains assert themselves with innovative technology and a consistent service orientation against international competitors.
Gelenau, November 17 2016. On the outskirts of the Erzgebirge village of Gelenau, with excellent connections to Chemnitz, is the local commercial area. It’s quite a surprising fact that the only clinical EEG and EMG manufacturer is located here between industrial enterprises, tradespeople and car dealerships. “Since 2010, we are at our current headquarters in Gelenau,” says Dr. Jochen Schwind, Managing Director. “Our history began in Schneeberg in 1990 and later we moved to Thum.” When the place became too small, the company was moved to Gelenau on its 20th anniversary. Here, SIGMA Medizin-Technik Ltd. produces medical devices and accessories under the NEUROWERK brand, especially for neurological diagnoses. NEUROWERK products enable clinicians and clinics to study the central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system, or the autonomic nervous system of patients.
From a commercial company to an internationally sought-after manufacturer:
Dr. Jochen Schwind is a medical technician. He worked for 10 years in a neurological laboratory at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. From there he moved to the Hospital in Aue in 1987. There, he played a major role in the development of a neurological department and carried out the first measurements for the diagnosis of diseases of the nervous system in the Ore Mountains. “At that time, doctors and medical technicians worked together on the diagnosis. The medical and the technical aspects were so closely interwoven,” Dr. Schwind reports.
However, structural change in the health system and changes in the workforce in the Ore Mountains also came with political change. In 1990, he founded a trade company for neurological medical technology and equipped physicians and clinics in the region with appropriate devices. At the same time, Dr. Schwind was able to train and advise doctors through his experience in the handling of the devices. In 1995, he and his former schoolmate Dietrich Scheithauer founded SIGMA Medizin-Technik Ltd. The SIGMA company started the development of its own products, mainly of EEG devices. In the middle of the 2000s, the product range was expanded by a specially developed EMG and the brand name NEUROWERK was created. “With this step, we were able to report a marked increase in the level of recognition and continuous growth,” summarized the head of the successful 24-employee company.
Service orientation as a recipe for success against large conglomerates:
The development of the brand NEUROWERK was only one element of the success formula of SIGMA Medizin-Technik. From the beginning, another central component was a consistent service orientation. “We have a relatively large service department. In addition, we are represented by various locations and trained partners in every corner of Germany, so that we can work closely with the customer, “explains Dr. Schwind. The main focus is on being able to be quickly available to the customer, to assist them with all aspects of the product, and thus to be a competent and reliable partner for doctors and clinics beyond product sales. The range of services is supplemented by regular training and further training, which is also carried out in collaboration with doctors.
With this customer-oriented market orientation, the company was able to outperform its well-known competitors. “In the 2000s there was a big buy wave in the industry. Numerous companies were taken over by American large-scale conglomerates, who thus gained market share in the medical technology industry,” the expert notes. “Our company philosophy, however, has always been based on a strong service and customer orientation. The result of this strategy can be seen: SIGMA Medizin-Technik Ltd. is not only the sole clinical manufacturer for EEGs and EMGs in Germany, but also for the first time, its products can be found everywhere in Germany. Hospitals and doctors’ offices throughout the Republic are among the customers of the company. In addition, a third of the products are sold to around 40 countries on the planet, especially in the Arab world, but also to Vietnam, China and Eastern Europe.
Always one step ahead through research projects:
The medical technology of the Ore Mountains is developed and manufactured in-house. Individual components such as special hardware, software or IT components are produced in accordance with the specifications of SIGMA together with their partners. “We have high quality requirements for our products. For this reason, the components are manufactured in Germany. In doing so, we are implementing the quality concept ‘Made in Germany’, which is of great importance not just for our foreign customers,” says Jochen Schwind as he describes the advantages. “Our products are robust, easy to operate and absolutely practical for our customers.” However, Gelenau is continually working on the further development of the devices and accessories. “We regularly send small groups to the top researchers,” Dr. Schwind grins. This means, among other things, joint projects with research institutes such as the TU Ilmenau, the TU Dresden or various clinics in Germany. Development projects with commercial companies, such as a cargo service provider, have already been implemented. Next, a project with a researcher in Australia is in the works. “It is always important to us that these projects give us the impetus for the further development of our products and that we are always looking towards the future by opening up new markets,” the managing director said. For this reason, they are in the process of developing and expanding their own development department. This is done, among other ways, within the framework of the ESF technology promotion through the employment of an InnoManager.
For the future growth of the company, SIGMA Medizin-Technik is also looking for employees, for example from IT, medical technology, but also career changers: “Three years ago we hired an Arab linguist, especially for our Arab markets. We are also looking forward to welcoming a Syrian to our team. He came to Germany as a refugee and brought a great neurological medical technology expertise from his homeland so that he can support us excellently, “says Dr. Jochen Schwind, pleased with the new colleagues.