In October last year, Alleima, formerly Sandvik Materials Technology, acquired Accuratech Group, which is a consolidation of three smaller entities; Polyfil, Galvarex, and Polyflex. The acquisition is an exciting opportunity for the companies to come together to expand their offerings in the medical field. In August they will all re-brand to the Alleima brand.
Polyfil provides microwire and tubes, wire insulations and microtechnologies, while Galvarex specialises in surface treatments, electroplating, reel-to-reel plating and microelectronic products. Polyflex exclusively focuses on the assembly of semi-finished and finished microelectronic products.
Medical Device Technology spoke with Thierry Bonjour, Technical Sales Specialist, who has worked within the Accuratech family for more than 20 years, about Polyfil’s history and the future of its partnership with Alleima.
“Polyfil was a family company and wire is the core business,” Bonjour explains. “We produce some niche wire products with small dimensions, both insulated and not insulated, for any application where wire be useful.
“We have participated in several exhibitions where we meet people that have a wire problem, and we can work with them to solve it. We built our position in this market slowly by working on our existing capabilities, and we are always adapting to the needs of these different customers.”
Polyfil’s history closely parallels Alleima’s, in that both companies did not initially focus on the medical industry. Both companies were building a portfolio of impressive capabilities, and with medical wire becoming increasingly complex in tandem with advancements in therapeutic smart technology, medical device manufacturers increasingly sought help with their wire components.
According to Bonjour: “In the industry generally, there has been an evolution in the miniaturisation of things. For anything that is going inside the body, we want to make it as minimally invasive as possible.
Bonjour also adds that technological advancements can be seen everywhere, including growing trends in how patients’ health is measured and monitored.
“To measure, you need to have a microsensor, and every microsensor built in the world needs to communicate with a device. If it’s not radio frequency communication, it will be with wire, and that wire is getting smaller and smaller. This is part of why Polyfil was introduced to the medical business because we were able to produce small wire and make it insulated.”
Like Alleima, Polyfil has acted as a supplier to some major medical device manufacturers, providing custom wire-based components and tubes. One example of products that Polyfil has produced components for are electromyography needles, which require an insulated wire combined with tubes.
Alleima and Polyfil’s similar journey into the medical business also means that they share a significant key benefit to their customers. Building expertise in multiple areas for various applications means that they have extensive in-house expertise all under one roof.
“We can make some soldering, we make the insulation, we can cut the wire, we add a lot of different processes in order to reach the final product,” Bonjour explains. “This makes us very efficient and very fast and enables us to offer sampling to manufacturers that come to us with a wire issue. It’s not just about the wire on the spool, maybe it should be plated to have better conductivity and then insulated, and with us all these processes are coming from one company.
With Polyfil’s production capabilities in Europe, it will serve as an ideal partner with Alleima as the group continues to develop in the medical industry. For more information about the components that Alleima offers, including its remote monitoring and sensor wires, download the whitepaper below.