m² production area
quality management for medical products
Areas of activity
- surgical lights
- surgical tables
More than 10,000 CHROMOPHARE F-Generation lamps installed worldwide
More than 3,000 OPERON D series surgical tables installed worldwide
The centre of medical technology
Those who travel through the picturesque Danube valley and along the limestone formations of the Honberg to arrive in Tuttlingen probably do not expect to find the “world centre of medical technology”. But in this Swabian town of almost 35,000 inhabitants there are more than 600 companies that research, develop, produce and sell technical medical products – and employ more than 20,000 personnel as producers, suppliers or highly specialised service providers. This specialisation in medical technology is a tradition. Based on its ore deposits, a thriving metal-processing industry developed here in the 19th century, initially producing surgical instruments above all. The close proximity of these companies not only enhanced the differentiation of work but also competitive pressure, making numerous firms into highly specialised, innovative and successful companies. In addition to the classic surgical instruments, the town on the Danube now also manufactures endoprostheses, endoscopes, resorbable implants, theatre solutions and uncountable other products. When medical technology is involved the world looks to Tuttlingen.
Working under perfect conditions
When Theodor Berchtold founded his company for producing surgical and dental instruments in 1922 he was very much in keeping with the trends of the time. In 1866, three companies were already trading as “cutlers and makers of surgical instruments”, and the rich ore deposits of the town, together with its convenient location on the Danube, permitted this branch of industry to rapidly become the most important trade in the area. The good conditions also, however, benefited competitors, necessitating a reorientation of the company’s products. The decisive stimuli came from Berchtold’s son-in-law Eduard Fritz – he modernised the company, ensured consistent specialisation in a small, but technologically sophisticated and high-quality, range. The ceiling lights and TELETOM ceiling mounts rapidly developed into extremely sought-after products. The world’s first heart transplant by Dr. Christian Barnaard in Cape Town took place under a CHROMOPHARE illumination system from Berchtold. In the mid-1980s Theo Fritz, the grandson of the company founder, made a decisive move: the theatre of the future. Instead of individual components, Berchtold then delivered comprehensive theatre solutions with which surgeons could work under perfect conditions. The range was expanded by a highly varied modular system of surgical tables and, thanks to a worldwide sales strategy, Berchtold established itself as the market leader. The collaboration between Berchtold and the Stryker Corporation began as long ago as 1990 with the joint elaboration of complete solutions for hospitals. When no suitable successor could be found for the family-run company, Stryker presented itself as a purchaser. With its innovative product portfolio and excellent reputation as a premium producer, the Tuttlinger company has since enriched Stryker’s iSuite range – and the working conditions of countless surgeons.