Ingpuls starts cooperation with Dr. Mürrle in the Nitinol market
Ingpuls GmbH has already been developing customised nitinol-based alloys and components for around a decade. These alloys – also called shape memory alloys – have also been used successfully in medical technology for several decades. Prominent examples of success made of Nitinol are stents, guide wires or root canal files. After the spin-off of the Institute for Materials at the Ruhr University Bochum, the
technological focus was initially on products and fields of application outside of medical technology, such as thermal management in the automotive sector. For the founders around Dr. Christian Großmann, it was clear early on that the path of Ingpuls would sooner or later also lead to medical technology:
NiTi-SMA or Nitinol have found their first home in medical technology
NiTi-SMA or Nitinol have found their first home in medical technology “On the market side, NiTi-SMA and Nitinol have found their first home in medical technology. Over several decades, this technology has established itself in a wide variety of areas. A strong supplier industry has emerged and for a long time this market was the driver for processes and production technologies. Entering this market today can only be successful if a supplier generates special added value for and with its customers. This is exactly where we come in. We are now transferring the competences we have acquired in other markets to medical technology. Thanks to more precise and reproducible material properties, shorter delivery times and our understanding of technology, we are in a position to significantly save costs for our customers and to open up new application potentials through this.” (Dr. Christian Großmann, CEO Ingpuls GmbH)
For the establishment of Ingpuls new medical technology segment, the company was able to win Dr. Ulrich Mürrle, a proven expert in the field of medical Nitinol applications. During his previous positions as Managing Director of Vascotube GmbH (Nitinol tubes) and Memry GmbH (Nitinol sheets), Dr. Mürrle played a key role in shaping the Nitinol market in Germany. In his new role as Senior Advisor Medical &
Material Science, Dr. Mürrle will accompany the brand entry of Ingpuls and provide significant operational support in the structural development of the unit as well as the related sales processes. At the beginning of his new role, Dr. Mürrle was interviewed by the Ingpuls press department about his new responsibilities.
Felix Manhart: Dr Mürrle, when did you first become aware of Ingpuls?
Dr. Ulrich Mürrle: I first encountered Ingpuls in 2012/2013, I can’t say exactly. In any case, the contact came about through one of my colleagues who originally comes from Bochum and was therefore also familiar with the Collaborative Research Centre 459 at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum He was familiar with the scene and it was through him that I became aware of Ingpuls back then.
Felix Manhart: What are the first steps you are planning regarding Ingpuls’ entry into the medical market?
Dr. Ulrich Mürrle: We are entering the market with fused products and are using our know-how in materials technology to adjust these products flexibly and make them usable – this will be very important for our customer loyalty in the future. Our initial focus is on the companies that process these melt products. Of course, we are also thinking about the end customers, who have a great interest in the properties of the end product, which are decisively influenced by the quality of the starting material.
Felix Manhart: How do you assess the potential in the medical market in general, what are the current developments from your point of view?
Dr. Ulrich Mürrle
Dr. Ulrich Mürrle: The sub-market in medical technology related to Nitinol is about 10% of the total market. According to estimates, the growth rate in this segment alone is also 10% – this is also confirmed by the figures of the competitors. This involves topics such as 3D printing, coating, etc. So a lot will happen in the next few years and we can certainly do our part to further develop the topic of SMA or Nitinol-based applications.
Felix Manhart: Where do you see the advantages of Ingpuls within the medical market, what is the difference between Ingpuls and other SMA manufacturers?
Dr. Ulrich Mürrle: Ingpuls is a company that can draw on very profound know-how of the material and the associated phenomena of shape memory technology and superelasticity. The team understands the causes and effects, plus it is young, dynamic, flexible and, above all, customer oriented. So, in my eyes, Ingpuls has a very good chance of claiming a share of the market segment – also in the field of melt products.
Felix Manhart: How do you rate Bochum as an SMA location compared to the rest of the world?
Dr. Ulrich Mürrle: The concentration in Bochum is very good, due to the proximity to the Ruhr University but also due to other research institutions, public institutions and funding programs. Bochum is also good because the labor market can produce qualified people. In any case, this is easier in this area than in southern Germany, where I come from, for example. If you look nationally or internationally, there are of course other locations that can offer favorable conditions – but Bochum definitely has a very good starting position in this area.
Felix Manhart: What do you hope for from the joint collaboration, what are your goals that you want to achieve with Ingpuls?
Dr. Ulrich Mürrle: I would like to play my part in developing Ingpuls further, especially of course in the field of medical technology and the production of Nitinol. First of all, it’s about market entry and Nitinol materials, that alone will take a few years. I’m at the end of my career, so I have a lot of time and I still want to contribute and I want to do so in a team that is success-oriented and has good prerequisites to realize these successes. I’m looking forward to it!
Felix Manhart: Do you have any last words you would like to say?
Dr. Ulrich Mürrle: I would like us to apply what Ingpuls has achieved in actuator technology to medicine.
Felix Manhart: Thank you very much for the interview!