The (hidden) med tech champion of the last 75 years
Gilching, July 2021 –
What started out three quarters of a century ago with a small workshop in Herrsching am Ammersee has long since evolved into a modern med tech company that supplies high-quality instruments to clinicians all over the world from the USA to Japan. HEINE Optotechnik celebrated its 75th anniversary in April 2021. The ‘Made in Germany’ mindset and the associated commitment to quality will remain key components of HEINE’s corporate philosophy in the future. One of HEINE’s new product launches in its anniversary year is a new head-worn indirect ophthalmoscope that is particularly lightweight and features a new visionBOOST function for cataract examinations.
For 75 years, HEINE customers have particularly valued the reliability and legendary durability of the dermatoscopes, ophthalmoscopes, otoscopes, binocular loupes or laryngoscopes for endotracheal intubation manufactured at the company’s very own production plant.
In HEINE & Co. Medizinisch-Physikalische Werkstätten GmbH, owner Helmut A. Heine initially manufactured otoscopes and direct ophthalmoscopes from 1946 (when he established the company). Many materials and commodities were in short supply in Germany, which was still being rebuilt at the time. Therefore he improvided and used commodities that were available during the post-war turmoil to make the first diagnostic instrument: empty and thus sustainably recyclable cartridge cases.
We truly split hairs when it comes to quality
The young company then started making more and more components for the HEINE instruments itself and buying the machines it needed to do exactly that. When the developers realised in 1954 that it was impossible to buy lenses in the precision required, the company set up an optical workshop with lens production machines and started grinding high-quality optical lenses itself. Today, the quality of HEINE lenses is unrivalled. They are made using state-of-the-art CNC machines with an accuracy of ± 0.0001 mm, which is 20 times less than the diameter of a human hair. A positive side effect of this is that the know-how acquired over the years remains in the company.
‘We’d prefer to do everything ourselves’
Over the years, HEINE has remained true to its principle of independently manufacturing as many components for HEINE instruments as possible. Oliver Heine (the third-generation company owner) is proud that more than 80% of the instruments’ individual parts are still manufactured internally. Many others come from regional partner companies. ‘Since we’re relatively independent of suppliers, we can flexibly and promptly expand component production capacities as needed,’ he explained – ‘even in the current pandemic situation.’ Last but not least, in-house production allows HEINE to comply with highly stringent quality specifications and bring new products to market quickly.
Modern and perfectly positioned for new product developments
Even before the 75th anniversary, in 2020 the entire company moved from its former headquarters in Herrsching to newly built corporate headquarters in Gilching, just outside Munich. All of the corporate divisions (such as Development, Tool Construction, Optics and other production-related divisions), not to mention Administration, are now located under the same roof in the new building, so they are not spread over different plants as they were before. The short distances pay off. ‘We launched a new head-worn indirect ophthalmoscope this year. We couldn’t have done that in record time without the close internal cooperation of all the divisions – from Development and Tool Construction to Production, Product Management and Marketing,’ explained Oliver Heine. Two new handheld dermatoscopes were added to the product portfolio in 2020. Successful sales of both models, the DELTA 30 and the DELTAone, are being recorded worldwide.
HEINE – Quality made in Germany
As a global leader in the manufacture of primary diagnostic instruments with over 500 employees, HEINE Optotechnik has been a 100% family owned and managed company for more than 70 years. HEINE continues to develop and manufacture instruments at its facilities in Germany, where it combines decades-long experience and craftsmanship with the most modern manufacturing technologies.
HEINE is represented in over 120 countries around the world, with subsidiaries in Australia, the US and Switzerland as well as 3,000 representatives, importers and specialist dealers.
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