CHRIS SWEENEY, Rubber & Plastics News
SOLON, Ohio—Q Holding Co. may look a little different, but its overriding goals remain the same.
The firm developed a new brand and realigned its operations into three manufacturing divisions. Its legacy Quality Synthetic Rubber operation, which focuses on non-medical/industrial applications, was unaffected. Its Qure Medical unit also remains the same, focusing on components and sub-assemblies.
Its newest unit—QMD—focuses on fully finished medical devices and consists of Degania Silicone Ltd.’s operations in addition to the Biometrix and Arthesys product lines.
Its tooling unit, Quadra, continues to support the other three businesses with materials, formulation and mold development.
Q is owned by 3i and operates 14 locations in nine countries.
“The last year has been a bit of a transformation,” said Gregg Tobin, president of Qure Medical, who joined the firm in January 2018. “We’ve been trying to build out the various teams we have in the organization and their various locations. We’ve been focusing on building out our commercial team to improve our sales and marketing. We’re looking at acquisitions globally, and just overall professionalizing the company.”
One of those teams will be headed up by Bernie Stritzke, general manager at Qure Medical. The engineering services team was formed to give customers better feedback timelines on where it stands with programs they’re launching. The team was built to give a more technical front to the customer and talk directly about tooling issues.
“It’s going to be a handoff to engineering services, not that sales is going to walk away, but now it’s going to be in good hands to be able to follow up with the timelines and deliveries,” Stritzke said.
“One of the things we recognize in the thermoset rubber molding industry is that it’s a pretty complex thing to really understand. Our customers don’t always understand the nuances of thermoset molding, so part of our job is to try to educate them and have them understand that there may be better ways of making a product. There could be tolerance issues or a better part design that we could help them with. And more importantly, there’s more than just LSR molding. We offer a lot of different materials that a lot of other companies don’t.”
The firm also made material development a focus by adding a new material science lab at its North Canton, Ohio, facility. Q invested $500,000 into new equipment to support all three business units.
“Material performance is critically important for a lot of advanced applications,” Tobin said. “Customers can now reach out to us, describe certain performance characteristics and we can consult with them on what materials would be most beneficial.”
The firm offers both molding and extrusion capabilities with a variety of compounds: liquid silicone rubber, high consistency silicone rubber and other non-silicone rubbers.
Degania significantly enhanced Q’s presence in Europe and the Middle East with four facilities in Israel and one each in France, India and Slovakia. It significantly strengthened its presence in the catheters arena and brought the firm a network of assembly and packaging capabilities.
“We can help our customers develop components, help them develop sub-assemblies and provide finished goods,” Tobin said. “For example, a customer could come to us and have us completely manufacture a catheter for them and they could private label it. We can do the front end, sub-assembly and the entire product. The acquisition of Degania helped us complete that continuum.”
Stritzke said the firm, through engineering services, is striving to find new innovative ways to produce its products, and these new capabilities allow for Q to stand out within its customers’ supply chain.
It also can leverage its materials library to give customers options, especially with silicone device manufacturers facing price and supply pressures.
“We know there are supply problems in the silicone industry,” Stritzke said. “The more we can offer alternatives, the better it is for customers. We have at our luxury is one of the largest consumers of heat cured silicone in the U.S. We can keep that supply going because of our buying power.”