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Herman Rusch, New CEO of IGS GeboJagema, Focuses on High-Tech Mould Service in the United States

Exactly three years ago, Smile Invest and Rabobank Investments acquired IGS GeboJagema, a move aimed at developing the U.S. market. Fast forward to today, and the new U.S. branch employs approximately 15 people who provide maintenance services for the highly precise moulds produced by IGS in Eindhoven. Herman Rusch, the newly appointed CEO, faces the challenge of continuing and expanding the company, a responsibility entrusted to him by his predecessor, Peter Mertens, both in the U.S. and Europe.


IGS GeboJagema possesses unparalleled expertise in designing, manufacturing, and validating high-end multi-cavity injection moulds for plastic products in the medical industry. These moulds are used exclusively for producing highly accurate and complex plastic items, often in large volumes. Examples include contact lenses and plastic medication carriers like insulin pens and inhalers. The production processes at the Eindhoven location are nearly fully automated, emphasizing efficiency and quality.


Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals

In September of last year, Herman Rusch took on the role of CEO at IGS. He describes it as a “tremendous challenge.” Throughout his career, he has gained extensive knowledge and experience in the semiconductor industry, having held leadership positions at companies such as Philips, BESI, ASML, and VDL. The opportunity to succeed Peter Mertens allowed him to consolidate this expertise and take it into a more autonomous role. Here, he can contribute to expanding a remarkable company by venturing into a new market.

Rusch is referring to the healthcare and pharmaceutical market. Three years ago, IGS already held a strategic position in this sector, prompting Smile Invest and Rabo Investments to acquire the company and invest in a new branch in the United States. According to Rusch, focusing on these markets was one of Mertens’ strategic decisions, resulting in significant revenue growth for IGS over the past years. As a result, they now operate as the largest independent toolmaker in the global medical market, with revenues ranging from EUR 80-100 million. This growth is driven by the increased use of standardized drug delivery systems suitable for administering various types of medications—what we commonly refer to as “platforms.” Examples include insulin injection pens and inhalers for medications that are absorbed through the lungs.


Long Lifespan

This development is interesting for IGS because these drug delivery systems are designed with a long lifespan – typically twenty years or more – and where quality plays an exceptionally important role. Rusch explains: “These developments seamlessly align with our high-quality, highly accurate moulds for large volumes. When we talk about medication pens, for example, we’re dealing with quantities ranging from 100 million to one billion units per year. This long-term focus is directly related to the time needed to recoup the development costs for the specific medication. In this market, everything revolves around consistent deliveries, with the patient’s health and well-being at the forefront. This naturally leads to a business environment built on long-term collaborative relationships, where genuine business dealings take place; short-lived, intense successes are not the norm.”


To the United States

The investors have supported IGS, among other things, in establishing a new branch in the United States, as mentioned in the previous article. This has become a service branch located in Peachtree City, in close proximity to Atlanta, Georgia. This branch is strategically positioned opposite one of IGS’s largest U.S. clients and primarily focuses on maintenance and service for advanced moulds. This includes both preventive maintenance, repairs, troubleshooting, refurbishment, and process support related to the use of these high-quality tools.

“With this move, we can better meet the needs of our customers in the United States,” says Rusch. “We can service the capital goods – because that’s what we’re talking about – more quickly and close to our end customers in the U.S., which strengthens the customer relationship and reduces travel distances. In essence, the moulds are acquired by injection moulding companies (CMOs), but always on behalf of the pharmaceutical company (OEM). They collaborate with IGS to develop drug delivery systems, which in turn obliges the CMOs to use these moulds for manufacturing their products. We want to be there for them to keep these moulds in top condition.”

A secondary objective of the U.S. branch is to validate the moulds produced in Eindhoven but intended for use by U.S. CMOs. Currently, this validation process takes place at the Eindhoven location, but it will be transferred to the Peachtree City branch for U.S. customers. In addition to providing better service, this approach also reduces travel distances



In the coming years, the U.S. branch will continue to focus on autonomous growth for service provision and expanding validation activities. A third area of focus applies to both the U.S. and Europe, involving the development of either new markets or new technologies to achieve further growth. “We see potential, among other things, in developing prototype moulds,” says Rusch. “It’s a market we currently don’t serve, but where technological advancements will undoubtedly add significant value. For this purpose, we will establish a separate production location emphasizing flexibility and speed.”

Rusch concludes: “Furthermore, we will initiate developments in the supply chain. Currently, we purchase 40% of the mould components while producing all form-defining parts ourselves. Perhaps new collaborations with suppliers will allow us to outsource some of these critical form-defining components, enhancing our process control. It’s a challenging yet promising future, I would say.”

Source: IGS GeboJagema – LINK (linkmagazine.nl)