Growing together in medical diagnostics and the energy transition
Demcon acquires fluid handling specialist Convergence Industry
Technology developer and producer Demcon has acquired Convergence Industry, which specializes in the development of customized fluid and gas systems. Under Demcon’s wings, Convergence can continue to grow in developing high tech fluid handling systems and will be able to even better serve its clients. With Convergence’s expertise in microfluidics, Demcon is strengthening its capabilities in the energy technology and life sciences & health sectors.
In 2010, Convergence started off in Enschede as a spin-off of University of Twente (UT) with the development of fluid test systems. Membrane filtration, for example for water purification, was its first application. Convergence at the time built a membrane characterization testing system. Other applications relate to gas separation systems, leak detection devices, dosing equipment and small pilot process installations.
Over the course of the years, Convergence has developed numerous complex test solutions. “Often these were small-scale systems,” says founder and CTO Felix Broens. “Over the past 12 years we have evolved to become a precise fluid handling specialist. We have gathered much domain knowledge and developed much expertise in the applicable regulations, such as CE certification, explosion safety and hygienic design for the food sector. Our devices are primarily used by laboratories, including for scientific research and medical diagnostics, and finally also in plants and factories. We have developed an excellent international customer base for this purpose.” The devices produced by Convergence stand out due to their design and ease of operation. The company has approximately 40 employees and aside from Enschede also has had a branch in Delft for the past three years.
Partner for growth
Broens had been looking for a partner for several years to enable the company to continue to grow. “Our relatively small team does not have all of the necessary expertise and competencies in-house for product development. We noticed that clients expected more volume and development capacity from us.” This is why Convergence had already been working with Demcon on a project basis. “The first time was seven years ago for a large contract with a medical technological company. We produced a functional model for a test device that Demcon then developed in further detail. We did not have the required manpower for this at the time and we also did not have the required ISO certification. After several joint projects, we started up discussions, with the result that Convergence has been added to the Demcon group.
The two companies are complementary, says Edwin Gerritsen, business developer at Demcon. “In our joint projects we have come to know Convergence as a highly competent party in fluid handling technology. For example, we are developing technology for in-vitro diagnostics to be able to quickly and efficiently test patients on-site. They can bring in their knowledge of microfluidic test systems for this purpose. Vice versa, with Demcon production’s expertise and facilities we enable Convergence to accept larger serial contracts. Together we can carry out large projects for developing customized systems and serve clients more efficiently with a comprehensive service offering. Of course, there are also opportunities for us with their international clients.”
Merging Convergence with Demcon is consistent with Broens ambition. “This allows me to spend more time growing the company and looking for other markets as well, for example fuel cells.” This is also consistent with Demcon’s ambitions in the field of energy, Gerritsen responds. “Last year we started up Demcon energy systems to develop technology for the energy transition. Convergence can also connect up with another recent acquisition, Demcon Suster, which with research and process development contributes to greening the process industry.”
Dennis Schipper, CEO of Demcon, is happy with the addition of Convergence to the Demcon group. “Just like Demcon it is a UT spin-off and that creates a bond. I appreciate the entrepreneurship that has allowed Convergence to expand into an internationally attractive company. The company is also a good fit for us technologically. It is not by happenstance that with Suster and Convergence we have added two companies in the chemical and process technology sectors. This awesome expansion of expertise within Demcon enables us to accelerate our ambitions relating to the energy transition and the life sciences & health sector, for example. Together with both companies we aim to create even greater value in these markets.”
For more information, contact Marleen Markvoort, communications manager at Demcon, tel: +31 (0)88 11 52 000 or +31 (0)6 53 80 91 94, firstname.lastname@example.org. Also see www.con-vergence.com.