by John R. Fischer
, Staff Reporter | July 18, 2019
Intuitive Surgical has acquired the robotic endoscope business of visualization provider Schölly Fiberoptic.
The move provides the California enterprise with Schölly’s robotic endoscope manufacturing line in Denzlingen, Germany, as well as its manufacturing site in Biebertal, Germany and its repair site in Worcester, Massachusetts.
"Schölly and Intuitive Surgical have complemented each other excellently over the past 20 years. Intuitive's outstanding knowledge and expertise in the development and marketing of robots for minimal-invasive surgery and Schölly's unique expertise in the development and manufacture of high-quality 3D endoscopes have enabled the worldwide spread of robotic assisted surgery," Professor Dr. Holger Reinecke, CEO of Schölly, told HCB News.
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The acquisition offers Intuitive a number of aspects for enhancing the visualization system of its flagship product, da Vinci surgical system. It also strengthens its supply chain, increases its manufacturing capacity for imaging products, and adds approximately 200 new staff members from the three sites to its team.
Founded in 1973, Schölly engineers and produces customer-specific visualization systems for the medical endoscopy and visual inspection industries. The sale of its robotic endoscope business will enable the company to concentrate its efforts on its global visualization business.
"Robotic assisted surgery and hand-guided surgery are growing worldwide. The manufacturing of systems for Intuitive Surgical and the manufacturing of systems for our OEM customers require different logistics and manufacturing concepts. To concentrate to the core of the Schölly knowledge and strength, Schölly is selling part of its business to Intuitive to meet in the future the needs of all its customers," said Reinecke, adding that doing so "enables Schölly to serve all customers according to their requirements. This will include the manufacturing of selected products for Intuitive Surgical."
The transition and integration of Schölly staff members to Intuitive is expected to take place over the next 18 months.
No financial details of the agreement were disclosed.