Interview with Mr. Udo Lange, Manager of Silcotech Bulgaria

MachinesInterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 3/2010

With our geostrategic position we strive to win new markets in the East-European countries

Mr. Udo Lange, Manager of Silcotech Bulgaria

Dear Mr. Lange, Silcotech Bulgaria is specialized in two-component liquid silicone and engineering plastics molding. Please, present your product portfolio and your entire offer.
We produce customer specific sealings or any parts from liquid silicone rubber, also in combination with thermoplastic material, means 2 component parts (hard/soft) with silicone. If requested we support our customers with design solutions and developments. Our tool making department with brand new high precision machines is able to manufacture most accurate injection molds.

What technologies do you use in the manufacturing process?
We produce the parts by injection molding process.

What is the application of your product range?
Because of the silicon properties the application is quite wide. We produce parts which are assembled in coffee machines, pressure cookers, breast pumps, cars, drink automats, rain showers etc. You can define following industrial branches: medical devices, household, automotive, sanitary, baby care, electro technical industry, consumer goods.

Which markets you are targeting in the near future?
The most of our customers are in Western Europe and some in Bulgaria. We have no connections to the industry in Eastern Europe and Turkey. The industry in these countries we would like to produce for.

Could you present to our readers the new production facility of Silcotech Bulgaria?
Our new manufacturing facility is located 25 km. south of Sofia in the town of Pernik. Pernik was chosen because of its proximity to Sofia and the availability of labor. Our company is located in the industrial part of the town. Planning and obtaining all building permits took 1 year. Construction of the building and its connection to the electrical network took another 1 year. During this time we worked in rented spaces. Conditions were not at the appropriate level and this blocked our development. Our production process requires a high level of purity, because the finished parts of silicone attract dust and dirt. The produces parts are checked afterwards with a microscope. Our clients also control the received details under the microscope. You can imagine how well visible is all the dirt! When we planned the new building we had in mind all these requirements. The air scored in the hall is previously purified and a constant temperature is maintained during the whole year, because this is important for accuracy.
Since the beginning of this year we also produce our tools. This makes us independent from partner companies, allows us to stick to deadlines and to make changes or corrections in a very short time. To equip the tool workshop we bought new machines with high precision linear driven motors. We also have machines for wire and volumetric erosion - Sodic and 5 axes high-speed milling center-DMG.
Since we have been in the new building, the volume of orders has increased rapidly. Earlier this year our team consists of 7 people, and now we are 30. We are well prepared to welcome customers to show them our capability.

Your company is a member of Silcotech Group. Could you present the Swiss manufacturer as a history and a scope of activity?
Silcotech is founded in 1984. Today there work about 100 people. The 50 Molding machines are with clamping force between 25-250 Tonnes. The produced parts are between 0,01 - 200 grams. The applications are the same as mentioned before: 25% of the total sales go into automotive branch, 30 % into medical/healthcare, 25 % into household (coffee machines) and 20 % into other industry branches.