First a look back at Helix Medical’s roots in order to understand its future. 

Going back 163 years, Carl Johann Freudenberg and his partner Heinrich Christian Heintze took over a tannery, thus forming the precursor to the Freudenberg Group (the parent company of Helix Medical.)  Invention first struck in 1904 when the company developed a tanning process using chrome liquor instead of vegetable dyes, which reduced production time and propelled Freudenberg into one of the biggest tanneries in Europe. 

Things progressed well until 1929 when reinvention was necessary again. The company reworked leather residues, developing substitute materials for leather that eventually led to synthetic leather and nonwovens, and soon were recognized as universally applicable materials.

From that point, the company expanded in different areas and set up factories around the world, until 2002 when they parted ways with its original line and closed the tannery. By this time the company was serving the automotive sector, which fell on hard times in the end of the 1990’s so change was necessary again.

Inward introspection led the company to focus on its core technologies and determine how they were applicable to other sectors. It was at this time the company decided to focus on the medical technologies market.

“The company was willing to cut its roots to be able to move toward the next new market,” explained Dr. Jorg Schneewind, President and CEO of Helix Medical.