BW-TEC AG History

Jakob Willi and Werner Christl worked for Schneider Medizintechnik for many years in Bülach, Switzerland. Schneider Medizintechnik worked closely with Dr. Andreas Grüntzig, a pioneer of cardiovascular balloon dilatation. At Schneider, Willi and Christl were involved in the development of equipment and were able to learn the process of PTCA production first-hand. After Schneider was sold to the Pfizer Group and then transferred into Boston Scientific in Galway, Ireland, the time for a new beginning had arrived. BW-TEC was founded in 1999 by Jakob Willi. After initial inquiries came in from former colleagues, the first BW-TEC machine was built in the garage of Willi's private home. In these exciting pioneer days, Werner Christl joined in and the workshop was moved to the Oertli Building at Hofstrasse 1 in Höri, Switzerland where the building resides today.

In the beginning, the two entrepreneurs did everything themselves. Daniela, Jakob's daughter, helped part time to take care of administration and international communications. Rumors quickly spread that a Swiss equipment provider in the field of balloon catheters now existed and purchase orders for the development of equipment for many different applications were signed. Shortly after, automation and mechanical engineers where hired to meet the growing demands. Through exhibiting at the annual Medtec Europe in Stuttgart and building quality equipment, BW-TEC became internationally known. The CO2 Laser Welding Machine 394 was the machine that accelerated the growth of the new enterprise. Companies from around the globe became interested in this laser technology and within a few years BW-TEC became the benchmark for distal and proximal welding of balloon catheters.

Because of the fast growth within the PTCA and PTA industry, smaller companies started to be bought by larger global players. This resulted in the introduction of BW-TEC machines to many other sites within those companies. The volume of orders increased drastically and new employees were hired. Because of Switzerland's unique education system and apprenticeship program, BW-TEC was able to recruit qualified employees for mechanical manufacturing and electro-mechanical assembly. In 2007, the first apprentice was hired as part of a full 4-year educational program to become an automation engineer. This practice is important for the Swiss marketplace and will always be a focus for BW-TEC.

In the last few years. the company has grown steadily. Today, there are more than 20 employees working for BW-TEC in a facility that encompasses about 1000 square meters. BW-TEC has customers on six continents and with 85% export share has became an important part of the Swiss economy.

As of 2016, BW-TEC has a new management team. Josia Pantli assumes responsibility as CEO and will be supported by a great team of capable engineers . Daniela Pantli remains responsible for human resources. Jakob Willi went into early retirement but continues to support BW-TEC as president of the board of directors.