France-Based MEMS Manufacturer Expands to Serve US Market

December 19, 2008 – 1:39 am

Tronics Microsystems S.A. (Crolles France) is bringing its microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) development and manufacturing expertise to North America. At the new 140,000-sq-ft facility in Richardson, TX, Tronics MEMS Inc. will focus on the prototyping and high-volume production of custom MEMS components. An on-site 20,000-sq-ft Class 100 cleanroom is currently in operation; an additional 18,000-sq-ft of cleanroom space is available.

While Tronics MEMS offers high-volume production, Tronics Microsystems in France is specialized in medium-volume production of MEMS components. It is currently completing development of an implantable pressure sensor platform (pictured) that is suited for various medical applications. “The sensor can be customized and used, for instance, for cardiac rhythm management, bladder management, or neurostimulation,” says Vincent Gaff, manager, marketing and business development.

Although medical is just one of many markets that the company serves, Tronics’ very first product was a medical component–a miniature accelerometer–and that has left its mark on the firm. “We have always considered medical to be a key area for us,” says Gaff. Currently, the company’s activities in the medical device sector make up 15% of its business. Gaff would like to see that increase to 30%. The acquisition of Silicon Valley-based MedTech Development earlier this year will almost certainly help to achieve this. It also provides the company with an opportunity to gain better access to US medical device companies.

“With MedTech Development’s headquarters in the San Francisco Bay area and a smaller sales office in Minneapolis, we are able to cover the two main areas for medical devices in the United States,” Gaff explains. “That was the main reason for the acquisition,” he adds. MedTech Development is a pure engineering, design, and service company devoted to medical device modules and systems. Now that Tronics has developed into a multinational, the focus in 2009 will be on structuring those three companies so that they can work together in the most productive manner possible, says Gaff.

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