(C) Wolf G Kroner 2016 - Tobias A ThieleThe Laboratory Furniture Market
Assessment and Outlook by Tobias Thiele, Managing Director of Köttermann Group

May 2016. Novel technologies in its environment undermine established business models of laboratory furniture manufacturers. Many still thrive on comfortable margins, unchanged regulations, the separation of buyers and payors (e.g. in the public sector), handed down technical know how. It is not uncommon to find product developers unfamiliar with the work of target users like biologists or chemists.

Tobias Thiele, was Managing Partner of the Köttermann Group. In the exclusive interview he answers tricky questions and offers a strategic view on the furniture industry which is challenged by newcomers like IKEA, as well as by an increasingly sophisticated demand side ranging from Do-it-yourself lab scientists to big pharma customers like Novartis commissioning “personalised” furniture from others.

Note of Editor
Tobias Thiele sadly passed away December 2017

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- Includes Data Overview on U.S. Laboratory Market 2015; Assessment of Safety and Oversight on Fume Cupboards in Far East by XiangQian Lin, Esco Group (SG) / Singapore Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, and other useful data added by B2Bioworld.

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Editor's Note

Since October 2015 Köttermann owns strategic IP from MACH-AIRE Ltd. (UK). IP rights are to fume cupboards and local exhaust ventilation technology some of which were developed in China by Mach Aire Shanghai Clean Air Technology. The IP was transferred to MACH-AIRE Technologies Ltd. which is managed since mid-August 2015 by Kottermann Ltd. (UK), a fully-owned subsidiary by Köttermann & Kochen GmbH, Uetze-Hänigsen (DE). Until the divestiture steel fume board components of Mach-Aire Ltd. were supplied by its subsidiary EMF Manufacturing Ltd.

Mach-Aire’s IP is particularly valuable for Köttermann, because its focus is on the integration of processes such as room pressure control systems combined with exhaust ventilation. Moreover demand for fume cupboards has been emphasizing movable cabinets which require more sophisticated ventilation as well as electronic controls. In addition Mach-Aire’s R&D concentrated on issues of enhanced visual observation resp. transparency of cabinets, which is intimately related to safety aspects of (movable) fume cupboards (see details in the article). During the last years fume cupboard manufacturers in China, Japan, or Korea have been spurring R&D in order to gain a competitive edge in a market dominated by U.S. and European suppliers. Mach-Aire (UK) was among those having recognized early the potential and invested Far East.

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