Prodwaysthe French manufacturer of original equipment (OEM) and additive manufacturing (AM) service, announcement that he acquired Auditech Innovations. The latter company, also based in France, specializes in the production of bespoke hearing protection, especially for people working in environments noisy enough to create health risks.
According to the Prodways press release, the third occupational disease in France is deafness. For their part, nearly 300,000 individuals in France buy custom-made hearing protection each year.
Although the cost of the acquisition has not been disclosed, Prodways notes that it used its available cash to buy the company, and that this amount was 17 million euros at the end of 2021 (i.e. 17.316 million dollars). Auditech Innovations’ turnover amounted to approximately 3 million euros in 2021. Prodways’ own turnover was 71 million euros last year, and the company’s turnover was up 37% in the first quarter of 2022, compared to the first quarter of last year. Combined with slowing global economic growth, all of these factors have probably made the present an ideal time to buy Prodways.
Prodways, created in 2013, began entering the audiology market through its Acquisition 2017 from French hearing aid and hearing protection company Interson-Protac. This appears to have been a successful strategy for Prodways, as, before its latest purchase, the company acquired another hearing aid manufacturer, in 2019. Its hearing division was worth almost 10 million euros last year, so l addition of Auditech Innovations is expected to increase. division sales by at least 30 percent.
Prodways has also expanded its dental division this year, with the announcement last month of a distribution partnership with Dental Axess, a Swiss provider of digital dental manufacturing software. In the article on this announcement, I noted: “Apart from hearing aids…[dental devices] are probably the most commercially widespread application of 3D printers, at least at this point in the industry’s history. …As such, developments in the dental sector can be seen as potential leading indicators for other sectors in the overall 3D printing industry. The same, and probably more, can be said for hearing aids.
Moreover, it should be noted that Prodways had such a successful year, at the same time that confidence in the global economy, as a whole, has become so austere. Of course, in such a volatile environment, things could change at any time. On the other hand, he is it’s also possible, as I said, that Prodways is a leading indicator of the financial health of the AM industry, in which case the industry as a whole may have bottomed out.
If so, there is reason to believe that it could start to slowly recover throughout the second half of this year. Certainly, the problems plaguing the rest of the economy are problems to which AM has solutions. More importantly, these are solutions that could probably be implemented without causing too much short-term disruption to existing industries.
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