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Röchling Acquires Mexican Smart Card Manufacturer

The Röchling Group, Mannheim, has acquired another company that specializes in the production of smart cards. Haas Smartcard S.A. (HSC), previously a subsidiary of HKR Haas GmbH & Co. Kunststoff KG located in Tlaxcala, Mexico, is being integrated into Röchling Technical Parts KG (RTP).

The acquisition, which transpired on November 18, 2008, allows the Röchling Group to strengthen its position as a global specialist for injection molded smart cards. CircleSmartCard AG (CSC), Erfurt, has been a part of the RTP group since the beginning of 2008. CSC produces smart card bodies as well as data carriers made of thermoplastics using the injection molding procedure. It is among the global market leaders in this niche.
“By acquiring HSC, we are consistently continuing the development of our RTP group in the field of high-quality and sophisticated applications in plastics injection molding,” explains Burckhard Frank, COO of the Röchling Group. RTP produces injection molding components for the high-tech sector at the highest technological level with a pronounced degree of automation.

In addition, the Röchling Group is expanding its international presence with the new location in Mexico. The aim here is to better meet the needs of its customers when it comes to production locations in the respective regional markets. “Mexico offers a great deal of potential in the field of smart cards given the strong growth that the cellular phone market is experiencing,” notes Dr. Reinhard Proske, Managing Director of CircleSmartCard GmbH. Moreover, Mexico offers a good starting point for supplying the North and South American markets with cards as well.

The RTP group’s customers from the fields of electronics, automotive engineering and medical technology will also benefit from the new production location on the North American continent. “The new location in Tlaxcala can be expanded to a universal Röchling production location for the NAFTA region and South America,” Mr. Frank states.

The smart card specialist HSC, which will generate sales of circa EUR 2 million in 2008, uses five production systems to produce smart cards for international customers. A new production site at the company’s headquarters in Tlaxcala, 150 kilometers east of Mexico City, just recently started operation. “We will bundle our expertise and apply our special skills in the interest of our customers. We will use the new infrastructure to jointly grow faster than the competition in the heavily expanding market for smart card bodies,” mentions CSC Managing Director Proske.