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Official opening of the new production building for Medical Products Division

High-Tech Production at CeramTec in Marktredwitz

Marktredwitz, 15 October 2005 / One and a half years after the foundations were laid, the time has finally come: On 15 October, the new production building for the CeramTec Medical Products Division will be officially opened.

To get an idea of the scale of the new building in numbers: Total investment: Euros 45 million. 130 new jobs when in full production, 125 meters long and 35 meters wide, 6,500 m² of usable space for production and manufacturing administration, 1,200 tons of steel used, 8,000 m³ of concrete cast, 120 km of electrical cabling, 4,000 meters of pipes and 2 production lines already in operation – these are the pillars for high-tech production of ceramic hip joint components at CeramTec in Marktredwitz and make the building the largest project for CeramTec and for the entire region of Upper Franconia in many years.

CeramTec supplies ceramic balls and socket inserts to artificial joint manufacturers who build the ceramic components into their hip joint systems. Because of the manifold advantages of ceramics in hip prosthetics, such as low wear and good body tolerance, about one third of all hip replacement operations worldwide are carried out with ceramic components, and CeramTec is the global market leader in this field.

Alongside the production plant in Plochingen near Stuttgart, the Marktredwitz plant is the second production site for the Medical Products Division. This new building was necessary to ensure global product availability of ceramic hip joint components and to satisfy the strong demand worldwide. At the moment, 50 newly hired employees in Marktredwitz already produce 20% of the products made by the division; all future high growth for the division will be handled by the Upper Franconia site.

By mid-2006, all machines will have gone into operation and all working stages from preparing the base material to sterile packaging will take place in the production facility on Lorenzreuther Strasse. The technical highlight in production is a hot-isostatic press, the largest anywhere in Europe for this type of product. The impressive strength of the ceramics under extremely high pressure and simultaneous high temperatures is achieved with this piece of technology.

Representatives of the church, politics and industry have agreed to address the 250 guests expected at the official opening ceremony, among them Minister of State Dr. Werner Schnappauf, District Governor Dr. Peter Seißer and the Lord Mayor Dr. Birgit Seelbinder. Monsignore Heinrich Benno Schäffler and Father Hans-Joachim Hornfeck will perform the ecumenical dedication, and Dr. Ulf-D. Zimmermann, Chief Executive Officer of CeramTec, and Manfred Loos, Chairman of the Central Works Council of CeramTec, will welcome guests on behalf of the company and staff. The architect for the new building was the locally based architectural office of Wolfgang Gerlach.

The CeramTec Group is a leading international supplier of technical ceramics and has specialized in development, manufacturing and sales of innovative products in ceramic materials. With 2,900 employees at 11 production plants worldwide, CeramTec serves the medical technology, automotive, electronics, equipment and mechanical engineering industries, as well as the chemicals industry, with innovative products and realizes revenues of approx. Euros 300 million. CeramTec is part of the American specialty chemicals group Rockwood Specialties Group, whose headquarters are in Princeton, N.J., USA.