Dornier unifies control of AI as part of medical restructuring

September 11, 1991

Dornier, the world's largest lithotripsy vendor, reorganized itsmedical businesses into three divisions last month. As part ofthis reorganization, Dornier executive Reinhard Warnking replacedDaniel E. McNulty as president and CEO of Acoustic Imaging,

Dornier, the world's largest lithotripsy vendor, reorganized itsmedical businesses into three divisions last month. As part ofthis reorganization, Dornier executive Reinhard Warnking replacedDaniel E. McNulty as president and CEO of Acoustic Imaging, Dornier'sPhoenix-based ultrasound company.

Ekhard Polzer, former president and CEO of Dornier Medical inAtlanta, will head up parent Dornier Medizintechnik in Germanyas managing director.

Dornier's three medical divisions are:

  • urology (centered on renal lithotripsy);
  • ultrasound; and
  • laser/surgery.

Warnking led Dornier's effort to sell AI systems internationallyprior to moving to Phoenix. His assumption of the overall ultrasoundleadership position marks an effort by Dornier to coordinate thisbusiness on a global basis.

"We want to build one worldwide ultrasound organization,"Warnking told SCAN. "There are certain synergies that canbe utilized and there is streamlining that can be done."

Dornier entered the ultrasound field two years ago with its51% investment in then-independent AI (SCAN 9/27/89). It raisedthis stake to 80% last year.

The smaller U.S. firm needed the resources of Dornier and itsparent Daimler-Benz to support the launch of its high-end colorDoppler ultrasound system, which is still under development. Dornier,faced with regulatory and competitive problems in the biliarylithotripsy market, looked to ultrasound as a medical growth market.

McNulty will continue with AI as a director and consultant.He views the move by Dornier as a sign of that company's commitmentto AI and its products.

"When Dornier entered the relationship, they said thatwhile lithotripsy will be headquartered in Europe, ultrasoundwill remain here in Phoenix. They are staying with that commitment," McNulty said.

Dornier's efforts over the last year have boosted internationalsales to the point where they equal U.S. ultrasound shipments,he said.

The first five clinical sites of AI's color-flow system willbe installed shortly in Europe and the U.S., Warnking said. Oncethe color product is ready for market, AI will increase its U.S.sales effort. The company will take a measured approach to thisintroduction.

"When we have the product ready--and the emphasis is onready--I hope we will have to expand the sales force significantly,"he said.

European ultrasound sales require a different strategy thanin the U.S. since the market is less focused on high-end radiologysystems. Dornier sells a family of three mid-tier scanners inthat market, he said.

Dornier's creation of a separate ultrasound division willallow the company to refine its focus on this business, whichrequires a different approach than lithotripsy, Warnking said.

"Lithotripsy involves lead times of one year or longer.With ultrasound, you can go in (to the doctor's office) and demonstrateit. It is a totally different business," he said.