ESTABLISHMENT OF TODAY’S INSTRUMENTARIA
Modern surgery in Croatia started developing in last decades of the 19th century. In this part of Europe there was not even a workshop, let alone a surgical instruments factory. The credit for the establishment of this institution goes to Jakob Hlavka. In 1896, after his apprenticeship in Graz, he moved to Zagreb and established the first factory of surgical instruments.
Hlavka’s factory supplied not only the practitioners of human medicine, medical clinics and hospitals, but also pharmacies and laboratories. Hlavka’s factory also manufactured the equipment for anatomical and pathological dissections (the Institute of Comparative Anatomy headed by Dr. Lazar Car was established at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, then called the Faculty of Philosophy, in 1907, and in 1913 Dr. Ljudevit Jurak founded the pathoanatomic service of the public health divisions in the city of Zagreb). A large number of wounded and disabled during the World War I increased the need for bandages, surgical splints, limb prostheses ( in 1915, by the decision of the War Ministry in Vienna, Dr. Božidar Špišić Private Orthopaedic Institute, founded in 1908, was nationalized, and it later became Orthopaedic Hospital, and then Orthopaedic Clinic). Finally, in 1917, the Faculty of Medicine and its University Hospital were opened in Zagreb, and this increased the need for medical instruments and devices.
NEW FACTORY IN TOMIĆEVA STREET
Even though the factory was reconstructed after the World War I, due to increased production and expanded product range, it was becoming too small and Hlavka built a new one: two big, four storey buildings (a production plant and a building with apartments and offices) on the north side of Ilica Street, more precisely in the backyard of Bregovita Street No. 5 (now Tomićeva Street) which had access from Ilica 24, where the store was located. During the pre-war Yugoslavia, he opened an office in Belgrade (Obilićev venac 32). According to data from 1939, the factory employed 65 craftsmen – surgical mechanics, orthopaedic mechanics, furniture locksmiths, lathe operators, grinders and surgical truss makers.
After the World War II, using preserved Hlavka’s machines and his skilled craftsmen, along with the technology he introduced, the newly established factory Instrumentaria continued with the production of medical devices and instruments, while the production of prostheses and orthopaedic aids was taken over by Banija Factory. The first Croatian factory of medical devices established by Jakob Hlavka is an integral and important part of the historical development of the Croatian health system, and, as the first such factory in this part of Europe, it is a significant part of the history of the Croatian civil industry.
NEW FACTORY IN RAPSKA STREET – The beginning of production capacity modernization
The factory at a new location continuously manufactures medical implants and surgical instruments that are comparable to foreign products in terms of their quality and design, and over 70% of the production is handmade. Given the continuous and dynamic production development, factory has continued to expand its production range.
With a renewed product range, Instrumentaria’s role and position have been extremely important and invaluable in critical situations, which came to the fore during the Croatian Homeland War. During that time, Instrumentaria fully aligned its production with the needs of the Medical Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia, and was, by the decision of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Economy, designated as a company of great importance for the Republic of Croatia.
PRIVATIZATION OF INSTRUMENTARIA
The end of the war and stabilization of business conditions created the preconditions for serious investments in Croatia. The process of privatization began in 1992 and Instrumentaria became a joint stock company mainly owned by its employees, in accordance with the Companies Act. Its production range consists of instruments for general surgery, orthopaedics, traumatology, otorhinolaryngology, stomatology, veterinary medicine, osteosynthetic material, artificial joints, sterilisers and laboratory furnaces. It has a product range of over 5000 items. Connecting with a number of foreign companies with high quality programs and producing smaller number of items in larger series for a wider market, enabled high-quality performance. The profitability of such production has been much higher, product quality has improved and the offer was supplemented with new programs.
Established business cooperation with some of the world’s top corporations (USA Stryker, Howmedica Germany, the Suda Germany, etc.) led to doubling of export in 1999, compared to 1998.
CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW FACTORY IN SESVETE
The business process, which included the relocation of part of the technology from the old factory and introducing new technology for surface protection, machine processing, sterilization, etc., was finalized by moving to the new factory, to its present location in Sesvete.
Aiming to conquer foreign markets, after several years of preparation and implementation activities, Instrumentaria was successfully certified in accordance with the requirements of ISO 9001, ISO 13485 and MDD 93/42/EEC directive in 2007.
CHANGES IN OWNERSHIP STRUCTURE AND ENTERING A NEW ERA
The company changed its ownership structure, Supervisory Board and management structure in early 2010. Vinko Barišić, M. Eng., became the majority shareholder and company director. This was the beginning of a new era focused on research and development of new products, which meant the expansion of the product range and the beginning of production of high quality orthopaedic and trauma implants with modern design philosophy and medical devices manufacturing technology.
Instrumentaria offers a range of high-quality products for the surgical treatment of bone fractures and other bone injuries. Our goal is to provide the most advanced products and technologies that will meet and exceed the highest expectations of quality and safety. Our products are designed in a way to ensure reliable surgical procedures, rapid recovery, and a pain-free life after surgery.