Streifeneder USA solidifies relationship with German partner, increasing its impact in the O&P market
“This collaboration not only fortifies the relationship between the two companies, it makes us one strong entity.”
By P.K. Daniel
2018 LER Resource Guide
Tampa, FL-based Streifeneder USA is a comprehensive supplier and product development company with a lineage of providing wide-ranging options in the fields of prosthetic devices, orthotic devices, bandages, machines and tools, as well as materials and items required in orthotic workshops.
Streifeneder ortho.production GmbH, headquartered in Emmering, Germany, has been a fixture of the orthopedic landscape for the better part of a century. Building on the parent company’s reputation means looking toward the future for its North American headquarters, Streifeneder USA.
To that end, Streifeneder USA has embraced several changes. The company named Stephanie Olivo-Schulte president and CEO in January 2014 to direct the rollout of several new offerings and oversee the company’s rebranding efforts of the former Euro International. Euro International was Streifeneder ortho.production’s American sales partner before the O&P supplier started operating as Streifeneder USA in 2013.
“This collaboration not only fortifies the relationship between the two companies, it makes us one strong entity,” said Olivo-Schulte, who owns Streifeneder USA along with her husband, Dirk Schulte. “It affirms us as a major player and gives us a bigger impact on the market.”
Olivo-Schulte is also depending on her marketing and advertising background to be instrumental in capitalizing on the standing of Streifeneder ortho.production GmbH. “Branding is and was a large part of my background before I stepped into my leadership role, and I plan to use my knowledge and guide us into a new light,” said Olivo-Schulte, who studied advertising at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and communications at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
The recent rebranding incorporates Streifeneder’s long history while integrating the brand’s values of innovation and advancement. It includes a redesign of the company’s logo, which was unveiled in May 2014 at the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics’ OT World Congress in Leipzig, Germany.
The logo incorporates—with a modern twist—the original “S” from the signature of Friedrich Georg Streifeneder, who founded the company in 1928.
“The team at the home office wanted to incorporate a trademark that would automatically link people with the Streifeneder name, without necessarily seeing the name—similar to Nike and the ‘swoosh,’” said Olivo-Schulte.
Besides rebranding, which included a redesign of its website (streifeneder-usa.com) in May 2014, Streifeneder USA has introduced a variety of new products. Continuing with its look ahead, the newest member of the Kinegen family of prosthetic knees is the Air-Active 3A1800. In the development of the Air-Active 3A1800, the focus was on the balance between stability during standing and joint dynamics, as well as on simple use and rugged mechanics.
“It’s a uniquely designed knee,” said Olivo-Schulte of the polycentric knee joint with pneumatic swing phase control and an integrated extension assist. “We still continue to manufacture the traditional items, but we’re trying to set ourselves apart.”
Another member of the Kinegen family is the 3A2000 stream knee. It is an adjustable hydraulic and pneumatic unit that adapts to the patient’s gait speed without a readjustment. It is geared for patients with high activity levels.
“The great part about this knee is that it has a free-wheel mode that allows the patient to disengage the hydraulic resistance to ride a bike, which gives the patient no restrictions on life,” she said. “That is cool!”
This prosthetic knee joint is extremely sturdy and has been approved for loads up to 150 kg. The axis position facilitates dynamic movement, whereas a powerful hydraulic unit with precise joint adjustment options allows a technician to configure optimal customization for the prosthesis wearer.
Also added to Streifeneder’s materials lineup and setting the company apart is Thermocarb 2015, thermoformable carbon fiber reinforced sheets that are used in the manufacturing of orthotic parts such as shells and splints. Thermocarb combines the strength of carbon composite with the ease of use of a thermoplastic. The knitted composite sheets can be molded multiple times to fabricate custom products or heat adjusted to final fit prefabricated devices. Olivo-Schulte said the sheets can also be used for ankle foot orthoses, insoles, and other products.
“Anything that is needed in the orthopedic industry, we have,” said Olivo-Schulte, who noted that this includes pediatric componentry, machines and tools, resins, carbon fibers, and more. “We’re kind of unique in that sense. We have our own branded products but also maintain relationships
that help us cast an even wider net when necessary.”
Olivo-Schulte pointed to Streifeneder’s personal, hands-on approach for its ability to develop new products for the industry with characteristics that make them unique. “It doesn’t take an entire board of directors to make a new product. The great part about our company is that we see a need and we try to fill that need as best as we can. A lot of our newest products come from ideas of not becoming the newest and greatest, but filling a gap that the industry is asking for.”
Streifeneder will roll out several other new products in early 2015.
Article sponsored by Streifeneder USA