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OETI expands PPE portfolio with purchase of German ECS

13 Jul '23
4 min read
Pic: OETI - Institut fuer Oekologie, Technik und Innovation GmbH
Pic: OETI - Institut fuer Oekologie, Technik und Innovation GmbH


  • OETI, a member of the Testex Group, has acquired ECS, a testing and certification company specialising in eye and face protection equipment.
  • The acquisition expands OETI's service portfolio in the PPE sector.
  • ECS will continue operating with its existing employees and location.
  • The acquisition aligns with OETI's internationalisation strategy.
OETI – a member of the internationally active Testex Group – has bought the German company ECS to expand its service portfolio in the field of personal protective equipment (PPE). 

OETI has been offering testing services for textile work clothing since 1983 – for about 40 years. Since the introduction of CE labelling for personal protective equipment and the enactment of the PPE Directive by the European Union in 1993, OETI has not only been testing textile personal protective equipment, but now also certifies it in conformity with EU standards. In 1995, OETI was certified in Brussels as a Notified Body (0534) for type-examinations and quality assurance monitoring of personal protective equipment end products. Testing and certification is carried out in accordance with the current PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425.

ECS GmbH – testing and certification body for eye and face protection, based in Aalen, was founded 15 years ago and is a globally active institution for testing and certification of eye and face protection equipment. The company is one of the leading independent testing institutions for personal protection products in laser applications and for welding work. 

Specifically, ECS tests and evaluates occupational health and safety goggles with and without a filter action, passive and active switching protection filters and shields for welders, and laser protection filters, goggles, and shields. The company also tests the optical properties of sunglasses, sports glasses, ski goggles, swimming goggles and motorbike goggles.

With OETI’s takeover, the ECS location in Aalen is retained, and all employees will continue working at ECS. The new managing director of ECS GmbH as of July 1, 2023 is Dipl.-Ing. Rolf Diebolder. He has many years of experience in the management of scientific and technical projects as well as in the research of medical laser therapies and laser applications for ECS.

“We are present on the European market, on the American market and, via a representative office, on the Chinese market. With the aid of the new distribution channels through OETI and Testex, we want to steadily advance ECS’ expansion and be present on all five continents,” says managing director Rolf Diebolder, explaining his strategic plans for ECS. “I would like OETI and ECS to develop a joint strategy in order to be able to offer existing and new customers of both companies a complete package which, when combined, will give us a unique selling point in the marketplace.”

Diebolder also sees further potential in the cooperation with regard to protective laser clothing. According to him, this is where the laser laboratory commissioned by ECS could be used to make textiles laser-safe. In the future, there will be more and more ‘hand-held’ devices, i.e. laser welding devices, for which gloves and protective jackets are needed. 

"ECS is an experienced and knowledgeable partner for the conformity assessment of eye protection equipment. It’s a perfect addition to our existing PPE product portfolio," said OETI’s business development manager Josef Wagenleitner

"This purchase opens up completely new service areas. At OETI, we focus on the textile part of personal protective equipment – namely protective clothing and gloves. ECS’s core competence is in a completely different area of PPE. This has greatly expanded our portfolio as OETI – and thus of the entire Testex Group," Judith Pointner, head of textile technology and PPE at OETI, further explained.

Pointner is certain that OETI’s existing PPE customers, who mainly manufacture and sell textile protective clothing, will continue to receive the usual range of services at the customary high level of quality. However, for customers who market a broad product portfolio of textile and non-textile PPE, OETI can now offer testing and certification as a group from a single source, said Pointner, who sees the benefits in a similar way as Rolf Diebolder.

"The purchase of ECS GmbH is another milestone in our internationalisation strategy, which on the one hand we want to boost through our own growth, and on the other by means of company acquisitions," concluded Robert Löcker, MBA, OETI’s managing director

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (RR)

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