Because the preferred poplar wood for prosthesis fabrication became difficult to obtain, he sought replacement in the chemical industry. That is how,starting in 1950, the first plastics were applied, some of which are still used today. Recognizing the vast potential of this new material, Max Näder founded the Otto Bock Kunststoff in 1953 (“Kunstoff” meaning “plastic”). Today, the company is an important technology partner for Otto Bock HealthCare as well as a successful developer and supplier of plastics, e.g. for the automobile industry. The third pillar of the company group Otto Bock is Sycor. Formerly part of the computer department of Ottobock, the information and communication technology company develops customized solutions for company networks.
Max Näder also made wise international moves very early on. In 1958, he set off the expansion of the company and founded Ottobock in the US in Minneapolis. Today, Ottobock is the only true global player in the orthopedic industry. However, innovation remained the most important source of growth. The modular leg prosthesis set a global technological standard as of 1969. This patent contributed considerably to the current market position of the company, securing it an uncontested lead in leg prosthetics for over two decades. A further milestone in the 1960s was the development of myolelectric arm prostheses, that is, prostheses that are controlled by muscle signals. With such complex technologies, Ottobock changed from being the producer of individual components to a supplier of complete prosthetic systems. The company could thus provide and guarantee the function and quality of entire devices.