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MedPlast buys Orthoplastics to speed growth in implant market

By: Catherine Kavanaugh

October 14, 2013

MedPlast Inc., a U.S.-based medical molder and contract manufacturer, has acquired U.K.-based Orthoplastics Ltd., which makes ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene products and components for orthopedic device implants.

Headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., MedPlast specializes in thermoplastic and elastomeric materials for medical devices used in surgery, oncology, dentistry, and other segments of the health market. The company functions as an extension of its customers manufacturing operations, encouraging them on its website to “give us your difficult products.”

Orthoplastics is one of the major suppliers to the strictly regulated orthopedic implant market.

The combination of the two firms will bring opportunities for both businesses and their customers, according to MedPlast CEO Harold Faig. MedPlast expands its footprint in Europe for medical applications and Orthoplastics gains production capacity for components.

“Through this acquisition, MedPlast can accelerate its growth into the medical device assembly and implantables markets,” Faig said in a statement.

Orthoplastics will help MedPlast widen its range of processing technologies as the design of medical products grows increasingly sophisticated and regulated.

“This acquisition allows MedPlast to combine its technical capabilities with Orthoplastics’ implantable technologies to become a significant player in the implantable market,” David Brooks, managing director of Orthoplastics, said in a statement.

MedPlast’s expertise lies in injection molding, medical blow molding, silicone extrusion, compression and transfer molding, liquid injection molding, two-shot molding, over molding, insert molding, multi-component molding, and precision mold making. The company recorded sales of $222 million in 2012.

Orthoplastics capabilities include direct compression molding, ram extrusion, annealing, machining and finishing, inspection and laboratory testing. The company developed technology to produce premium grade UHMWPE material and it patented a method of gamma cross linking in bulk with close dosage control, which is important to orthopedic device customers.

Last year, MedPlast acquired fellow contract manufacturer United Plastics Group Inc., which makes precision plastic products for the medical and industrial markets, with operations in the United States, Wales, China and Mexico. The acquisition of the Oak Brook, Ill.-based company gave MedPlast significant reach and production capacity in China. After the restructuring was completed in November, the MedPlast brand concentrated on the medical business and the UPG brand on industrial markets.