ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Merrill's Packaging expects to add a thermoforming line to its Burlingame, Calif., plant.
The $7 million, 60,000-square-foot plant opened in late 1995, but was not announced until the Medical Design and Manufacturing West show, according to President Ken Merrill.
The company is driven by growth in the medical device industry, Merrill said in a Feb. 12 interview at the Anaheim show. The firm continues to use its older, 20,000- square-foot facility, also in Burlingame.
Merrill would not provide details on equipment added to the new plant, other than to say two thermoforming lines have been added since the move. A company statement said Merrill Packaging is ISO 9001 compliant and expects certification soon.
The firm has expanded from 100 to 140 employees since the move, and operates 24 hours a day, said sales manager Brian Meltzner. It has also added a line with a 91/2-inch draw, he said.
The new thermoforming plant includes a Class 10,000 clean room, an upgrade from a Class 100,000 clean room. The upgrade was driven by pressure from medical industry customers looking to cut their costs by reducing the need to inspect products they buy from companies such as Merrill's, Meltzner said.
The firm has room to quadruple its pre-move capacity in the new plant, Merrill said.
Although the company does not release sales figures, Merrill said it saw growth of 56 percent last year.
The company also is in talks with a Malaysian thermoformer about licensing some of its technology, he said.
That unnamed firm is mainly interested in electronics but he downplayed the talks, saying that ``it's all really very preliminary. I don't know that we'll get them, frankly.''
The firm manufactures packages for medical, electronic, food and retail markets using materials such as glycol-modified PET, polycarbonate and PVC.