NEW YORK — Small custom medical tubing extruder NDH Medical Inc. is relocating from Florida to Tennessee, attracted by room for expansion and a better labor pool.
The company plans to build a 25,000-square-foot facility in Sevierville, Tenn., about 20 miles east of Knoxville, that will be more than four times as large as its current facility in St. Petersburg.
The plant will double NDH's production capacity when it is complete early next year, but company officials would not disclose current capacity or sales.
A very tight labor market in Florida that would have hampered expansion plans was a significant factor in NDH's move to Tennessee, said President Geary Havran.
``[Tennessee] has readily available land, a good labor force, and I'm impressed with a lot of the post-high school training programs,'' Havran said.
Tennessee's economy is more suited to manufacturing than Florida's tourism and white-collar-oriented work force, he said.
The site has room to be expanded to 100,000 square feet. NDH will invest more than $1 million in the new plant, and plans to employ 25 people within 24 months, up from seven in Florida, Havran said.
Most of the facility will be a Class 100,000 clean room, with a small part set up for a Class 10,000 clean room, he said.
The company announced plans for the plant May 25 at the Medical Design and Manufacturing East show in New York.
The company does only medical tubing, and focuses on products less than one-half inch in diameter. Its growth is coming generally from all its markets, which include critical-care applications such as catheters and less-critical applications such as orthodontic and veterinary products, said Vice President Scott Nicora.
It processes a variety of specialty materials, but no PVC, silicones or high-temperature fluoropolymers.
The 5-year-old company got its start when Ohmeda Medical moved a catheter-manufacturing plant from Tampa to the Far East in 1994. Havran was general manager of the plant and Nicora was a plastics engineer.
Ohmeda did some contract tubing manufacturing out of that facility for other companies, and NDH began its business with that customer base, Havran said.