Injection molder Cascade Engineering Inc. is teaming with health-care company Surge Medical Inc. to create a joint venture that will bring new cardiovascular devices to the market.
The new Surge Medical Solutions LLC of Holland, Mich., will develop products for the medical industry, Ron DeVries, president of Holland-based Surge Medical Inc., said in a March 31 telephone interview.
Surge Medical Inc., also in Holland, has a strong background in cardiovascular equipment. DeVries is a former sales director for cardiac surgery devices at DLP Inc., the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based unit of Tech Group Inc. Fellow executive Steven Gundry is a cardiothoracic surgeon.
The 3-year-old company has created some concepts that garnered interest, but needed to link with a manufacturer to bring them to market, he said.
Meanwhile, Grand Rapids-based Cascade - with nearly half of its sales to the auto industry - was eager to expand its customer base last year when it announced it would seek business from the medical industry.
The Surge side of the venture will create new products, while the Cascade side will determine how to manufacture them, even taking advantage of Cascade's in-house compounding unit, Noble Polymers LLC.
The partners are working out details, but manufacturing probably will launch in Cascade plants, said Cascade spokesman John Kowalski.
Slowdowns in the auto industry have freed up production space, he said, but the molder still will have to invest in improvements, including creating clean room manufacturing space that will meet Food and Drug Administration approval for surgical devices.
Any plans for Surge-specific facilities will depend on how sales take off for the products, Kowalski said. The FDA also must give final approval to the surgical accessories Surge develops, DeVries said.
Surge's first two products, being introduced this month, did not require federal approval. Neither item is high-tech, but they do meet medical needs while getting the firm's name out in the market.
The Total Lifter is a flexible pad for moving patients, while the Total Cushion is a soft pad to ease foot fatigue during surgeries or other long procedures. Holland-based Total Innovative Manufacturing is molding the products from polyester fiber.