MET's second site should open in May
ANAHEIM, CALIF. - Medical Extrusion Technologies Inc. of Murrieta, Calif., expects to begin operations by mid-May at a second facility under construction in Elk River, Minn.
``There is a large medical presence in the Twin Cities area, and we have a lot of business there,'' said President Tom Bauer.
Customers want shorter lead times and the assurance of a second source. Constructing the Elk River facility ``is a great way to show our customers we are going to be up and running in the event of a natural disaster,'' Bauer said. Elk River is about 45 miles northwest of Minneapolis.
MET is investing about $4 million to build and equip the 28,000-square-foot plant. The site initially will use three existing MET extrusion lines and may acquire some Killion extruders.
``We will probably have 10 [employees] by the end of this year, and we will work up to 25 in two or three years,'' Bauer said at the Medical Design & Manufacturing West show in Anaheim.
Bauer founded MET in 1990. The 17,000-square-foot Murrieta facility employs 30 and operates five extrusion lines.
Teleflex will target material replacement
ANAHEIM, CALIF. - Teleflex Medical OEM Products is testing resins that might replace metals.
``One of the weaknesses still in the medical materials market is [lack of] a metal replacement,'' said Sean Lynn, associate director of extrusion research and development at the firm's facility near Limerick, Ireland.
``Methods like [magnetic resonance imaging] need plastics,'' Lynn said. ``You can't use ferrous metals. Steel is not good enough for applications like MRI.''
While little change has occurred in actual resins, Teleflex and others have looked at ways of combining the polymers, including through coextrusion. ``You end up meeting market needs by using dissimilar materials,'' Lynn said in an interview at the Medical Design & Manufacturing West show in Anaheim.
Teleflex is working with extruded inner catheter linings of polytetrafluoroethylene, perfluoroethylene propylene and per- fluoroalkoxy. There are advantages to each of the materials for specific market needs, Lynn said.
In secondary process advances, Teleflex micromolds complex soft-tip designs onto catheters rather than using a terminal bonding process. The short tip section can weigh less than 0.1 gram.
Also, Teleflex can laser-cut more than 500 holes in a catheter and improve diffusion of contrast media from the catheter. In its standard bonding process, Teleflex can encapsulate marker bands within an extruded catheter.
Bannockburn, Ill.-based Teleflex Medical is a unit of publicly traded Teleflex Inc.
Anaheim shows see attendance increase
ANAHEIM, CALIF. - Trade show producer Canon Communications LLC estimates nearly 45,000 people attended six concurrent events with 2,045 exhibitors Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in Anaheim.
Preliminary attendance figures increased about 15 percent from last year's comparable events, Los Angeles-based Canon said.
The shows were Medical Design & Manufacturing West, WestPack, Plastec West, Electronics West, Pacific Design & Manufacturing and, a 2006 addition, Automation Technology Expo West.