Applied Medical Resources Corp. continues to enlarge its in-house injection molding and mold-making capabilities for medical-device manufacturing.
The Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.-based firm plans capacity expansions in 2007 and may add to its current 26 Krauss Maffei, Toshiba and Mitsubishi hydraulic and all-electric injection molding machines with clamping forces of 50-200 tons. Most were acquired from 2004-06.
``Our volumes picked up in 2003, and we started bringing in the machines'' instead of buying most polymer components from vendors, Pat McNenny, senior vice president of operations, said by phone. ``We still buy some [components] outside.''
Applied Medical expects to buy higher-tonnage presses to accommodate higher-cavity tools as production volumes grow.
The firm also does extrusion, rubber transfer molding and metal processing. The extrusion operation began about a dozen years ago.
``When we first started, we bought our components outside,'' McNenny said. ``One of our first products was catheters. To do the development work efficiently, we needed an extruder. Over the years, we have vertically integrated more, so we started making components ourselves.''
The company makes catheters, clamps, stents, guide wires and other products. More than 90 percent of the firm's products contain polymers, including engineering thermoplastics, silicone and rubber.
Annually, Applied Medical operations consume about 594,000 pounds of resin. Volumes of ABS and polycarbonate lead the way.
Applied Medical has said it aims to keep its manufacturing in the United States, and recent investments support that goal.
In 2006, the firm started in-house mold making that filled about one-fourth of its needs. Boosting that capacity is a priority, the company said.
Within a 244,000-square-foot Irvine, Calif., building, the firm is installing equipment and infrastructure in a 50,000-square-foot area to build tools. Applied Medical intends to relocate mold-making operations to Irvine from Rancho Santa Margarita and probably will use the vacated space for plastics processing equipment.
The company employs 1,100 globally, including more than 100 in its polymer processing group and 80 in mold development.
The privately held business, which has not experienced a layoff since its founding in 1987, had sales of $103 million for the 12 months ended June 30, up 40 percent from the previous year.
Applied Medical acquired and remodeled nearby Rancho Santa Margarita manufacturing space in 2003 and 2004 to deal with capacity constraints. In 2006, for about $45 million, it purchased 20 acres in Irvine with two structures and enough land to construct another building.