Pacemaker and cardiac-device component maker Oscor Inc. of Palm Harbor, Fla., will nearly double its manufacturing and design space when expansions in the U.S. and Dominican Republic are completed in about one year.
The expansions will add 20,000 square feet of manufacturing and design space in a third location it is adding in Palm Harbor and another 20,000 square feet at its Oscor Caribe LLC site in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The additions will allow the company to shorten its product development and manufacturing lead times, said President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Osypka in a recent phone interview.
``Our goal is to be able to develop medical devices faster and shorten development times by 30-40 percent,'' said Osypka, whose company has grown 35 percent in each of the past three years, more than doubling sales to $60 million. The 25-year-old company is privately owned.
Oscor specializes in long-term implantable and temporary pacing devices - mostly made from polyurethane 90A - and other components for pacemakers, temporary cardiac pacing, deflectable catheters and delivery systems, and neuro-stimulation.
The expansion in Florida will include clean room space, a larger catheter assembly area and more injection molding room. ``The new facility will enable us to expand our product development and design capabilities because we will be able to design and make more injection molds in-house,'' Osypka said.
The Santo Domingo expansion will include a 12,000-square-foot clean room, laser welding and increased space for medical catheter assembly, staging, sterilization and turnkey packaging.
``We want to double our capacity over the next 12-14 months'' with the expansions, which got under way in March, he said.
The projects are self-funded. ``We are very profitable,'' he said. ``We are seeing a return on the investment that we have made in our employees, systems and technology that will allow us to continue our remarkable growth in this sector.''
Osypka said he expects to add 200 workers during the next two years, which would more than double the workforce from the current 170, which includes 110 in Palm Harbor and 60 in the Dominican Republic.
Most of the new workers will be equipment operators; electrical, mechanical or biomedical engineers; or mold makers and mold designers. He said most hires in Santo Domingo will be operators, with engineers and mold makers the predominant U.S. hires.
Currently, production is divided almost equally between the Santo Domingo plant, which opened three years ago, and the Palm Harbor plants. ``But that will shift more to the Dominican Republic,'' Osypka said. ``Over the next two years, we expect that we will do 70 percent of our manufacturing in the Dominican Republic.''
With the industry growing 15 percent annually and the company in an established niche, Osypka said Oscor's biggest challenge isn't competition from others, but finding ``good talent with medical-device experience willing to learn new techniques.''
``We have to hire people from Minnesota, California and the New England area and train them directly on the job to learn these techniques and catheter technologies, because this is not something you normally learn,'' Osypka said.