Four California plastics processors reported medical-related investments and other developments during the Feb. 10-12 Anaheim medical trade shows.
In a medical-market initiative, Jatco Inc. of Union City, Calif., is investing about $1 million to establish and outfit a 5,000-square-foot Class 100,000 clean room.
Cleanpak International Inc. of Clackamas, Ore., an affiliate of CES Group Inc., built the Servicor-brand clean room, which will have four all-electric Toyo presses, four Yushin robots and Motan material-handling equipment.
Jatco has made medical components for more than 25 years and is upgrading to participate further in the medical industry as one of the few economic growth areas now.
Including the clean room additions, Jatco operates 33 presses of 28-1,000 tons in Union City and 10 presses of 100-500 tons in a Dongguan, China, facility. Both sites have ISO certification, and the Union City upgrade led to the most recent ISO standard of 9001:2008. The Dongguan site accounts for about 20 percent of Jatco sales. The annual sales fall in the range of $25 million to $30 million.
Paso Robles, Calif.-based processor Specialty Silicone Fabricators is adding two 5-ton all-electric Toshiba presses for medical work in Paso Robles. Requirements in the medical industry regarding long-term implants are getting smaller and smaller, said Lenny Zinn, SSF equipment coordinator. We need small shot sizes. SSF begins operating the new presses in early March.
SSF, a division of Isaac Medical Cos. of Tustin, Calif., displayed a silicone-based combination product for localized therapy. Mark Paulsen, director of Isaac business development, said the firm aims to have the active pharmaceutical ingredient qualified by mid-2009 for extruded or molded applications, potentially in cardiovascular, pain-management, wound-management or ophthalmology therapy.
The combination product can fill a niche because many pharmaceutical ingredients do not withstand elevated temperatures, Paulsen said. Development of the product began in late 2007.
Isaac is investing about $500,000 for a 400-square-foot Class 10,000 clean room in Tustin to process the combo material.
Isaac employs about 300 at its Tustin, Paso Robles and Elk Rapids, Mich., sites, and operates 35 presses ranging from 5-200 tons, eight extrusion and two calendering lines, Paulsen said.
Medical work during 2008 at Mission Plastics Inc. of Ontario, Calif., accounted for 60 percent of sales and 70 percent of part count. The 2007 work on medical-device components represented 50 percent of sales.
Mission Plastics employs about 150, operates 50 injection molding machines of 7-720 tons, occupies 163,000 square feet and has been handling medical work for six years. Twelve of the presses run in a 15,000-square-foot Class 100,000 clean room.
Injection molder C. Brewer Co. in Anaheim has implemented a process that takes the standard time, temperature, pressure and cooling pillars of the Scientific Molding principles to a new level.
Trademarked as the C.BrewerPRP, the program uses a proprietary methodology to develop and validate the molding process and consistently deliver molded parts at Six Sigma-quality levels. The firm touts the process as achieving Scientific Molding 2.0, also trademarked.
Michael Brewer and Chuck Brewer III operate the third-generation family business.