Enjoying rapid growth, medical tubing extruder HTP-Meds LLC has moved into a new 169,000-square-foot factory in Ashaway, R.I., just across the border from Connecticut.
We're working with all the major medical device manufacturers, President Ray Quinlan said. Applications include dilators, multilayer tubes, multilumen tubes, and precision tubing for balloons, sheaths and catheters.
HTP-Meds designs and makes its own screws and extrusion heads, and compounds some materials. The new building has a 10,000-square-foot white room.
If you have a concept, you send it to us and we'll rough it out. Our saying is bringing a concept to reality, he said.
Quinlan said that in-house capability gives the company an advantage a quick turnaround time.
We can take a print of a multilumen tube, design the tooling, cut the tooling in our CNC machine shop, extrude the tube and then make whatever adjustments are necessary to the tool in a minimal amount of time, he said.
The company has 13 extrusion lines and plans to add three more this year.
HTP-Meds is a spin-off of Hi-Tech Profiles, a custom profile started in 1987 by three former Davis-Standard Corp. employees Quinlan, Mark Ouelette and Lydia Teixeira. At first, Hi-Tech Profiles was located right across the street from Davis-Standard in Pawcatuck, Conn.
The three had worked together at Davis-Standard's extrusion technical services group, focusing on aftermarket business.
At HTP-Meds, Ouelette is vice president and Teixiera is vice president of finance.
Hi-Tech Profiles got heavily involved in automotive tubing, products like brake lines, and fuel lines and the small extrusion house almost got consumed by that high-volume market, Quinlan said.
We just got to the point where we were absolutely inundated with automotive, he said. At one point, about 70 percent of the company's business came from one automotive customer.
Company leaders moved to diversify, into markets such as agriculture, appliances, electronics, plumbing and irrigation. Hi-Tech Profiles, located in the same building in Ashaway, also still does some multilayer automotive tubing.
Hi-Tech Profiles had gained experience in extruding polyurethane. Quinlan said that led to some development work in medical tubing, including multilumen, multilayer tubing. Multilumen refers to tubing that has several, separated channels within the same extrusion.
HTP-Meds was founded in 2004.
So far this year, Quinlan said, HTP-Meds has developed more than 60 products for customers. But it's not easy to supply the medical market, he said. Last year, the company developed a complex, six-lumen tube for a new product that is now in clinical trials.
It takes a lot of years and a lot of money to get into medical. We have products that we did from the very beginning, are just now going commercial, Quinlan said.
The company is growing rapidly. Quinlan said HTP-Meds should hit $10 million in sales in 2010.
HTP-Meds plans to add an 8,000-square-foot clean room this year.
Company officials are exploring the possibility of opening a new extrusion plant in Costa Rica, to serve customer plants there, according to Quinlan.