MedTech Group Inc. has opened a second plant in Heredia, Costa Rica, that will more than double the company's capacity to manufacture medical devices in that country.
The company also is adding tooling capacity in Heredia that is scheduled to be running in July, said George Blank, president and CEO, in a Feb. 10 interview at the Medical Design & Manufacturing West Show in Anaheim.
One factor that has enabled MedTech to grow and expand, even during the difficult economic climate, is the company's philosophy of maintaining a significant amount of open capacity, Blank said.
When our customers have needs, they can't wait for you to add capacity, so we try to have about 20 percent overcapacity at all times.
The expansions complete a busy 13 months for the privately owned, South Plainfield, N.J., firm, which acquired design and development firm TDC Medical Inc. in December 2008 and has since expanded the size of those operations as well.
In September, MedTech announced it had increased the size of the clean room of TDC Medical's facility in Marlborough, Mass., to 20,000 square feet from 13,000 square feet. MedTech also replaced TDC's Sunnyvale, Calif., design facility with a new 25,000-square-foot building with a larger clean room. It also added engineering staff in both locations.
The new plant in Heridia comes six years after MedTech opened its first plant in Costa Rica. The new plant, which opened in January, is adjacent to the first facility and has space for two clean rooms and for assembly operations.
Blank said the second Heredia plant is making products and operating one 6,000-square-foot clean room.
The first plant in Costa Rica, which opened in 2004, continues to do injection molding and assembly and operates one clean room. When it opened, it was 25,000 square feet.
With the expansion, MedTech will have more than 60,000 square feet of manufacturing space in Heredia.
This expansion in Costa Rica provides us with tremendous growth potential for finished-product manufacturing, which customers have been requesting, he said.
Blank said the tool-building operations that it will start in Costa Rica will be larger in both size and people and will complement the company's 5,000-square-foot tooling facility in New Jersey that employs roughly a dozen people.
Between now and April, MedTech will be moving equipment into the Heredia tooling operation and hiring staff, he said.
This global expansion of our injection molding toolmaking abilities will allow us to meet the market requirements for building molds quicker and will allow us to be more competitive in pricing worldwide, Blank said. Without specifying the size of the new toolmaking and molding facility, he said it will have similar capacity and equipment as its New Jersey mold-making operations.
Our capacities now in place for manufacturing, tooling and design help us in speed to market and in growing our business, he said. We are manufacturing more products for the cardiovascular market and we continue to grow in hand-held surgical devices.
Blank said that because of the acquisition of TDC, MedTech is now also viewed as as major device design company and not just a contract manufacturer.
The company's design work is split about 50-50 between catheter products and mechanical devices.
Without disclosing numbers, Blank said MedTech had a good year in 2009, and 2010 will be a better year.
We don't expect it to be like it was before the recession because there still is a lot of uncertainty in the market. But there is more private money coming in and that is good.
MedTech employs more than 500. It also has plants in West Haven, Conn., and Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, and its TDC design group also has a facility in Boulder, Colo.
Copyright 2010 Crain Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.