Genesis Plastics Welding is expanding its clean room to create more capacity for radio-frequency welding of medical devices. The company also expects to expand its plant by 50 percent within the next year as it continues to grow its medical-device contract manufacturing business.
We have just ordered the equipment for the clean room expansion, said President and CEO Tom Ryder in a phone interview. It will be completed by the middle to end of March.
The expansion will increase the size of Genesis' Class 7 clean room from 1,000 square feet to 2,000 square feet, and add more heat-sealing equipment and RF welding equipment.
But more importantly, it will allow privately owned Genesis, located in Fortville, Ind., 15 miles east of Indianapolis, to shift RF welding of medical supplies and medical devices into a clean room environment.
That will give us a lot more product opportunities in medical devices, which today account for 60-65 percent of the company's revenues, Ryder said.
We are producing mostly heat-sealing devices now, Ryder said. When we do the RF welding in a clean room environment, we will be able to manufacture medical devices classified in higher medical-device categories.
He also said Genesis is likely to convert additional space in the plant into clean room space sometime next year.
A plant expansion also is in the works, Ryder said.
We are looking to increase the size of the facility from 28,000 square feet to 45,000-50,000 square feet, he said. Work on the expansion will probably start by the end of 2010 and will be completed by October. The timetable depends on whether we add on to our existing facility or move into another facility down the road.
The expansion of our medical clean room is an important milestone in our growth initiatives, said Ryder. The company's revenues have increased eightfold since he joined the company in 2001 as vice president of sales and marketing, before being promoted to chief operating officer, and then president and CEO earlier this year.
We have made a significant investment in both equipment and personnel for the medical business and have at least 50 percent more equipment than 31/2 years ago, Ryder said. I would like to see us double our current size in the next five to eight years, he said.
Genesis currently welds surgical instrument covers, medical-device inflatable components, oxygen hoods, compression therapy and deep-vein thrombosis sleeves, cooling caps, disposable warming blankets, cooling therapy products, fluid bladders and drainage bags.
In addition to RF welding of both polar and non-polar thermoplastic materials, Genesis also does impulse welding and sonic welding, using its ecoGenesis proprietary plastics welding heat-sealing technology.
Our forte is RF welding, Ryder said. That allows us to weld material over other plastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene and other low-loss polymers in film, foam and fabric layers. Our technology has a big advantage for the market because it allows us to offer customers more low-cost material options and lets our customers replace PVC and polyurethane with phthalate-free plastics, he said.
It allows companies to introduce materials that they couldn't introduce before, Ryder said. It gives them the opportunity to improve their product and make their product less expensive.
In October, Genesis announced collaboration with PolyOne Corp. of Avon Lake, Ohio that will enable non-halogenated and non-plasticized PolyOne GLS Versaplex thermoplastic elastomers to be welded into any two-dimensional shape or configuration, using mandrels.
The two companies said the breakthrough gives customers a better option for fluid-delivery applications such as infusion kits, blood-transfer, drainage and urinary bags and because it allows for more flexibility, improved mechanical properties and better clarity.
It lets Genesis provide better choices for the next generation of fluid-delivery products, said Rick Noller, director of global marketing for PolyOne GLS thermoplastic elastomers.