To gain a foothold with startup medical-device manufacturers and OEMs in the Bay Area on the West Coast, privately owned Cretex Cos. Inc. has purchased privately owned injection molder and contract manufacturer Pacific Plastics & Engineering.
“It gives us a West Coast presence that we don't have right now,” Lynn Schuler, CEO of Elk River, Minn.-based Cretex, said in a May 24 phone interview. “There is a high concentration of medical OEMs and startups. Those companies want a local partner that they can meet with. We can now work together with them more easily on research and development work and developing prototypes.”
“Pacific Plastics is a very solid company and they have an excellent management team that is willing to stay on,” Schuler said.
Pacific Plastics' plant in Soquel, Calif., just outside Santa Cruz, will be the first West Coast operation for Cretex, a nearly 100-year-old company that owns and operates manufacturing businesses in markets including medical, energy, defense, aerospace, construction and equipment.
Schuler said the company does not disclose sales or break out results by market segment. It has some 1,700 employees at nearly 40 locations in 38 states.
Its portfolio of companies includes medical-device injection molder Juno Inc., and Meier Tool & Engineering Inc., which makes small, tight-tolerance, metal-formed components and subassemblies for the medical, surgical, electronics, aerospace and defense industries.
Both companies are located in Anoka, Minn. Juno has more than 20 presses, for both thermoset and thermoplastic, ranging from 30-440 tons of clamping force.
A third Cretex medical-device company, RMS Co., with both its headquarters and a plant in Minneapolis, makes implants and surgical instruments for spinal surgeries, reconstructive orthopedics, cardiovascular and neurological stimulation and endoscopy. Its plant in Memphis, Tenn., exclusively makes orthopedic instruments.
Pacific Plastics, founded 22 years ago by husband and wife Jack and Stephanie Harkness, has nearly 100 employees and seven clean rooms at its plant, which molds and assembles medical and biotech devices.