SAN JOSE, CALIF. (Dec. 21, 1:40 p.m. ET) — Requirements of major medical-device customers led Merrill's Packaging Inc. to establish a facility in Costa Rica and contemplate adding a Midwest or Northeast site during 2012.
Merrill's began discussions in Costa Rica in 2009, created the entity Merrill's Packaging SRL and moved through the government regulatory and property location phases.
Merrill's took occupancy in July 2011 of 10,000 square feet in the free-trade-zone Zona Franca Coyol business park in Alajuela. A 3,000-square-foot Class 100,000 clean room was certified under the ISO 9001:2008 standard in November.
The 2011 sales for the firm's headquarters site in Burlingame, Calif., are on track to increase 20 percent vs. 2010, according to contacts Rick Schultz and Brian Meltzner. While dollar amounts were withheld, the medical market accounts for more than 80 percent of the Burlingame volume, primarily from thermoformed packaging. Burlingame was certified initially in 1998 under an ISO quality management standard.
In 2007, Merrill's began a diversification program that included purchase of injection stretch blow molding equipment, mostly from Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. That equipment molds wine bottles of PET and barrier additives accounting for more than 5 percent of Merrill's business.
Merrill's Packaging exhibited at the BiomeDevice show, held Dec. 6-7 in San Jose.