Anaheim, Calif. — Thermoplastic resin distributor M. Holland Co. has created a health care unit to expand its reach into the medical device market.
Founded in 1950, Northbrook, Ill.-based M. Holland is one of the largest privately held resin distributors, selling about 1.4 billion pounds of resin a year to some 4,000 customers.
The company is currently focused on highly regulated industries like automotive, wire and cable, and medical devices as part of a strategy to target key markets from product development through manufacturing.
"We're investing in talent and putting more effort into these industries where it is tough and oriented toward technical support," Josh Blackmore, manager of the M. Holland Healthcare Group, said at Medical Design & Manufacturing West, held in Anaheim from Feb. 6-8. "My goal is to have a very dominant group in the industry at a time when so many resin suppliers are reducing their developers, pulling back or just avoiding it altogether. We're going counterculture."
M. Holland's health care group has technical engineers in eight regions; account managers across the United States, particularly in medical hubs like Boston; and an application development engineer whom Blackmore calls "borderless."
"All this effort really is to help develop specifications and drive customers into our sales force," he said. "There's over 70 different salespeople to be able to take those orders and give a high-degree or high-level service."
M. Holland has more than 120 "pre-vetted" products ranging from low-cost, low-temperature commodities to high-cost, high-temperature, engineering-grade resins, Blackmore added.
"I don't know that anyone has this deep of a medical line card," he said.
The resins have undergone biocompatibility testing that meets international standards and helps medical-device makers establish a pattern of orientation toward safety.
"The raw material is a good way to start those data points," Blackmore said.
A couple of the resins on the medical line card have emerged as low-cost, clear alternatives to polycarbonate, he added, including Ineos Styrolution materials like K-resin and Zylar, which is 15 percent lighter than PC.
"So, you get 15 percent more parts out of a pound as a volumetric cost savings," Blackmore said of Zylar.
M. Holland has also sourced medical-grade resins from BASF Corp., ChevronPhillips Chemical Co., Covestro LLC, Elastron and Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA.
In addition, the company's new health care group offers management tools related to formulation control, change notification and supply chain risk assessment.