TEMPE, Ariz. (April, 23, 2009)—Medical component manufacturer MedPlast Inc. has examined every part of its business since its formation a year ago and outlined what kind of company it wants to be in the future.
As a result, MedPlast has upgraded and expanded capabilities at its plants, in particular to meet growing demand in the health care sector, which makes up about 70 percent of its revenues. The Tempe-based firm also has reassessed its relationship with engineering and development specialist HS Design Inc., of which MedPlast is a minority owner.
Before MedPlast's formation a year ago, HS Design was minority-owned by Applied Tech Products. But ATP did not show much interest in utilizing the other company's resources, and the two operations had little interaction, according to MedPlast CEO Harold Faig.
Buyout fund Baird Capital Partners purchased ATP's Engineered Rubber and Plastics Group and K&W Medical Specialties Inc. in April 2008, and combined the businesses to form MedPlast. During the past four to six months, as the new company has built and extended its own sales and marketing organization, it discovered the value HS Design brought to the table.
Now, MedPlast is touting the partnership as providing a one-stop solution for customers seeking engineering, design and manufacturing expertise for their devices. “We found that many of their key customers are ours, and it made sense to leverage each others' skill sets,” Faig said.
“We have many opportunities to provide to existing and new customers the benefits of both organizations.”
In generating those opportunities, HS Design has the ability to provide conceptual designs for new products and integrate elastomeric and thermoplastic parts—MedPlast's specialty—into devices. Many of the company's customers have complex requirements and need a custom plastic, rubber and silicone molding manufacturer with integrated development and design capabilities, Faig said.
Many medical devices are made by combining two or more types of parts, and that specification falls into an area MedPlast does very well, where a thermoplastic or TPE is molded onto a thermoset material, he said. The company's products include two-shot handheld products for diagnostics and parts for disposables, pharmaceuticals and other devices.
“Our investment in HS Design enables MedPlast to offer our customers a wide range of services and expertise that we would not have individually been able to provide,” Faig said.
The CEO said that if he were starting the business today and didn't have HS Design's capabilities, he would be looking for a way to go get them. “It was a strategic resource that wasn't being utilized. Now it's an important piece of what we're trying to provide.”
The integrated approach and streamlined workflow also decrease time to market and contain costs by eliminating or reducing design changes during the manufacturing process, MedPlast said.
Health care is one of two business modules the company MedPlast encompasses, the other being industrial/consumer. HS Design does some business in the latter category as well, and, as in the medical market, the two entities have similar customer lists within that segment, Faig said.
MedPlast—which overall wants to grow 20 percent annually—wants to build long-term, high-quality industrial/consumer business, and one of its plants, located in Monticello, Iowa, is dedicated to that sector, he said. The plant also is compliant with ISO 13485, a quality management certification tied to the design and manufacture of medical devices.
Attaining ISO 13485 certification at each of its five plants is a top priority for the company, as is adding engineering resources—an objective aided greatly by the HS Design integration. Meeting Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations and becoming Six-Sigma-capable are goals MedPlast is working to achieve as well, Faig said.