MILLS RIVER, N.C.—Raumedic A.G. has a new structure and a new manufacturing facility in the U.S.
The firm has consolidated into two business units, from three, and in April opened its first U.S.-based manufacturing facility and North American headquarters in Mills River. The company said in a news release that will invest $27 million in the 60,000-sq.-ft. facility, which will serve as a production and development center for customer-specific polymer components and systems, including a 13,000-sq.-ft. ISO Class 7 clean room.
The plant employs 58 and is expected to grow to more than 100 in the midterm, the firm said.
“This is an important step for Raumedic,” CEO Martin Bayer said in a statement. “We will now offer our customers the same quality and service they have come to expect from us as a development partner and system supplier at the Mills River location in the U.S.”
Raumedic's new structure eliminates its assembly unit, rolling that operation into its new Systems unit along with its injection molding business. The firm's new Tubing business unit consists of Raumedic's former extrusion unit, fully dedicated to the extruded tubing business.
Ralf Ziembinski will lead the Tubing unit, while Thomas Knechtel will run the Systems operation.
“This new structure guarantees that the technology, quality and service that we as a polymer specialist for the medical engineering and pharmaceutical industry offer will also in the future be highly qualified and quickly available for our customers and their product ideas,” Bayer said in a statement.
Raumedic focuses solely on the medical device and pharmaceutical industries, offering thermoplastic and silicone tubing, tubing sets, molded components and up to fully assembled medical and pharmaceutical devices.
On a global basis, Raumedic employs about 680. The company's other three facilities are in Germany.
The company said about 20 percent of its business consists of silicone, both extrusion and molding. Raumedic said this is one of its fastest growing segments. While silicone is a big focus, the firm processes all commonly known medical-grade materials—including thermoplastic elastomers, polyurethanes, nylon and other high performance plastics.
Rudi Gall, managing director of Raumedic Inc., the North American unit, said in an email that time to market and the continued trend of the company's customers demanding value-added products forced Raumedic to re-think how it works. He said the new structure will bring the company greater efficiency.
“We recognized that how we defined our business units was no longer mirrored in the market as more and more molded components of our former business unit, Molding & Pharma Solutions, were an integral part of a semi-assembled of fully assembled medical device of our former business unit Catheter & Assembly,” he said.
Raumedic's new facility opened Jan. 1 and is dedicated to serve medical device original equipment manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies with medical and pharmaceutical grade tubing and tubing tests, molded components and fully assembled devices, Gall said.
The new facility includes multi-component injection molding with hard-hard and hard-soft connections, micro injection molding, insert molding, fully automated assembly systems, micro extrusion with an internal diameter of 0.1 millimeters among other processes, the firm said.
Gall added the facility will have the ability to process standard thermoplastics, including TPEs and polyurethanes, along with other high performance plastics such as polytetrafluoroethylene and polyether ether ketone. The firm plans to add silicone injection molding in a second stage.
Prior to the Mills River facility, the company operated a sales and engineering office and logistics center in Leesburg, Va., which Gall said has been integrated into Mills River.
The executive said Raumedic views the medical market as one with high growth potential, specifically in single use devices where polymers will continue to substitute for other substrates such as metal because of costs, requirements in product weight and manufacturability.
He cited consolidation in the industry as a reason for increasing pressure on existing suppliers and their products, capabilities and cost models offered.
He added that Raumedic is well positioned by offering extrusion, molding and assembly capabilities in their product and manufacturing portfolio combined with both silicone and in-house polymer development and a global footprint in Europe and the U.S.
“It has always been our founders and Raumedic's philosophy to be as close as possible to our customers in order to understand their market and product requirements better,” Gall said. “This decision was supported by the fact that the U.S. is still the biggest local market for medical devices compared on a global scale, and that a large share of world-beaters in the medical device arena call the U.S. their home.”