News

SMC Expands Device Design and Product Development Capabilities in Ohio


Posted in Contract Manufacturing Services by Jamie Hartford on September 12, 2013

The contract manufacturer says the move to a larger building gives it capabilities that were not available at its previous location.

 


SMC will expand its medical design capabilities thanks to the purchase of a new facility in Ohio.

The acquisition of a new building in Ohio will enable SMC Ltd. (Somerset, WI) to develop production processes that were unavailable to the contract manufacturer at its previous, smaller site, says Rick Walker, the company’s director of design services. Located in Twinsburg, the 16,000-sq-ft location is almost three times larger than SMC’s former building in nearby Hudson, OH, he says. SMC will use the building to expand medical design and product development as the company responds to cost pressures facing its medical device clients.

SMC purchased the Twinsburg building for approximately $1 million, Walker says. The facility “allows us to get into manufacturing. We were strictly doing design development at the old facility.” He says SMC plans to “design, build, verify, and ship [products] to end-users” for their clinical trials at the new location. In addition, SMC will manufacture the kind of complex, low-volume electromechanical devices in Twinsburg that it could not make at the Hudson site, Walker says. These products will include pumps and devices for fluid management, thermal regulations, and air and fluid flow control. The Twinsburg site also has a Class 10,000 cleanroom for assembly.

SMC announced the acquisition June 18, and the facility will begin operating at full capacity for product testing and verification this fall, Walker says.

Wayne Snyder, SMC’s business development manager, says the company moved to the larger facility in response to OEM clients’ need to contain costs. “Medical device companies are under cost pressures and looking for ways to keep their product costs down,” he says. “They’re doing a lot of outsourcing by going further back in the food chain and recognizing that product design development is a costly proposition done in-house, so they’re looking at companies like SMC to support them.” Snyder cited Boston Scientific as one recent example of the OEM trend toward outsourcing of design and development.

SMC will use the additional space and equipment to expand pilot production capabilities in three areas, Walker says. The first will be for “short-run activity” designed to help clients with their clinical trials. The second area will cover verification and validation services for products that will come back for revisions before manufacturing. The third capability will involve “low-volume, technically complex kinds of products” such as the aforementioned pumps, fluid management, and flow-control devices, he says.

Snyder says SMC’s presence in Ohio keeps the company “in close proximity to existing major clients.” In addition, the site is in a part of the state that’s “a real feeder for medical device development through the Cleveland Clinic, University of Akron, and Ohio State University.” Many of the major medical device companies in Ohio are SMC customers, he notes.

John Conroy is a frequent contributor to MD+DI. Reach him at johnconroy@roadrunner.com. 


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