Name Change Reflects New Face of Contract Manufacturer 1679


Sherrie Conroy

March 1, 2007

3 Min Read
Name Change Reflects New Face of Contract Manufacturer

United Plastics Group Inc. (Oak Brook, IL) has changed its name to UPG. The name change reflects the company's increased range of services and is concurrent with the grand opening of the company's newest facility in Tijuana, Mexico. The full-service contract manufacturer has evolved from molding components to providing a full range of product development and manufacturing services.

Over the last three years, UPG has focused on implementing a long-term strategy to diversify its company portfolio and expand operations globally. The company set out a development initiative that included reducing the risks that accompany concentration in only one or two industries. UPG's services include application design, tooling engineering, processing, and manufacturing. The company also offers program management and supply-chain management for projects that range from injection-molded plastic components to final products.

“The name change reflects our success over the past few years at broadening our services and global reach,” says Richard Harris, CEO.

The new 62,000-sq-ft facility in Tijuana is the company's third location in Mexico. The plant features a Class 100,000 cleanroom. Equipment at the new facility includes 32 injection molding presses, with 26 on the molding floor and six in the cleanroom.

“Our Tijuana plant provides custom contract manufacturing capabilities that were not previously available in the region,” says Thomas Cho, UPG's vice president of operations. “Our location outside of the crowded industrial district provides the added benefits of readily available labor and proximity to U.S. distribution channels.”

According to Cho, capabilities at the new plant include 35–720 tn of clamping pressure, optimized material flow, flexible cell–based assembly, tooling repair, and maintenance. In addition to a 13,000-sq-ft molding area, a 9000-sq-ft assembly area allows for in-mold decorating and other finishing processes.

“UPG Tijuana brings advanced manufacturing capabilities to this region,” says Chuck Hoar, vice president of sales and marketing. “It furthers our global strategy, which is to serve customers with high-quality, cost-competitive components and product design and development expertise.”

The contract manufacturer has more than 615,000 sq ft of manufacturing capacity and 300 molding machines in 11 facilities in the United States, Mexico, Europe, and China.

In April 2006, UPG opened its third facility in China. The facility, located in the Suzhou industrial area, was designed after a 24-month evaluation of best practices in value-added contract manufacturing and molding, according to the company. The 115,800-sq-ft plant was built in response to customer demand for China-based manufacturing. The facility includes production in Class 100,000 cleanroom and white room environments.

Certified for ISO 9002 and TS 16949 processes, the facility can accommodate complex production and assembly of medical products. The company has plans to add some 60 molding machines ranging from 35 to 610 tn. The plant can accommodate more than 1000 employees and is equipped for around-the-clock operation. The Suzhou EPZ facility more than triples UPG's manufacturing space in China.

All of the company's plants are coordinated through a customizable project management system that includes Web-based collaboration, monitoring, and project control, administered from UPG's corporate headquarters.

Products manufactured include minimally invasive surgical devices, respiratory products, and catheter devices. Other products include diagnostic instruments and equipment and patientmonitoring systems.

The company's medical manufacturing facilities are ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 certified and FDA registered. All of its facilities offer cleanroom assembly, packaging, and sterilization, and electronic systems assembly and testing.

Copyright ©2007 Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry

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