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Device Outsourcing Firms Avail and Horizon Merge

Originally Published MPMN June 2002

INDUSTRY NEWS

Device Outsourcing Firms Avail and Horizon Merge

Norbert Sparrow

Two companies that offer outsourcing services to medical device OEMs, Avail (Dallas, TX; www.availmed.com) and Horizon Medical Outsourcing (Santa Ana, CA; www.horizonmed.com), have merged. The announcement was issued on May 6.

Avail CEO and president J. Randall Keene first broached the idea of a merger in 1994 with William A. Goolsbee, president and cofounder of Horizon. Since then, "we've been trying to find the right time to partner together," says Keene. "We even made a couple of attempts several years ago. Finally, toward the fall of last year, the time was just right," he says. Keene cites the two firms' complementary strengths and the device industry's embrace of outsourcing as primary reasons for proceeding with the merger.

"Horizon is deeper into design and process development than Avail has been," says Keene. Horizon's focus on mechanical assemblies—medical disposables with mechanical parts—complements Avail's core competency, which could be characterized as being geared to static parts, he explains. "Avail has been [dedicated] to high-volume manufacturing and providing OEMs with a one-stop manufacturing solution," says Keene. By combining process and design engineering expertise with a rigorous approach to design for manufacturability, Keene's objective is to set a new standard for the design, manufacture, and assembly of medical disposables.

Keene sees a glowing future, not only for Avail and Horizon, but for device outsourcing in general. "We spent our first 6½ years explaining this concept to OEMs," says Keene. "They've seen what has happened in the electronics, automotive, and other industries, so that part of it is behind us. The question OEMs ask us now is, 'can you really do what you say you can do?'" says Keene. More than ever, the answer is a resounding yes.

Copyright ©2002 Medical Product Manufacturing News

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