Injection molder and contract manufacturer Tech Group is relocating its Grand Rapids plant to a new molding facility in nearby Walker, Michigan, which will be expanded to cope with the high demand for medical devices and components.
The Arizona-based company said it will spend $12.4m (€9.75m) on the new facility, which will create 105 jobs in Walker by the end of the year and will be operational in the first quarter of 2007.
Although the US advanced drug delivery market is tipped to grow more than 18 per cent and exceed $76bn by 2014, only a handful of contract manufacturing organisations (CMOs) exist that can fulfill the task of making such specialised devices on a large scale, so the Tech Group is cashing in on the action.
Of particular significance for the company has been its manufacturing deal with Nektar Therapeutics for the inhaled insulin device Exubera, providing the stepping stone for the plastics manufacturer to diversify its business and customer base and move from simply doing injection moulding of components and subunits for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to now being a specialist maker of whole delivery devices.
"The Tech Group's objective is to continue to support the growing trend of outsourcing manufacturing and contract assembly operations in the healthcare sector," said Robert Hargesheimer, president of The Tech Group.
"The move is a direct response to increasing demand from medical device manufacturers and OEMs that rely on our regulatory expertise in the drug delivery and medical device markets."
The new facility will be expanded from 40,000 square feet to 72,000 square feet and house approximately 60 injection molding machines.
Additionally, the plant will have a dedicated class 100K molding floor, class 100K assembly floor and separate class 10K assembly floor for contract assembly operations.
All in all, the Tech Group has 14 manufacturing facilities and is able to keep all its customers' projects separate by spreading them throughout these different sites.
In 2005, the company opened a 100,000 square foot plant in Frankfort, Indiana, to serve the growing consumer products and packaging business.