Making it in medical molding, part one

16/10/2015

So, you want to be a medical molder? It's easy to see why. The $380 billion global medical technology industry has its ups and downs like any other sector, but it typically generates steady growth. In fact, the medtech sector was upgraded by rating agency Moody's from "stable" to "positive" in August 2015, with 4 to 5% growth forecast for the next 12 to 18 months. Outsourcing to the medtech industry, which includes molding and plastics processing, is projected to grow at almost 12% through 2018, according to some industry analysts. And the medical polymers market is expected to expand at an 8.4% compound annual growth rate through 2020, achieving a value of $9.69 billion, according to Grand View Research.

Because of the dictates of quality manufacturing and regulatory requirements, medical device OEMs are less likely than other manufacturers to go hunting for deals—they are, by and large, loyal to their supply chain. And continuing demand for single-use devices makes metal replacement a hot topic within industry, a tremendous opportunity for materials innovators and providers of plastics processing services.

It's an attractive industry, but the barriers to entry for vendors can be significant. We asked several contract molders who have a track record of working with medical device OEMs what their customers are looking for in a molding partner. Here is what they told us.
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