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Medical tubing extruder shutters China plant, expands U.S. manufacturing operations

To some, the so-called re-shoring trend that is bringing manufacturing back to the United States is more hype than reality, but to folks at Glens Falls, NY, it feels very real, indeed. Precision Extrusion, a contract manufacturer of tubing and subassemblies primarily for the medical device sector, has ended its brief foray into China. The company recently shuttered its facility in Hangzhou, which it opened in 2011, and announced an expansion of its Glens Falls plant.

To some, the so-called re-shoring trend that is bringing manufacturing back to the United States is more hype than reality, but to folks at Glens Falls, NY, it feels very real, indeed. Precision Extrusion, a contract manufacturer of tubing and subassemblies primarily for the medical device sector, has ended its brief foray into China. The company recently shuttered its facility in Hangzhou, which it opened in 2011, and announced an expansion of its Glens Falls plant. Promised incentives that did not materialize, rising labor costs, and IP issues were the reasons cited by company president Mike Badera for closing the plant in an interview with the Post-Star.

When the Chinese government launched a $120 billion healthcare stimulus in 2009 to spur investment in the country's healthcare infrastructure and serve its burgeoning middle class, which is now larger than the entire U.S. population, foreign manufacturers saw a tremendous business opportunity. Precision Extrusion was one of them.

"Part of why we were thinking about going to China in the first place is that they're expanding their healthcare, as are most of the countries in Asia," Badera told the Post-Star. "They were trying to get more domestic-made product; they don't want to import the expensive stuff from the U.S."

Shifting macroeconomics and a reality that did not quite measure up to what was promised soured Badera on the experience. "As it's turned out, we can do the same thing [in Glens Falls]," he told the Post-Star. "Because the cost of goods in China has gone up, our cost here is now more competitive. We can make it here and ship it."

Catch up with Precision Extrusion and other suppliers of medical tubing at MD&M West, the largest medical manufacturing event in the United States, and co-located PLASTEC West in Anaheim, CA, on Feb. 11 to 13.  
Shifting macroeconomics and a reality that did not quite measure up to what was promised soured Badera on the experience. "As it's turned out, we can do the same thing [in Glens Falls]," he told the Post-Star. "Because the cost of goods in China has gone up, our cost here is now more competitive. We can make it here and ship it."

As a result, the company has embarked on a 7000-sq-foot expansion of its US plant, for a total of 22,000 sq ft, almost half of which will be cleanroom space. The company plans to add approximately 20 employees over the next three to four years to its current staff of 30. Groundbreaking is planned for the spring of 2014.

Last month, Precision Extrusion achieved a milestone when it was certified to ISO 13485, the quality systems standard for medical devices.

Precision Extrusion has provided OEM contract manufacturing services to global medical device manufacturers in the endovascular, cardiology, radiology, neurology, orthopedic, and dental sectors for more than 20 years. The company also manufactures specialized products for use in fiber optics and precision measurement systems.

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