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Obituary: Medical Plastics Innovator Jon Michael Cude

It was announced earlier this year that Cude will be inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame.


February 21, 2024

2 Min Read
Jon Michael Cude
Image courtesy of Plastics Hall of Fame

Jon Michael Cude, founder of Cude Advising and an innovator in the medical plastics space for more than 40 years, passed away on Feb. 14, 2024. He will be formally inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame in a ceremony at NPE2024.

Cude’s extensive interaction with customers produced numerous medical device innovations. He also led the startup and operation of nine medical plastics manufacturing plants in the United States, Mexico, and Ireland, notes the Plastics Hall of Fame website, and he holds 19 patents.

Born in Nashville on Jan. 28, 1957, he attended Western Kentucky University, where he graduated in 1979 with a degree in mechanical engineering.

That same year he joined Hospital Disposables in 1979, where he helped develop a family of plastic container products that replaced reusable stainless steel and glass in US operating rooms. These new products supported the growth of the surgical procedure pack market while reducing costs and improving patient safety. 

In 1983, Cude founded Atlantic Molds International, a toolmaking business in Portugal. A focus on tooling design that minimized production costs while increasing machine uptime, and the integration of automation, turbulent cooling, and quick changeovers created highly productive tooling and low manufacturing costs. Cude also championed a design for manufacturability approach, according to the Plastics Hall of Fame profile. His deep experience in plastics manufacturing drove his integrated approach to product, mold, automation, and even plant design.

From 1989 to 1999, Cude was instrumental in managing three medical device plants as VP of engineering for DeRoyal Plastics Group. During that time, he patented a guidewire bowl design that solved procedural issues in the imaging labs. 

He then went to work for Coeur Inc., where he oversaw the development of a line of disposable plastic products for the imaging market and led the startup of a medical device assembly plant in Mexico. 

Coeur was sold to ITW in 2012, and Cude became global director of innovation and engineering, responsible for the operations and engineering of six plants in three countries.

Cude left ITW to form Cude Advising in 2019. 

In his spare time, he loved to design and build homes, including his long-time Tennessee residence, a replica of an 1830’s antebellum home, according to his obituary on Legacy.com. His extensive travel for business evolved into a love of travel as a hobby, adds the site, noting he loved a “good meal, fine wine, and full-bodied Port with family and friends.”

He is survived by his brother, two sons, two grandsons, and his partner.

A celebration of his life will be held on March 3, 2024, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Lazarczyk Family Funeral Home, 515 Center St., Lake Geneva, WI, and on March 9 at 1 to 3 p.m. at Crestview Funeral Home, 1623 Hwy 109 N, Gallatin, TN. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the National Brain Tumor Society or Medical College of Wisconsin, designated "for glioblastoma research."

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Informa Markets Engineering

The Informa Markets Engineering network of B2B media sites includes Design News, Battery Technology, Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry (MD+DI), Packaging Digest, PlasticsToday, and Powder & Bulk Solids.

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