When it was founded 12 years ago, Rhythmlink International LLC manufactured medical devices to manage epilepsy and related disorders exclusively in China. Now, it is expanding its design and distribution headquarters in Columbia, SC, and will move some manufacturing to the United States for the first time. The $1.4 million investment is expected to create an additional 50 new jobs over the next five years. The expansion will include an automated packaging line in a new 1500-sq-ft ISO 8 (Class 100,000) cleanroom. Rhythmlink's first devices made in the USA will be on the market in mid- to late-2015.
"As Rhythmlink continues to grow, we keep looking for ways to stay competitive," said Michael O'Leary, Chief Operating Officer, in a prepared statement. "After careful analysis, it made sense to take some of our production processes out of our facility in China and move them closer to home. We looked at Costa Rica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and even a couple of other states. After working with and receiving support from our partners at the State of South Carolina, Richland County, and Capital Bank, in the end it was less expensive and clearly more practical to invest in automation for a new packaging line right here in our own facility in Columbia," said O'Leary.
Integral to bringing overseas manufacturing to Columbia and to meet growing demand, automation will enable better quality control, customer service and improved ability to bring products to market faster, according to Rhythmlink. This project will enable it to reduce costs and compete in existing markets and enter new markets more quickly, the company noted in a press release.
In addition to manufacturing and marketing its own devices, Rhythmlink offers custom packaging, custom products, private labeling, and contract manufacturing services.