There’s some good manufacturing news in the state of Michigan. Medical supplier Stryker Corp. plans to invest $5 million in capacity to make metal injection molded parts.
Interestingly, many automotive injection molders would love to pick up new business from Stryker, even though their orientation is strongly toward plastics, a far different technology than powder metal. Delphi, for example, has established a precision medical products business, but with little effect. The shift in mindset may be even more dramatic than the shift in technology. Auto suppliers are used to high volume, low price. Medical molding is low volume, high price - and very high precision and quality.
Patrick Anderson, Stryker’s vice president corporate affairs, has been quoted as saying: “There are plenty of folks that can do injection molding, but not many that can do it to a level of precision required to meet the quality regulations.”