Action Fabricators launches Laminin Medical

July 2, 2010
| By Pete Daly |
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Action Fabricators has expanded its variety of products for the medical device industry with the launch of a new division called Laminin Medical Products.

With the help of an Economic Development Job Training grant from the MEDC, Laminin will focus on the engineering, manufacturing and assembly/packaging of medical products under contract to companies that supply medical devices such as IV start kits and surgical kits to hospitals and clinics. Laminin was an exhibitor in early June at the Medical Design and Manufacturing Show in New York and is already registered with the FDA.

Action Fabricators, 3760 East Paris Ave. SE in Kentwood, has more than two decades of experience in manufacturing adhesive-backed products for various industries and has been producing products for the medical industry for seven years.

“With the strong support and relationships Action Fabricators already has in the manufacturing space, Laminin is uniquely poised to gain an early leadership position in the wound care and medical device markets,” said Jon Rudolph, president of Action Fabricators. “We see tremendous potential as we continue to grow our presence in the medical market and expect to bring new expertise and new job opportunities to the region.”

Action Fabricators is known in industrial terms as a “converter” and, in fact, is a Platinum Preferred Converter for 3M, which supplies raw material it works with. Action Fabricators custom-converts a variety of adhesive-backed foams, plastics, tapes and other materials into specific products. Those include die cut adhesives for internal fastening, die cut foams for water and light seals, die cut plastics to form lenses and filters for display panels on cell phones and instruments, and low compression-set Poron foam for gap filling and vibration dampening.

The auto industry has been an important customer for Action Fabricators over the past 20 years, as have furniture and appliance manufacturers.

Marv Snedeker, business development manager for Laminin, said the new division’s products are primarily wound-care adhesive coverings that are applied to the skin. They are typically included with single-use disposable kits for hospitals and clinics.

Prior to joining Action Fabricators, Snedeker was with Oliver Products Co. in northwest Grand Rapids, which makes medical packaging machinery and materials.

The origin of the name Laminin comes from a protein by the same name found in most cells and organs that serves the primary function of binding together vital membranes.

Snedeker said Laminin is producing a dozen or more specific products, with “probably another half-dozen in the development phase.”

The company has two “white” rooms that will eventually be certified clean rooms for sterile production and packaging.

“We are ISO 9001,” said Snedeker, adding that Laminin is working on ISO 13485, which is the medical classification for ISO quality standardization.

Action Fabricators, which has about 53 employees, anticipates total sales of about $22 million in 2010, according to Snedeker.

In 2009, the company moved to a 70,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, at which time the push began to expand Action Fabricators sales in the medical market.

“Action Fabricators has grown and added employees recently, and they are looking at adding a second shift,” Snedeker said.

Action Fabricators was a participant in the Keep Michigan Working diversification program offered by the MEDC in September 2009, according to Nathan S. Pilon of the MEDC.

Training that cost a total of $84,000 was covered 70 percent by the state and the remainder by Action Fabricators, according to Snedeker.

Pilon said the training was to help the company “target opportunities in the medical device industry, working with CJPS Enterprises of Troy, who provided the company with web development assistance, market segment training and how to match competencies in this new emerging market.”

The Keep Michigan Working program included a series of 14 educational summits held around the state throughout 2009. To date, the program, in conjunction with the MEDC and MMTC, has awarded more than $5.7 million dollars in training to companies looking to diversify from automotive manufacturing into the industries of aerospace, defense contracting, alternative energy and medical devices, according to Pilon.

For more information about Laminin, see www.lamininmedical.com

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