“Medical Alley” Gains New Option for Device Assembly in Minneapolis

Social enterprise MDI enters sector with white room assembly, kitting and packaging service for the medical sector   

medical device assembly and kitting

Pictured left to right: Phirum Gau, Danh Pham, Jill Hesselroth (MDI board member), Jama Farah, Bruce Binder (3M Healthcare), Peter McDermott (MDI president and CEO), Joe Scanlan (Surgical Technologies), Linda Halverson (Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation), Angie Larson. Not pictured: Bob Klaus (Tapemark), Jim Vogel (Medtronic), Kim Mueller (Lifeworks).

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota-based medical-device and technology manufacturers have a new option for kitting and assembly in a controlled environment. A new white room in MDI’s Minneapolis facility offers skilled hand assembly, kitting and packaging for medical products and other devices.

The 2,000-square-foot room has a modifiable cell-floor layout that can be arranged for varying product-assembly needs. Two separate entrances – for material transfer and employees – reduce the risk of contamination.

The white room provides a controlled environment for the assembly or repair of precision equipment. MDI also delivers dependable lot tracking and inventory control under quality-management standard ISO 9001:2008. The organization will soon achieve certification for ISO 9001:2015, the latest global standard in quality management, and is working toward ISO 13485:2016 for medical-device quality management.

“We are the first Minnesota-based, nonprofit organization serving individuals with disabilities to provide assembly and kitting services in a white-room environment,” said Peter McDermott, president and CEO of MDI. “Our track record of high-quality work allows manufacturers to stay focused on their core competencies while helping provide more employment for people with disabilities.”

MDI is located among the concentration of medical-device manufacturers in Minnesota’s “medical alley,” and positioned for growth in this sector. According to GREATER MSP, nearly 700 medical-device companies have headquarters or major operations in Minnesota, and the industry has a $14.2 billion economic impact within the state.

MDI formed a medical-sector advisory group to leverage the deep industry knowledge available in the Twin Cities region. Representatives from 3M Healthcare, Intek Plastics, Medtronic, Surgical Technologies and Tapemark have counseled MDI through business strategy and development to best meet the needs of potential, white-room customers.

“The Twin Cities continues to be a hotbed for medical-device manufacturers,” said Bruce Binder, global sales and business development director of 3M Healthcare. “MDI recognized this as an opportunity to better serve existing and potential customer needs while promoting both business and job growth. With the addition of the white room, MDI will now be able to provide value adds to contract manufacturing services locally.”

“Medical-device work requires a level of precision and quality that taps the existing skill set of MDI employees,” added Bob Klas, CEO of Tapemark. “This initiative aligns with the organization’s history of going beyond the capabilities of many of its competitors and fills the need in the marketplace for more medical-device and equipment packaging options. It’s a win-win for MDI and the state’s medical-device industry.”

The build of the white room was supported in part by grants from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and Wells Fargo.

MDI is a leader in manufacturing standard and custom, corrugated-plastic packaging solutions, production assembly and environmental services. Through a social enterprise model, MDI creates self-sufficiency by providing meaningful work in an inclusive environment, with nearly half of the workforce comprised of people with disabilities. Headquartered in the Twin Cities – with additional locations in Hibbing, Grand Rapids and Cohasset, Minnesota – MDI offers an unparalleled customer experience while providing high-quality products and services to businesses and organizations.