MME Group’s recent expansion is an example of their ambition to continue broadening capabilities and add capacity. In January 2022, the medical injection molder and contract manufacturer established new headquarters, adding 100,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space with the addition of a nearby facility. The move will help supplement their 2023 vision to increase the lineup of medical manufacturing work.
One specific area they are taking aim at is medical cleanroom LSR (liquid silicone rubber) injection molding.
Building injection tooling for LSR (Liquid Silicone Rubber) components, and producing molded parts from LSR is not new to MME. Companies such as Medtronic, Fresenius Kabi, and Wilson Wolf have worked with MME’s tooling, development and production teams to deliver on complex and critical custom silicone components and silicone overmolding for over 10 years. Their expertise in medical silicone programs was a natural evolution in the company’s history.
Founded in 1974, MME initially specialized in tool and die, and through the 70’s and 80’s machining and building tools for other molders was the core of their business. By 1998, MME added injection molding to their services and by 2001, they were operating several presses and ran 24/5, focusing on smaller plastic components for the automobile and electronics industries.
MME played an integral part in the fast-moving cellular mobile phone boom of the early 2000’s. ESI (Early Supplier Involvement) was being developed by MME as a process in the product development landscape in which their tooling and processing engineers worked in lockstep with a customer’s engineers to ensure the fastest “to market” speeds. Motorola was introduced to MME’s way of operations, and essentially utilized part of their facility as a product development hub, churning out phone design after phone design. Soon after, Blackberry and then Nokia partnered with MME in similar fashion. When applying the ESI process, as many as 10 high complexity molds were built in parallel and production ready in 4 weeks from locked part designs.
From there, relationships with large corporations rooted MME’ reputation as a top-tier toolmaker and product developer. By 2003, the company was producing Motorola phone “holster” assemblies by the millions. The growth lead to the acquisition of another facility in 2006 to accompany the additional molding, assembly, warehousing, and shipping/receiving departments.
The experience gained by MME during that time seeped into every corner of the company, and the techniques and knowledge learned is now engrained in the company’s day-to-day operations.
In response to the Great Recession around 2008, which hit the company hard, MME strategically decided to step away from consumer electronics and the automotive industry, and instead focused on acquiring contract manufacturing and highly regulated medical work. It took several years to gain the trust of companies in the medical arena. The Medtronic ICE Division (Instrument Center of Excellence) was the first large medical company to work with MME, and now medical device manufacturing makes up approximately 60% of the company’s business, with the rest being in the consumer and industrial markets.
In late 2021, MME expanded their footprint to keep up with growing customer demand, and added an existing manufacturing plant within earshot of their current location off of Labore Road in Vadnais Heights, MN. With the addition of 25,000+ sq. ft. of cleanroom space, and the investment into several new silicone injection molding presses paired with added automation, MME is establishing new partnerships with medical device companies with silicone molding needs. Phil Boeke, President of MME explains, “there is high demand right now for domestic manufacturers that have the experience and technical expertise required to design and build tooling for silicone and thermoplastic components, validate up to IQ/OQ/PQ, and also mold highly technical parts. We do all of this under one roof, which means we get through development and into production quicker for our customers.”
The majority of MME’s current medical injection molding and assembly programs utilize ISO 8 (class 100,000) clean room standards, though the new facility is equipped for ISO 5 clean room manufacturing.
MME has positioned itself for growth with the new space and investment in additional presses and automation equipment. Their goal is to increase their medical work to 75% by 2025.
Boeke finished, “We want medical device companies to see us as the ‘manufacturing arm’ of their business, and be a place that welcomes collaboration with their team to ensure fast, high-quality execution”.
About MME Group, Inc.: MME Group is a full-service contract manufacturer and injection molder offering complete supply chain management. Our vertical integration advantage is your advantage. MME offers on-site tooling design and builds, custom plastic and silicone injection molding, secondary operations, high-level assembly, packaging, inventory management and distribution, all from our two locations in St. Paul, MN.
We serve the highly regulated medical, government and consumer markets. MME is ISO 13485, FDA Registered and ITAR compliant.