For Contract Manufacturer, Big Things Come in Small Packages

Author: 
Bob Michaels
MD&M Midwest 2010 First-Time Exhibitor Coverage
Micro manufactures a selection of gears and other components for medical device applications.

The word micro refers to objects about 100 times smaller than a strand of human hair. But there’s nothing small about Micro (Somerset, NJ), a manufacturer of blades, scissors, and laparoscopic, endoscopic, and arthroscopic minimally invasive surgical instruments. The company also claims to be the world’s largest provider of titanium and stainless-steel ligation clips.

Originally known as Micro Stamping Corp., the company was founded in 1945 in Maplewood, NJ, by four people, including Frank Semcer, Sr. During those early years, it operated out of a 28,000-sq-ft facility and focused primarily on manufacturing high-precision metal stampings.

When Frank J. Semcer, the original owner’s son, purchased the company in 1969, it was committed to servicing the high-volume, high-quality requirements of customers in the electronics and automotive connector industries. But things began to change. “Micro saw future potential in the medical industry, and in 1986 it created the medical division,” remarks Jim Jock, the company’s marketing coordinator.

“After establishing ourselves as the largest manufacturer of titanium and stainless-steel implantable devices, we initiated the first development program for a major medical company in 1992.” Before long, the company received its first instrument assembly order, necessitating the construction of an environmentally controlled cleanroom.

Today, the company offers medical and surgical components, subassemblies, and finished class-critical implant devices. In that capacity, it produces more than one million endoscopic instruments annually and holds a patent on a tube-forming technology used for fabricating instrument shafts. Building on these capabilities, Micro has established a division to produce tubing assemblies with various features, such as flarings, flanges, piercings, slots, and welded seams.

“Since the mid-1990s, we have increased our ability to provide prototyping services,” Jock says. “A few years ago, we opened the Frank Semcer Development Center to codevelop and prototype new products for medical clients.” At the same time, the company expanded its global presence by initiating operations in Singapore and South Korea, providing metal injection molding, ceramic injection molding, support tooling, and raw-tubing manufacturing services.

Not content to rest on its laurels, Micro also opened a facility in 2005 for insert and injection molding, automated assembly, and stamping in Largo, Florida. “Our goal,” Jock notes, “was to further the convergence of metals and plastics manufacturing.”

Part of the company’s transformation into a full-service manufacturer is the addition of electrolytic dissolution, a new technology that it will feature at MD&M Midwest. This process electrochemically removes metal from a workpiece, resulting in intricate, accurately machined parts. This, Jock says, is a low-cost, high-quality solution for orthopedic and surgical components.
Micro
www.micro-co.com
Booth #3124