Indy Medical Mask Maker Expands Presence – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana weather
INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) – A respiratory mask maker on the west side of Indianapolis has inaugurated a 35,000 square foot expansion of its facility as it continues to meet market demand and guard against disruption in the supply chain. Pulmodyne Inc. manufactures airway and respiratory medical devices, such as masks, used in conjunction with ventilators. When Inside INdiana Business first spoke to the company in April 2020, as it responded to the global healthcare crisis, it had just rented 7,000 square feet of warehouse space near its factory. .
“We practically passed it the second we took the plunge,” Pulmodyne President Andy Shurig said in an interview with Inside INdiana Business. “To be honest with you, we passed our factory probably 10 years ago. But now, with this new space, we’re going to have more than enough space to store not only our existing factory warehouse, but everything that was on the road as well.
Shurig says that when the expansion is completed in December, the company will consolidate its warehousing and use the open space of the plant to expand the production area.
An important factor in Pulmodyne’s decision to invest in the additional space is the supply chain. The medical device company depends on 50 to 70 suppliers for a variety of parts to produce its masks. Shurig says it is taking a lot longer to get all the equipment supplied than it was before the pandemic.
“Every time we have access to something, we just buy more so that we can have it on the shelves,” Shurig said. “Before, we had two weeks, all of a sudden we have three months. And that’s not uncommon for a lot of our components.
Shurig, who was named president in June 2020, says one of his biggest “stressors” is sourcing enough raw plastic. He says Pulmodyne could get 10,000 pounds of polycarbonate within a week, but now it can take up to two or three months.
“It’s just a lot of calls every day, trying to be the squeaky wheel for more product,” Shurig said.
But the problem is not only to find enough materials, but to ship them here. The Indiana-based company has a filter manufacturing plant in Malaysia. A global crisis over available shipping containers is creating additional timing challenges for obtaining materials from the Asian plant. Shurig says it used to take seven to eight weeks to get a standard 20-foot container from its overseas facility, but now it takes three to four months.
“Which is difficult to plan,” Shurig said. “Sometimes we have containers crossing each other. One left earlier than the other.
He says demand for available containers has skyrocketed the cost from $ 4,000 earlier this year to around $ 23,000.
“We know that across industries they’re all dealing with the same thing,” said Shurig, who shares that the company hasn’t passed the extra cost on to its customers. “We just absorbed it, but it’s definitely something we’re feeling.”
The company ships products around the world and has seen the rapid spread of the coronavirus even before it hit the United States and Indiana. About a third of Pulmodyne’s products are shipped overseas to 82 countries.
To meet demand, workers who operate the molding systems work 12-hour and four-day shifts. The assembly team works five days a week. Pulmodyne hires a staffing company to fill its employment gap, but it is also hiring. Click here to find out more.
“Oh, yeah, I’m sure we could probably take another 20 onto the production floor tomorrow, and our plant manager would be delighted,” Shurig said. “But there doesn’t seem to be as many people available looking for work as there were in the past.”
But Shurig says the company doesn’t dwell on the past. He says he is focused on the future with the launch of additional products. Pulmodyne has introduced two products to the market in the past year and has four more in the pipeline.
“If it hadn’t been for COVID, we probably would have launched this year. But we are delaying them, ”said Shurig. “A lot of these doctors, especially those in hospitals, are badly affected. The last thing I want to do is go play with something new right now.