Mexico medical-device makers provide steady resin demand – execs

13 March 2013 02:52  [Source: ICIS news]

MEXICO CITY (ICIS)--Mexico's hub of medical-device producers is providing plastics producers with steady demand, executives for US-based Eastman Chemical said on Tuesday.

The Mexican state of Baja California is home to several plants that produce medical devices, which are then exported all over the world, said Rafael Hernandez, an Eastman sales manager who oversees Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. 

He made his comments on the sidelines of the Plastimagen plastics conference.

Medical-device makers have stringent requirements for plastics, since the resins must be resistant to numerous chemicals as well as the variety of molecules produced by the body, said Gabriel Crosta, an Eastman sales manager who oversees much of South America.

At the same time, the plastics are often put under mechanical stress, since they form plugs or connections, Crosta said.

Meanwhile, they must maintain their transparency, so doctors and nurses can observe the colour of any liquids moving through the devices.

The plastics must also be tested before they can be used in medical devices, he said.

These demanding requirements are among the reasons why most of Mexico's medical-device producers have avoided offshoring production to China, Hernandez said. The companies would likely need to qualify their products if they were made at another plant.

Also, medical devices make up a market that is difficult for plastic producers to break into, Hernandez said. As a result, once a resin can successfully meet a device's requirements and becomes accepted into the product, it often faces little competition from other products.

The Plastimagen conference lasts through Friday.


By: Al Greenwood
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