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(Interview) Synergistic benefits resulting from Trelleborg’s acquisition of MRP

Source:Adsale Plastics Network 2023-06-06

At the Medtec China 2023 (1-3 June) recently concluded in Suzhou, China, CPRJ and Adsale Plastics Network talked to Don Bonitati, Director, Healthcare & Medical, Trelleborg Healthcare & Medical.


Don Bonitati shared his opinions about the difference of Chinese and U.S. medical markets, and he also explained the synergistic benefits from Trelleborg Group’s acquisition of Minnesota Rubber & Plastics (MRP).


MRP is a leader in material compound development and the manufacturing of custom elastomeric and thermoplastic components. The company became part of Trelleborg in October of last year.

MRP_Medtec China.jpg

Don Bonitati, Director, Healthcare & Medical, Trelleborg Healthcare & Medical and CPRJ editor Ivy Zhang.

CPRJ: Talking about product applications, what is your perspective on the medical plastic market?


Bonitati: The thermoplastic market that we serve focuses on two areas: integrated solutions and engineered polymers. Where we offer the most differentiation is centered around the engineered plastics that serve healthcare and medical applications. These are materials that are difficult to mold and require a great deal of tooling and process knowledge. We have products that are in long term implantable Class III devices and drug processing applications.


CPRJ: What applications do you think have great potentials in the coming few years?


Bonitati: Healthcare and medical application areas differ within regions. The markets in North America are a little bit different from ones that we target within China. This has to do partially with the difference in the healthcare systems, reimbursement rates, the cost of devices and requirements for the markets.


Within the China market, devices that are being developed do not have the same level of functionality as the majority of devices that serve the U.S. market. This is primarily due to government pressure to keep costs down. If we look at a pacemaker, defibrillator for the U.S. market, they may have more of the extra accessories that are not critical but are nice to have and contribute to the higher device cost.


Whereas, in the China market, the government is trying to offer therapies to a broader segment of the population and in doing so must manage the cost of healthcare products to make them available for the broader population. This type of approach is common for regions to open access to therapies to better serve their population.

MRP Products_Medtec China.jpg

Trelleborg showcased different types of medical components at Medtec China 2023. 

CPRJ: Quite a lot of manufacturers are working on LSR parts or plastic medical parts. What is the key differentiation when comparing MRP with other manufacturers?


Bonitati: Since MRP was acquired by Trelleborg, the benefit that resulted was a best of both approaches, bringing together the strengths of each organization. One of those strengths of MRP is our custom thermoset elastomer library and ability to develop custom material formulations to solve challenging problems, such as EPDM, Polyisoprene, and Bromobutyl compounds. Those materials that we formulated serve the purpose in the market that we can offer customers what they could not get elsewhere.


Having offerings that span multiple materials sets from elastomer to thermoplastics as well as full CMDO capabilities in integrated solutions, 2K molding, BioPharma and API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) within Trelleborg brings more value to the business allowing consolidation of supply chain for our customers.


We have a big push within the BioPharma market for single use components that are used in drug processing from the tube sets to the sterile to sterile connectors. We continue to develop new technologies with customer within API by taking drug product and blending into elastomer materials, so it can slowly release the drug into the body, whether it is on the surface of the skin or on the device that is inserted the body.


CPRJ: So you provide more customized or individualized services to the customers.


Bonitati: That’s what we excel at as an organization, providing customized solutions for complex applications. We do have a standard product line, but how we serve the industry best is when we can partner with an organization and understand what their needs are and provide them with the services from an engineering standpoint and then manufacturing components that are very reliable and efficient, addressing the challenges that the customer has when they are in the product development phase of a product.      


Don Bonitati have been in the healthcare and medical industry for over twenty years. He started out within the end use device market, and his knowledge helps provide the company a better understanding of the product applications.


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