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Tecomet - a center of excellence

Colin Cairns, Jim Barrett, Jason O’Neill and Peter Grehan, engineering manager in Unit 11 developing programmes for new product introductions at the Tecomet plant in the Owenacurra Business Park, Midleton, Co Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

About Tecomet

Founded in 1963 and based in Wilmington, MA, Tecomet is a market leading provider of manufacturing solutions for complex, high-precision products and services for the Medical Device and Aerospace & Defence markets.

Tecomet operates 17 global manufacturing facilities in five countries around the world and employs over 3,000 people.

Tecomet provides the full spectrum of Innovation & Design Services, Development and Manufacturing Solutions including Product Prototyping, Packaging and Delivery support.

Kathleen Murphy and Barbara Usyk working on Unit 11 deburring at the Tecomet plant in the Owenacurra Business Park, Midleton, Co Cork.

Tecomet Cork

Founded in 2004 as Everest Metal International in Midleton, Co. Cork, from its parent company in New York, subsequent acquisitions by Symmetry Medical Inc. in 2006 and by Tecomet in 2014, Tecomet Cork provides support to the OEM’s within the Medical Device Industry.

Tecomet Cork employs almost 150 employees and has experienced significant growth over the last number of years supporting the Implants division of Tecomet.

Tecomet Cork originally focused on the machining & finishing of medical grade metal components but has grown to expand its offering to specialise in shot peening of metal implants, contract inspection of surgical instruments and the recent expansion of the centre of excellence for the machining & finishing of medical grade plastic components.

Tecomet Cork prides itself in the development & training of its employees and has introduced a culture of learning to support this approach.

All employees undertake a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt training program that is provided in-house with an accredited certification (Level 5 certificate in continuous improvements in manufacturing).

Last summer, seven engineering students from Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) who were on work placement for the summer also attended and successfully completed this training certificate.

Tecomet plans to repeat this exercise during 2019 due to the positive experience the students gained when completing this training.

Rafal Sztuka and Kristo Koor in Unit 11 working on programmes for new products.

Future plans include progression to Green Belt and ultimately Black Belt training programs under the guidance of our in-house Master Black Belt trainer.

To ensure the future viability of the company Tecomet has partnered with Cork Educational and Training Board (CETB) to help develop courses which will tailor the skills provided by CETB to the skills demands of the medical device industry.

CIT run Mechanical, Biomedical & Manufacturing Engineering courses and Tecomet Cork provides these budding engineers with work experience.

They are given a real live project to work on in collaboration with Tecomet Cork’s engineers in order to give them a flavour of how the industry operates.

The projects are chosen by our Engineering, Lean and Operations Managers and approved by CIT tutors.

Feedback from these students has been very positive, many not believing that they would be ‘let loose’ on real work when they hear about their projects.

Significant investment is taken to advance employees with relevant college courses to ensure the employee grows and develops along with the company.

Development and advancement is not restricted to college participation with many employees being promoted internally to different roles as the company continues to grow.

The recent expansion of the centre of excellence for plastic manufacturing has seen the demand for resources in engineering (both graduates and experienced individuals) for roles like, CNC programming, CMM programming, Validation engineers, Quality Engineers and Engineering Technicians as well as experienced CNC machine operators reach record highs for the company – expanding the team by additional 15+ employees.

Sebastian Wozniak working on inspection in Unit 2 at the Tecomet plant.

Becoming a centre of excellence for plastics requires a comprehensive change program.

As mentioned earlier Symmetry Medical prior to the Tecomet acquisition, was very much concentrated on contract manufacturing, now Tecomet Cork will take a raw polymer Bar/Block and transform it into a complex implant component.

A totally different concept, and one that requires, the integration of learning, technology and people.

The company has changed tact, using what can only be described as “freedom to innovate”.

David O’Brien and Michael Donovan in Unit 2 working on box prep.

For example, this will allow an engineer to serve or involve themselves in several different parts of the project, giving a more rounded experience.

In the short 15 years that the company has been operating, Tecomet Cork has seen significant growth and change in the industry that it supports as well experiencing similar change and growth for itself.

The market continues to grow and expand and Tecomet Cork anticipates the same – the future is bright.

For more information about Tecomet, please visit www.tecomet.com.

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