While the U.S. was once a predominant power in manufacturing, that changed when manufacturers started off-shoring to reduce costs, mostly related to labor, during the 1970s. However, because there are many advantages for manufacturers to conduct business in the U.S., some manufacturing companies are choosing to re-shore here at home. One industry that the U.S. continues to lead in manufacturing, though, is the medical device sector—a segment that not only continues to support innovation, but is vital to our economy as well.
Medical device industry yields major economic benefits
The U.S. represents about 40% of the medical device market. It also employs a significant number of people. According to the 2012 Economic Census, over 350,000 Americans work in the medical device industry. These workers also earn on average 15% more than other manufacturing jobs. While there are 5,800 medical device establishments across the U.S., 80% of these employ fewer than 50 employees. This figure indicates that medical device manufacturing plays a prominent role in the country’s small business segment, including many startups.
Innovation, R&D efforts propel medical device industry
Known for its research and development efforts, medical device manufacturing is an industry that keeps moving forward. Compared to comparable industries, medical device companies invest a higher percentage of annual revenue into new product design. In fact, according to the ITA, this commitment is reflected in the spending of 6.7% of revenue from 2011 to 2016 for R&D alone. And with each company striving to find the next breakthrough, intense competition continues to propel the industry further.
The medical device sector also continues to benefit from a new generation of materials, manufacturing processes, and technology, such as nanotechnology and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). Recent products introduced include neuro-stimulators, stent technologies, biomarkers, robotic assistance, and implantable electronic devices. Innovation fuels the medical device sector’s ongoing quest to improve and maintain the health of the world.
This innovative spirit and dedication to research and development is also impacting re-shoring. The competitive advantages, including a highly skilled workforce, have manufacturers bringing operations back to the U.S. According to the Reshoring Initiative, the American manufacturing industry has seen an increase of over 500,000 jobs created since the recession.
The Future of Medical Device Manufacturing
Although, manufacturing in the U.S. has been on a steady decline over the last few decades, medical device manufacturing continues to grow, innovate, and lead the world. American-made medical devices are not only vital to our nation’s healthcare industry, but of great importance to the country’s economic well-being as well.
As a single source manufacturer, Ranfac does everything from raw material to final packaging under one roof. Our products have been 100% manufactured in the U.S. since 1888. We work with our healthcare partners and medical device companies to bring to market single-use medical devices for a vast range of specialties. Learn more about our development process by watching this video.