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SPOTLIGHT ON BUCKS BUSINESS

Meron Medical - History & Future

Meron Medical, based in Warminster PA, makes components for products that you probably don’t even know exist. They are not products that you would find in your local Wal-Mart, Target, or Home Depot. They are not in your coffee-maker or lawn mower, or the toys that you buys for your kids. But, when something is wrong ... life threateningly, seriously wrong ... you will be happy that Meron Medical is around.

Meron Medical makes components for medical devices – medical devices that replace heart valves that are not functioning properly, medical devices that treat brain aneurysms, medical devices that mitigate the effects of glaucoma and save eyesight. Chances are that you know someone, maybe someone who is close to you, that has been impacted by Meron Medical but never gave a thought to the companies, or the people, that made that life saving device possible.

The company only started about four years ago – spun off from its parent company – M&S Centerless Grinding. M&S is a great problem solver, and has put its abilities to the test in many industries such as aerospace, medical, car racing, power generation, etc… It became apparent that there was significant opportunity for growth in the medical device market. M&S would be able to solve a complex problem to help get a device over the hump, and get it to market, but the company was not setup well to scale to produce the higher volumes that “going to market” required. The concept of Meron Medical was born. Meron would take the handoff on projects that M&S helped to develop and scale them for production.

With three people, a few highly specialized high-tech grinding machines, and around 2000 sq ft of space, Meron launched in late 2012 to begin making components for heart valve replacements. The road was rough, riddled with stops and starts. Projects that seemed to be “imminent” turned out not to be so, but by late 2014 Meron had locked onto two solid projects that were launching. One of these was a component for a neurovascular device that provided a preventive procedure for people in which a brain aneurysm was detected. The device would eliminate the need for these unfortunate people to play “Russian roulette” on a daily basis – not knowing whether today would be the day that the aneurysm would burst.

Over the course of the next year, Meron Medical proved its capability to meet demand, and deliver product to the exacting requirements that are vital to projects of this nature. The trust that Meron earned created more opportunity as they were asked to participate in another neurovascular project that had proved to be too challenging for one of their large competitors. From mid-2015 to mid-2016 the Meron crew – led by Production Manager and chief process engineer, Tony Aoun, solved the customer’s problem by developing and validating a method to produce a wire  that is equivalent to the dimensions of a five foot long human hair! This “hair” would lead a device from a person’s leg all the way to their brain for another preventive procedure. With the help of the Bucks County Economic Development Corporation (BCEDC), financing for the extremely expensive equipment required to make these components, was attained – making it possible to get the project off the ground, and into production in late August 2016!

Meron Medical is now fully “off the ground”. It has moved from the +/-2000 sq ft condo-like facility to a stand alone building of 6500 sq ft (also in Warminster), has hired five more people and is looking to hire more. The company, now with a critical mass that allows it to pursue other ground-breaking projects, sees nothing but opportunity and growth for the future. The leadership of the company knows that the current facility will not be able to contain the business for very long, but there is a strong desire to stay in Bucks County when it is time to move again.

Bucks County is not only the home of many of the Meron Medical employees, but is in the middle of a strong seat of medical device, and pharmaceutical manufacturing. The potential for building a new facility in Bucks County near to the current (leased) building, could be in the cards sooner, rather than later...a project that would offer even more opportunity to work with the folks at the BCEDC.

The future is bright for highly advanced, specialized manufacturing companies like Meron. The internet, and being a subject matter expert in high-tech market segments has opened doors that were only available for much larger organizations who had big marketing budgets. Smaller, intensely focused, adaptable companies like Meron Medical now provide their services to a world-wide base of customers, and are leading the manufacturing industry into a new phase of growth and opportunity. A phase of growth that, interestingly enough, though often spurred by business conducted with companies far outside our local area, will strengthen ties to our Bucks County communities as help with capital investments from the BCEDC will be sought and many better employees will be required – offering them not just a job, but a career that will provide growth for decades to come.

For more on Meron Medical LLC visit www.meronmedical.com.