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What’s Inside That Building?

October 2011

Tucked away in Cecil County off Route 40 in Elkton is Terumo Medical Corp., a manufacturer and developer of innovative medical devices. The circle “T” in the company logo symbolizes the hope for health and development of people everywhere.

Harry MacArthur, Vice President of Manufacturing and Product Development

At Terumo Medical Corp., not only do most employees wear mandatory shoe coverings (think blue hospital cloth covers), but also much of the manufacturing work is conducted under cover, quite literally. Employee associate and management uniforms often consist of scrubs and protective white suits to maintain the sanitary and sterile work environment that is highly important in medical product manufacturing.

Terumo Medical CorporationNumber of Employees: 300Facility size: 260,000 square feetFounded in MD: 1972Sales: $330 million, FY ’10 Terumo Medical Corp.Annual production: 3 million Pinnacle Introducer Kits

Monthly output: 14 million insulin syringes

Fun Fact: The name “Terumo” comes from the German pronunciation of thermometer: “ter-mometer.” Thermometers have been a part of the product portfolio since the inception of the company.

Harry MacArthur, Vice President of Manufacturing and Product Development

Originally built in 1972 as a high-speed, high-volume manufacturing plant for making needles and syringes, Terumo’s Elkton facility has proactively changed their business model to react to the needs of the industry. Currently, Terumo Elkton handles engineering, planning, purchasing, product development, HR, accounting, clinical and regulatory affairs, quality assurance, and manufacturing for the company.

According to Harry MacArthur, vice president of manufacturing and product development, a big chunk of Elkton’s manufacturing was moved in 2006 to the Philippines. The result of the move is a new strategy that reinvents Terumo Elkton with a primary objective of new product expansion.
“Our vision is product development coupled with strong competencies in manufacturing to launch new products with speed to market,” MacArthur clarifies.

In March 2010, Terumo received a $3.9 million investment from Japan to transform the Elkton site and develop a world-class product development laboratory. This new product development lab is both an R&D center as well as a collaboration space. The new 18,250-square-foot lab features a state-of-the-art facility that MacArthur says will deliver an estimated 50 percent growth in sales in the next five years and allow the business to engage a global marketplace.

“We have to compete making products with a clinical value proposition,” MacArthur explains. “We need products that are kinder and gentler.”

With Terumo Medical products helping to reduce complications, the result is often procedures that go easier and effectively reduce the overall costs of therapy. With three product lines – medical products, transfusion and interventional products – the company is growing the interventional systems business with products designed to remove blockages and resume blood flow.
With respect to the tragedy of Japan’s earthquake last March, the company has ramped up its worldwide resources to assist in the recovery and ensure continuous customer service. The Elkton facility assists by adding staff and scaling up production to provide even more products to the Asian markets. As the company moves forward, manufacturing will become regionally located to help mitigate the impact of natural disasters.

MacArthur describes the medical device market as an opportunity for Terumo that has not been fully penetrated. In fact, MacArthur states the realistic prospect of leveraging the Elkton facility as the new product development platform for delivering new products throughout the world. Terumo thinks globally and plans to deliver on that promise.

“As we speak, plans are in place to distribute Elkton-made products worldwide, including China, something you don’t hear about every day,” MacArthur discloses. “Being the supplier of choice is our vision and is key to achieving our strategies.”

With Terumo Elkton’s strong and growing product development capabilities, the facility seems uniquely positioned to effectively achieve that vision. Such strategies for expansion require employee expertise and recruitment to handle the future needs. Terumo Medical Corp. is actively recruiting for 20 open positions in competencies such as manufacturing assembly and product technician opportunities.

Associate Cynthia Robinson is seen here in mandatory protective white suits to maintain a sanitary and sterile work environment.

While MacArthur maintains, “people feel fulfilled working” at Terumo, he describes the company as changing the workforce to “enable decision-making at the earliest levels.” MacArthur explains, “My role is coach and facilitator – to give people tools to reach their ultimate potential. I listen to people to help drive creativity, and everyone has the opportunity for leadership.”

It’s evident that employee involvement is valued at Terumo Medical Corp. From the service committee that organizes quarterly blood drives through Blood Bank of Delmarva to the many organized charitable fundraisers, the Elkton facility is active in the community. This past year, Terumo Elkton employees enthusiastically participated in Relay for Life and presented a check for $20,000 for the cause.

And, Terumo employees take green initiatives to heart as well. Last year, 68 Terumo associates realized energy reductions and green initiatives that saved the corporation $2 million in labor efficiencies by eliminating waste and expanding equipment automation. Continuing the journey of cutting-edge product innovation, Terumo Medical Corp. is an international company leading the way in Cecil County and a leading exporter of medical product innovation. I95