Don’t be misled by the name: there’s far more to China Array LLC than a cheap outsourcing opportunity. Headquartered in Pittsfield, MA, USA, the company recently began producing parts for medical device OEMs at its state-of-the-art injection moulding facility in Wuhan. The contract moulder processes high-performance materials such as PSU, PEEK, and PC to exacting specifications thanks to a GE Plastics—trained engineering staff. The company exhibited at Medica last week for the first time. I sat down with president and founder Russell S. Johnson and vice president of sales and marketing Carl Olson to learn more about the company.
Johnson, it should be noted, did not jump on the China bandwagon in recent years. In fact, he established China Array LLC as a wholly owned foreign enterprise (WOFE) in 1980. That history gives him an advantage in the local marketplace.
“Our head of manufacturing, who has worked at MIT and is an international expert in gyroscopes, has been collaborating with me for more than 16 years,” says Johnson. He also has a longstanding professional relationship with a local lawyer, who was among the first in the region to specialize in Western law and intellectual property (IP) issues. Rock-solid IP protection is a given at his firm, says Johnson.
Olson heads a team of GE-trained engineers and technicians that provide a degree of expertise that is not common in China. “Moulders of commodity materials are almost everywhere in China, but custom injection moulders of high-performance thermoplastics for specialty medical devices are essentially nonexistent,” he explains. A 25-year veteran of GE Plastics, Olson played a role in the development of Ultem PEI resin.
In addition to moulding, China Array offers advanced engineering, mould design, application development, and testing services. Its most recent medical projects include EMI shielding and a solenoid valve as well as a retractable scalpel handle.Norbert Sparrow