Medical Device Industry

The Paso del Norte region's long history as a major manufacturing hub has accelerated the growth of biomedical device manufacturing in this vast binational region consisting of far West Texas, Southern New Mexico and Northern Mexico.

Today, there are over 20 factories in the El Paso/Juárez borderplex producing Class I, II and III medical devices. Over 40,000 people work in the medical device industry in the region, whose manufacturing base is built primarily on the maquila model. Maquilas are factories in Mexico—typically located in special duty-free economic zones close to the border—that manufacture products for export. Companies in the industry include international corporate manufacturers, contract manufacturers and drug-device combination manufacturers.

Here are some examples of devices manufactured in the El Paso/Juárez region:

  • Catheter-based devices
  • Orthopedic supports
  • Minimally invasive surgical equipment
  • Aortic and thoracic stents
  • Diagnostic imaging equipment
  • Surgery kits
  • Electronic PCBA for medical devices
  • Pressure belts
  • Respiratory devices
  • Ophthalmic devices
  • Electronic and mechanical infusion pumps

Product Development Capabilities

Contract manufacturers and standalone firms provide a number of support services for startups and other companies seeking to introduce a new product to the market. The sector’s product development capabilities include:

  • 510 k generation
  • Prototyping
  • New product introduction
  • Testing services
  • Product design

Manufacturing Capabilities

Additionally, the El Paso/Juárez borderplex is home to a broad array of manufacturing capabilities—in both infrastructure and human resources—to support medical device manufacturers. The region’s manufacturing capabilities include:

  • Precision injection molding
  • Laser welding
  • Wet process (anodize, passivate)
  • Extrusion
  • Press brake
  • Hard tool and soft tool punch presses
  • Medical metal machining
  • Validation
  • Kitting/custom pack
  • Failure analysis
  • Highly automated production lines

Biomedical Device Manufacturing Suppliers

The region’s manufacturers are supported by a large number of local suppliers of materials and services. Biomedical device manufacturing suppliers in the El Paso/Juárez area include:

  • Sterilization services
  • Laboratory testing
  • Laminated vinyl
  • Different types of bounding
  • Advance sewing
  • Thermoform
  • Bag and packaging
  • Blow molding
  • Foam
  • Thermoset
  • Metal stamping, fabrication, casting and molding

Logistics and Ease of Access to the North American Market

El Paso—and nearby Santa Teresa in Southern New Mexico—are part of a tremendously active port of entry into the U.S. for the manufacturing industry. In El Paso, five international vehicular bridges and two railroad bridges support over $70 billion in border trade annually.1  El Paso is home to Foreign Trade Zone No. 68, offering participating companies the benefits of deferred duties, improved inventory management and reduced importing costs. Logistical benefits of manufacturing in the El Paso/Juárez borderplex include:

  • Quick access to the I-10 (East-West) and I-25 (North-South) interstate corridors
  • Access to five international bridges and the Union Pacific and BNSF rail lines
  • Warehousing and distribution services
  • Customs and logistics services
  • A “Smart-Shoring” model of manufacturing, offering the benefits of low off-shore costs and high-quality production with the ease of U.S.-based management and access to North American markets

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The region’s biomedical innovation begins here.