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Victor company invests to reach medical market

Rochester Business Journal
December 21, 2012

Surmotech Inc. is looking to expand further into the medical device market, manufacturing electronic components for companies whose products help bones grow and heal faster, for example.
The firm in Victor, Ontario County, recently made investments in technology, said Jerry Valentine, president and CEO. It is also pursuing certification in the medical products arena, a move Valentine said would better position Surmotech to serve that market, particularly with products that involve life-support mechanisms.
"It opens up new markets," he said. "We feel this certification would make us more appealing to other customers and better help existing customers."
The firm has revamped its quality and operating processes, including software that allows a part to be traced as it goes through the manufacturing process. The company invested more than $500,000 on the improvements, which included new hardware and upgrades.
The technology helps separate Surmotech from other electronic contract manufacturers, Valentine said.
The medical device field is one area in which Surmotech is expecting growth. The other big area is instrumentation, Valentine said. Other business comes from military, government and industrial customers. A majority of Surmotech's customers are in Upstate New York, but others are spread across the country.
IQuum Inc., a Massachusetts company, is commercializing its lab-in-a-tube technology and products for the clinical diagnostics, bio-defense and industrial testing markets.
Surmotech supplies IQuum with printed circuit board assemblies for its LiatT Analyzer. The instrument allows molecular diagnostic tests to be performed quickly and accurately by minimally trained health care workers.
Daniel Sutherby, chief financial officer of IQuum, said Surmotech's response to the company's needs has been reliable and timely.
"The product specification and performance requirements of IQuum are complex, and quality standards are very high," Sutherby said. "In this regard, the quality and performance of the Surmotech products have been excellent."
Valentine was part of a group that launched the firm in 1990, spun out of a former Eastman Kodak Co. unit. In 1995, he purchased the company assets and became the sole owner. It was then that Surmotech, which began in Honeoye Falls, moved to Victor.
It has been housed in its current 20,000-square-foot space since 2002. Surmotech has roughly 50 employees.
Valentine did not disclose sales for the firm but said Surmotech struggled during the last half of 2012 because of customer changes. However, he expects to make up some ground next year with new customers and expanding markets.
"The new equipment and new technology positions us well for the next three to four years," Valentine said.

12/21/12 (c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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