What's Driving Sonora's Growing Medical Device Industry

December 01, 2021

The medical devices market reached nearly USD $456.9 billion in 2019, but experts with The Business Research Co. predict this market will grow at a CAGR of 6.1% from 2021 to reach $603.5 billion by 2023. Competing in this explosive market demands medical device and equipment manufacturers looking to expand balance skilled labor with low production costs and accessibility to global markets.

It's for this reason that medical device manufacturing is exploding in Mexico. Mexico is the top manufacturer of medical devices in Latin America and the eighth largest such manufacturer globally. The country's medical device manufacturing sector produces $15 billion in medical devices and continues to grow. However, as it grows, this sector is expanding into new areas, providing new opportunities for medical device industry suppliers and manufacturers ready to grow.

Where is most medical equipment manufactured in Mexico?

For many years, most medical equipment manufactured in Mexico has come out of the Baja California region. After all, this border state sits just across from the San Diego life science cluster. More than 75 companies are located in this densely concentrated industrial cluster, which has accounted for approximately 50% of the total medical device industry in Mexico.

However, with this dense concentration of medical device and equipment manufacturers comes higher prices. As a result, more companies are looking at alternate locations, and Sonora, Mexico, is emerging as a clear leader.

Today, 26 medical device manufacturing companies operate across the state of Sonora, generating more than 17,240 jobs. Many are attracted to the area for its modern border crossings, a multitude of transit networks, deep-sea ports, and easy access to one of the world's busiest commercial airports, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The sister manufacturing cities of Hermosillo, Guaymas, and Empalme each offer unique benefits to manufacturers.

Medical equipment manufacturers in Sonora, Mexico

Many of the top medical device manufacturers in the industry operate in Sonora, manufacturing cable assemblies, cardiovascular treatments, catheter systems, dental parts, endoscopy devices, hospital procedure carts, injection devices, surgical devices, and much more.

Minneapolis-based Medtronic, a global technology leader, employs 1,200 people at its manufacturing plant in Empalme, Sonora. From this location, it manufactures arterial implants, suture needles, nickel alloy rings, plastic, and nitinol auxiliary devices for surgery. All of its products are certified by the FDA and ISO 13485 for sale in the U.S. and worldwide.

While TE Connectivity manufactures for a range of industries, it employs 700 people at its facility in Empalme for medical device manufacturing. The company's medical business supports a range of brands that require advanced precision engineering. It manufactures FDA-registered and ISO 13485-compliant wire and cable, catheters, laser processing, guidewires, extrusion, and tubing balloons, and sensors, among other products.

Other medical device and equipment manufacturers in the state include Cardiva Medical, Nordson Medical, LanixMed, Westmed, Masimo, Amphenol Alden, Kimberly-Clark, and Becton Dickinson.

Advantages of medical device manufacturing in Sonora

Sonora is home to a population of more than 3 million people, and a significant amount of its economically active population is employed in manufacturing. As of 2016, manufacturing made up 26.8% of the state's GDP. As a result, a robust infrastructure is in place to support manufacturing needs. In addition to its transportation infrastructure, Hermosillo, Empalme, and Guaymas are each home to Manufacturing Communities that provide companies with Class A industrial real estate, administrative support, and a wide range of amenities to attract employees, all in a single secure location.

Manufacturers in the state also can leverage the strong relationship between Sonora and Arizona, which has birthed a "megaregion" based on collaborative economic development. For decades, the two border states have coordinated to smooth import and export processes, provide collaborative educational opportunities, improve transportation safety, and efficiently move goods. This local work has only been strengthened by the USMCA trade agreement.

Discover if Sonora could be right for you

Sonora has long had a reputation for manufacturing excellence, and more medical device and equipment manufacturers are taking note. Today, Tetakawi supports various medical device manufacturers in Sonora and their more than 3,000 collective employees. These companies benefit from the ease of operating under the umbrella of an experienced shelter service provider.

With more than 35 years of experience in the Mexican manufacturing landscape, Tetakawi can help medical device manufacturing companies get up and running quickly in Sonora. Though we're the largest shelter services provider in Mexico, we're committed to serving as a trusted partner. Our hands-on approach means you'll never feel like just a number.

To learn more about how you could benefit from manufacturing in Sonora with the support of a trusted partner, contact Tetakawi today.


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