Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 19

Nolato invests $18M in Wisconsin

Plastics News, May 20, 2019 * 19



By Catherine Kavanaugh
Plastics News Staff
Contract manufacturer Nolato
Medical Solutions completed an
$18 million expansion in Baldwin,
Wis., that adds 27,000 square feet of
production and clean room space,
75 employees and a health care
clinic for a community partnership.
The fully staffed clinic was built
onto the existing 100,000-squarefoot facility to provide primary
care to Nolato's 270 employees,
who manufacture silicone and plastic components and devices for the
medical and pharmaceutical industries.
Although the clinic is located at
the business, also known as Nolato Contour, it will serve up to 1,200
people and has its own entrance
for patients of the other partners,
in the program, including a metal
product fabricator and the Baldwin-Woodville Area School District. The organizations pay a fixed
amount per worker and family
member so patients can receive a
wide variety of care for a flat fee of
$25 per visit. Patients have no deductibles, copays or coinsurance
costs. In addition, they can get generic medicine and some lab work
at no charge.
"Their out-of-pocket costs have
significantly changed, and we hope
that their health is significantly
changed for the better, too," Nolato
Medical Solutions' President and
Managing Director Russell Steele
said in a phone interview.
The clinic is staffed by a nurse
practitioner and medical assistants
who offer primary care for ear, nose
and throat infections, gastrointestinal problems, skin rashes, minor
fractures and more. They also manage chronic conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, arthritis and
depression, and treat occupational
health issues from repetitive-movement injuries to sleep apnea.
"Maintaining a healthy workforce
translates to retaining a happier
workforce," Steele said. "With deductibles and rates going higher
all the time, our employees often
waited to seek treatment until it
was a major issue. We believe this
happened because people are
not accessing primary care early
enough. That's what we'll be offering. Hopefully the convenience of
having the clinic here encourages
people to go."

The Be Well Clinic
Nolato and its partners belong to
a program run by Activate Healthcare, an Indianapolis-based company that has provided on-site or
near-site health care to businesses
and school systems since 2010.
Called the Be Well Clinic in a nod
to the Baldwin-Woodville schools
partner, the clinic has three exam
rooms, offices and a lab. It is open
40 hours on weekdays for now but
that will change with the patients'
"Because we are a 24/7 operation, we'll vary those hours so
they're accessible to people as
they're coming into work or getting off work or whatever is convenient," Steele said.
The clinic staff schedules appointments every half hour and


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Primex Plastics
Corporation is pleased to announce
the appointment of Stephen
Garmon to the new position of
national distribution manager. He
will be responsible for growing
existing distribution relationships,
helping Primex's distributors
maximize their potential and
creating new avenues for Primex's
products. Garmon has 20 years'
experience in both sales and
distribution, ten of which are in the
plastic sheet industry. For the past
ten years he has served in a similar
role for Evonik Industries.
Garmon will work from his office in
Atlanta and can be reached at
(678) 630-3465

Contract manufacturer Nolato Medical Solutions' recent $18 million expansion also includes an on-site
health care clinic. Nolato Medical Solutions photo
offers same-day and next-day availability for acute health issues. The
format allows patients to be seen
on time and know they can spend
30 minutes going over their health
"That's a very different appointment than most people are used
to," Steele said. "If you have two or
three or four issues, you can talk
about them all. It could be your
weight or the mole on your skin or
high blood pressure. Generic drugs
and lab tests are also part of the
$25 fee. This really should encourage participation."
Nolato offers a high-deductible
insurance plan for medical coverage in a preferred network if the
clinic staff can't handle a health
problem, but even then some assistance is given.
"We've put in what we call concierge services to help everyone
understand the quality and cost of
care at other places," Steele said.
"Some people don't recognize the
substantial difference between particular providers."
Eric Russell, superintendent of
Baldwin-Woodville schools, said
that about 150 district employees
plus an additional 300 spouses and
dependents will have access to the
Be Well Clinic. Like Nolato, they
all have two expectations: quality
health care and cost controls, Russell said in an email.
The school district's projected
savings are about $212,000, or 10
percent of total medical spending,
according to an Activate Healthcare presentation to the Board of
Education. The biggest saving assumes that 35 percent of primary
care services currently provided
by outside physicians will be handled at the clinic.
Activate Healthcare also says the
primary care clinic should reduce
the district's emergency room services by 25 percent and specialist
services by 8 percent as more care
shifts to the clinic staff to provide
or "guide referrals more effectively."
In addition, the health care provider says primary care management decreases costly diagnostic
tests, urgent care visits, hospital

admissions and time taken off work
for doctor appointments.

Increased productivity
The workload at Nolato Medical Solutions, which is the U.S.
operations of Swedish injection
molder Nolato AB, has ticked up
along with other parts of the Torekov-based company. In 2018,
Nolato AB had its best year in the
company's 81-year history. Sales
increased 21 percent to 8.1 billion
Swedish krona ($6.7 billion) and
operating profit was up to 949 million krona ($763 million).
In the medical solutions division, sales rose to 2.27 billion krona
($1.9 billion), which, adjusted for
currency, is an increase of 12 percent.  Sales were up in both medical devices and pharmaceutical
packaging, company officials said,
pointing to "high" levels of project
activity for autoinjectors for biological medication, insulin products
and incontinence products.
In Wisconsin, Steele said Nolato
manufactures insulin products and
the autoinjectors, which are used
for a class of large-molecule drugs
that need more force for injection
than typical syringes.
The expansion of the U.S. manufacturing space is driven by
customer growth in the upper
Midwest. Nolato invested in two
5,000-square-foot Class 8 clean
rooms, which each can house 22
injection molding machines with
clamping forces of 40-400 tons with
full assembly lines.
One of the clean rooms has already been exclusively sold to an
existing customer for a drug delivery product made up of several
components, Steele said. The other
clean room was designed to be flexible with a 7.5-ton crane to service
bigger tools.
All of Nolato Medical's employees are full time except those in the
job recruitment program, and even
they can go to the clinic for $25.
"We don't use temps. That's not
our model," Steele said. "All of our
work is medical-related so the education and retention of people is a

big deal."
The $18 million investment also
includes point-of-use chilling systems to reduce electrical loads and
eliminate the need for a central
chiller as well as a handful of new
molding machines.
Nolato's U.S. operations aren't
landlocked either. Steele said the
company will consider investing in
two more expansions similar in size
and scope if warranted by project
"The pace of growth is picking
up rapidly here so we need healthy
good people," Steele said.
Nolato Medical Solutions is a
business unit of Nolato AB along
with Nolato Industrial and Nolato
Integrated Services. Nolato AB has
25 sites in Europe, Asia and North



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Plastics News - May 20, 2019

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