The following article is featured on Plastics Technology, March 2016. The entire article can be downloaded here.
Collaboration in Catheters
Medical Murray has developed innovative catheter technologies by working with its customers and down its supply chain.
The company first opened its doors on April Fool’s day 20 years ago, but its success has been anything but a joke. In fact, it’s the result of a collaborative effort. As a leading supplier of complete catheter systems for medical-device suppliers, Medical Murray has found that positioning itself between its OEM customers and its tubing processors has fueled the development of innovative products and yielded double-digit growth from year one.
Headquartered in North Barrington, Ill., Medical Murray Inc. (medicalmurray.com) is still owned by its founders, the Leopold family. Andy Leopold, v.p. of research and development, had spent more than 10 years in the catheter business with a firm on the West Coast before partnering with his father Phil to launch the company. The older Murray, described by his son as “a Nebraska farm boy who didn’t like farming,” came to the company with a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a Master’s in metallurgy from the University of Nebraska. Phil Leopold started his career with a composites company, where he was involved in groundbreaking developments in golf shafts and tennis rackets, among other things. The Leopold patriarch also launched a U.S. subsidiary for Swiss-based Bucher, which at the time made injection molding and injection-compression machines.
Andy Leopold’s background is in biomedical engineering, but with a specialty in vascular catheters. His prior work experience in R&D for Advanced Cardiovascular Systems (ACS) put him on the ground floor of breakthrough developments in angioplasty catheters, luers, and other devices. He notes, “My history is in developing long, skinny things that go into vessels. I dragged my dad into the medical world, but his strength in materials and processing has made for a great fit.”
Andy’s younger brother, Eric Leopold, is also a biomedical engineer with a Master’s degree in materials engineering. Like his brother, he worked at ACS. In 2014 Eric joined the family business and opened a satellite development office in California.
The company was launched as Murray Company in recognition of the elder Leopold’s middle name (his mother’s maiden name). While most firms like to talk about being customer-focused, Medical Murray can put its money—or at least its company name— where its mouth is. Recalls Andy, “One day early on we had a customer call in and ask ‘Is this the medical Murray company?’ We thought that sounded cool so we changed our name.”
Read the entirety of the article here.