Medtronic Is Back to Full Production in Puerto Rico

All production lines at all facilities are operating at pre-hurricane levels.
Dec 22, 2017 12:00 AM ET
Article

When visitors arrive at any of the Medtronic production facilities in Puerto Rico, they can’t tell by looking that a hurricane had devastated this area just weeks earlier.

They don’t notice on the production line either.

Every production line, for every product at every Medtronic facility in Puerto Rico is now operating at pre-hurricane levels.

“The employees are proud and so are we,” said Felix Negron, vice president of Medtronic Puerto Rico Operations Company (MPROC). “In the days after the storm, we just put up a sign at the gate saying ‘come help us.’ And the next day hundreds of workers came to help clean up. It was inspiring.”

The return to full production has happened even though Medtronic facilities in Juncos, Humacao and Villalba have been operating on generator power since immediately after the storm. In Ponce, where Medtronic produces a variety of minimally invasive medical products, utility power was restored in October.

“This was a huge test for us,” said Victor Martinez, the director of manufacturing for the RTG and CRHF product lines in Juncos. “Not only getting back to production and serving the patients, but also because our employees did all this while dealing with a lot of personal matters.”

Virtually all Medtronic employees, like everyone else on the island, suffered some sort of damage in the storm. Power has remained out over large areas of Puerto Rico. Albert Rodriguez, who helps build screws for spine surgery in Humacao, says he was motivated to return to work as soon as possible, in part because Medtronic did so much to help him after the storm.

“I’m very grateful,” he said as he fired up the power generator that Medtronic helped him acquire. “The company proved it cares about us with all the things they provided, and it means a lot.”

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