Innovation Undercover: How Red Star Changed Medical Devices Without You Noticing

In the quiet outskirts of the Orthopedic Capital of the World, a powerhouse was stirring. Red Star Contract Mfg., a name now synonymous with pioneering medical device manufacturing, was all but a whisper in the vast industrial landscape for nearly two decades. How did such a titan manage to fly so stealthily under the radar?

The tale begins with Paul Hendrickson and Scott Werstler, the visionary duo behind Red Star. In the wake of 2008’s economic tremors, which threatened their primary venture in machine building, they pivoted with remarkable agility. Instead of liquidating their assets, they leveraged them, venturing into the realm of injection molded and over-molded medical devices. Their first partners in innovation were none other than Promex and Biomet, setting the stage for a saga of growth and expansion.

Red Star’s journey from a fledgling operation in Laotto, Indiana, to its current stronghold in Larwill is a testament to resilience and foresight. By 2013, Red Star was not only enhancing its machinery but also expanding its horizons with a dedicated Tool Room, a skilled Tool Maker, and a state-of-the-art Class 7 Cleanroom. The addition of over-molding capabilities marked yet another milestone in its relentless pursuit of excellence.

However, Red Star’s real breakthrough came with the development of a specialty bone biopsy needle—a feat that would monopolize its capacity due to the explosive demand. This innovation laid the groundwork for a pivotal partnership with Wishbone Medical, a budding star in pediatric orthopedics, further solidifying Red Star’s reputation as a versatile and reliable manufacturer.

The road wasn’t without its bumps. The anticipated synergy with Wishbone Medical took unexpected turns, leading to a strategic realignment in 2022. Under new leadership, Red Star is now embarking on an ambitious expansion, aiming to double its capacity with a 24,000 sq ft extension, new Injection Molding and Over Molding Presses, a significantly expanded Class 7 Cleanroom creating a focal point of service offerings, pre-validated packaging for rapid development of single use instrument procedures, private label opportunities, and more.

Red Star’s metamorphosis is not just about scaling its operations but also diversifying its expertise across critical healthcare sectors—Diagnostics, Cardiovascular, Oncology, Orthopedics, and Spine. This strategic pivot is not merely a growth tactic; it’s a bold declaration of Red Star’s commitment to innovation, quality, and the relentless pursuit of excellence.

Dare to Dream with Red Star

Imagine what your project could achieve by leveraging Red Star’s expanded capabilities in injection molding, over-molding and single use sterile kitting.

For more insights and a complimentary quote, feel free to reach out to Drew Holleran at

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