edline, a Mundelein, Ill.-based manufacturer of adult incontinence products, has opened a new 600,000-sq.-ft. (55,740-sq.-m.) manufacturing facility in Douglasville, Ga. The $65-million plant will create 150 jobs.
Medline, the largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare supplies in the U.S. and the leading provider of disposable incontinence products to the long-term care and hospital markets, built the new facility to produce the company's newest adult incontinence brand of products called FitRight. The company cites statistics that show more than half of all homebound older persons and more than half of all nursing home residents suffer from incontinence. This problem will become even more profound as the graying of America continues. By 2030, one out of every five Americans will be 65 or older.
"This new facility is one of our biggest investments ever, and we are very thankful to the State of Georgia, Douglas County and the city of Douglasville for welcoming us with a terrific labor force and an inviting business environment in which we can succeed and, in turn, help the local community grow and thrive," said Dan Love, president of Medline's personal care products division. "We are proud to produce products in Douglasville that will have a major positive impact on millions of elderly people throughout the country."
In addition to Medline's new manufacturing facility, the company maintains a 448,000-sq.-ft. (41,620-sq.-m.) distribution center located in nearby Lithia Springs, where the company ships healthcare supplies to hospitals, nursing homes, surgery centers and other healthcare facilities throughout the Southeast. Medline has more than 8,500 employees in North America and around the world, including more than 1,100 dedicated sales representatives. The company has 33 distribution centers throughout North America and 13 manufacturing plants around the world.
The equipment at the new facility is the fastest and most technologically advanced of its kind in the country, operating at twice the speed of other incontinence product machines. The massive machines measure about the length of a football field and stand two stories high.
The machines are fully automated, producing briefs and other incontinence products from raw materials on one end of the line and packaging and boxing them up on the other end. State-of-the-art packaging equipment makes the packaging 20 percent smaller and therefore more "green," enabling more product to fit in the cases and on the trucks for more efficient and environmentally friendly shipping and delivery.
The new facility includes a 300,000-sq.-ft. (27,870-sq.-m.) warehouse and distribution center where millions of adult briefs are shipped every week from 90 docks to Medline's 33 distribution centers located around the country. From there, they are transported to thousands of Medline's customers, including nursing homes, hospitals and home health agencies.
Medline says the new patent-pending FitRight brief, which was created with considerable research and input from caregivers and residents, was designed with comfort and dignity in mind. FitRight is made with a super-absorbent polymer, and is also designed to be more discreet with a garment-like fit to help promote more confidence, mobility and independence.
Medline built its new facility with room to grow as demand for its incontinence products increases.
"We are excited to have such a well respected and nationally recognized company like Medline join our rapidly growing bioscience community," said Bioscience and Health IT Development Vice President David Hartnett of the Metro Atlanta Chamber. "This is a real win for Douglasville, which is rapidly becoming a desired location for companies like Medline and keeps us clearly on track to take a leadership position as a hub for medical and surgical products manufacturing and distribution."
The manufacturing facility was constructed with the latest energy efficient technology. Some of the main energy efficient technologies employed at the facility include:
- Motion sensors, combined with advanced, high-output, energy-saving lighting, to keep lights off in aisles when not in use.
- High-output T5 light fixtures, which are more energy efficient, and on/off sensors controlled with motion and daylight sensors.
- Use of LED lighting for all exterior fixtures.
- Super-sized fans increase air circulation to reduce electricity consumption for air conditioning and heating.
- Robust recycling programs, including all corrugated boxes, stretch wrap, office paper and fluorescent bulbs.
- High-efficiency battery chargers for electric-powered lift trucks.
- Innovative wall material provides additional natural light to reduce dependence on electric light while providing a brighter working environment for employees.