Medical device firm plans $1.4 million expansion in Richland County
A $1.4 million investment and 50 jobs is coming to Richland County as a local medical device manufacturing company expands its operations. Rhythmlink International LLC will grow its design and distribution facility on 1140 First St. South in the Columbia Industrial Park to make room for a new automated packaging line.
“After careful analysis, it made sense to take some of our production processes out of our facility in China and move them closer to home,” said Chief Operating Officer Michael O’Leary.
The expansion consist of a new 1,500-square-foot ISO 8 Certified, Class 100,000 cleanroom. The room is designed to contain a low level of pollutants and dust for proper packaging of medical devices. The production facility will be the first in the U.S. for the company.
Rhythmlink began manufacturing devices to manage epilepsy and other neurological disorders in China 12 years ago. O’Leary said the company then looked at Costa Rica, Mexico, Puerto Rico and even a couple of other states in the U.S. to move its operations.
The company established economic partnerships with Richland County, Capital Bank and the South Carolina Department of Commerce to make less expensive investment in building out its Richland County location.
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development, an office within the state’s commerce department, approved a $50,000 set aside grant to be used for land improvements for the project.
“Rhythmlink produces high-tech medical devices that help monitor patients even in the most critical of care,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “Their decision to expand their Richland County facility and on-shore their manufacturing not only speaks to our excellent workforce in South Carolina, but also to our strong manufacturing capabilities.”
Richland County Chairman Norman Jackson called the expansion “the greatest evidence of a business-friendly climate” in the state as part of the growth and success of existing industries.
Products made out of the new space will be available for sale by mid to late 2015.