Mechanical engineer Niall Hurley and Patrick Byrnes Jnr at OMTEC in Chicago
ONE OF the county’s most renowned medical companies is paving the way for up to 60 new jobs in the next few years, if successful in cracking the American market.
Representatives from Croom Precision Medical travelled to Chicago recently, to network with Stateside businesses in the medical devices industry.
Founder Paddy Byrnes met with prominent local businesspeople as well as appearing at the Orthopaedic Manufacturing and Technology Exposition and Conference (OMTEC), in order to promote the company and region on the global stage.
“At the moment, we are more or less building a network, and through the network we will secure the business over the coming years. That’s the plan,” said Mr Byrnes.
“It’s getting the name out there, creating a presence, and that’s what it’s all about really,” added Paddy, who was accompanied by his son Patrick, a manager at the company.
The family-run enterprise was set up over 30 years ago, and specialises in orthopaedic medical device manufacturing and custom tooling services. Their current customers include Stryker, Simmer, Depuy, Baxter, Cook and Boston Scientific.
“It was our first time exhibiting in America. This is the premier orthopaedic implant manufacturing exhibition in the States. The US would be quite achievable with the technology and the skills we have here, we are well positioned to bring it to an American market,” said Mr Byrnes.
Planning permission has been granted for a research and development administration building, which will lead to around 60 more jobs when fully staffed.
The company will be seeking college-educated engineers to fill the positions when the time comes.
“It’s a couple of years down the road, but it’s the ultimate goal for ourselves,” said Mr Byrnes.
While in the Windy City, the Croom group met with a well-known business family, the Bredemanns.
The Bredemann family business of car dealerships spans four generations, with Joe Bredemann, who has links to Croom and Ballingarry, currently at the helm.
“Meeting the Bredemann family turned out to be quite an important part of the trip. He is a valuable contact, and quite a charismatic guy, Joe Bredemann,” said Paddy Byrnes.
“They are very well-known in Chicago. The hospitality was absolutely fantastic, so we hope to do the same for them when they come back here,” he added.
The Bredemann family was honoured with a civic reception by Limerick County Council as part of The Gathering in 2013. The family also contributed to the Family Resource Centre in Ballingarry.
Croom native Pat Fitzgerald set up the meeting between the two enterprising families.
“We have the key to major cities in the States when it comes to linking up businesses. And we have the key to Chicago.
“We are not reaching our full potential at the moment,” said Mr Fitzgerald.
He added that the former US Ambassador to Ireland, Jim Kenny, has expressed an interest in linking Chicago businesses with Limerick.