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Update on GF's 'Made in the USA Strategic Initiative'

Update on GF's 'Made in the USA Strategic Initiative'

ATLANTA - Graham-Field (GF) has further cemented its commitment to manufacturing its Patriot Homecare Bed in the United States with two recent investments.

Basic American Medical Products, a manufacturer of healthcare beds and a GF Health Products factory brand, has expanded its Fond du Lac, Wis., facility by 40,000 square feet and installed a high-tech fiber optic laser tube cutting system, GF announced last month.

“Five to 10 years ago, the big buzz word was outsourcing and we're not convinced that's always the answer,” said Kurt Hellman, senior vice president of manufacturing for GF Health Products.

GF moved the production of its Patriot Homecare Bed back to the United States in 2009 as part of its “Made in the USA Strategic Initiative.” Earlier this year, it moved production of its Lumex recliners back to the United States to a facility in Atlanta.

Basic American, which manufactures beds for nursing home use in addition to home use, expanded its facility to make room for the new system, and to increase its production and warehouse capabilities to meet growing demand, Hellman said.

“The healthcare market is one of the largest markets in the country,” he said. “This country spends a lot of money on health care.”

The new cutting system allows Basic American to streamline the manufacturing process (think one touch vs. multi-touch) and improve flexibility, Hellman said.

“We can change designs, make different joint constructions and customize products,” he said. “We like to have the ability to do things a little differently, and this allows us to do that quickly.”

Efficiencies aside, it's often the customer service experience of working with a company that manufactures products in the United States that wins over providers, Hellman said.

“Our customers call us directly,” he said. “If there are questions, we're taking these products right off the manufacturing floor to answer their questions.” HME


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