Making it big
Microspec recently celebrated its 25th year of creating tiny medical tubing
Tim Steele checks out his 25th year anniversary present - the "Double." This robot can view what is happening, transmitting the live feed to a remote operator who can control the robot via an iPad. It will give Steele the ability to roll up to a product line and give input on a process, even when he is away, said Thaddeus Rogers IT Systems Engineer at Microspec. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »
Jane Butler a member of the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce examines a photograph of some of the smallest medical tubing made at Microspec. "I've always been curious about what goes on in here," she said. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »
Bruce Gordon, facilities manager, shows some of the various medical tubing designed and produced at Microspec. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »
Microspec — a company that specializes in designing and creating customized medical tubing — threw a party on March 13. There was a lot to celebrate.
Microspec has been in business in Peterborough for 25 years. During that time, the company went from one to 60 employees and today it is still hiring.
“Microspec has grown in Peterborough, and we intended to stay here,” said CEO and founder Tim Steele, speaking to the nearly 50 guests at the celebration. The audience included the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and many of Steele’s friends.
In addition to celebrating a quarter of a century in business, the party marked the construction of a 3,000-square-foot addition, bringing the Microspec building to 27,000 square feet.
The renovation included the creation of a new entry way for Microspec and installation of solar panels that will generate 500,000 kilowatts of electricity over an estimated 25 years.
“To see this kind of courage and action in Peterborough is absolutely stunning to me,” said Egon AliOglu, an Antrim resident who stopped by Microspec after he noticed the solar power addition.
The entrance way and solar array, “reflect the corporate vision and the pursuit of excellence at Microspec,” said Scott Swanson, the architect who designed the project. “I hope it gives a feel for the cutting edge work done here.”
Today, Microspec is a $10 million dollar company, but Steele said he believes business will triple or quadruple in the next year. He anticipates hiring nearly 40 more employees and beginning work on a second building. The new building, he said, will be “totally green.” Design elements include recycling gray water, geothermal heating, solar power and possibly a windmill.
“I want to set the standard [of green building] very high in Peterborough,” said Steele.
Chris Tremblay of Harrisville has worked at Microspec for five years. “I’ve really seen this company grow. I think we could easily outgrow this space in the next year,” he said.
Steele said Microspec is represented at tradeshows around the world and that much of his business is from new “PhD driven start-up companies” looking for the next great idea. Often new business entrepreneurs will approach Steele to brainstorm about creating cutting-edge products. “They are asking us questions we’ve never heard before,” he said. “But together we find the solutions.”
Other times Steele sees a need in the market and designs tubing to meet it.
For example, in 2000, he saw a need for neonatal catheters for premature babies. Although the project had not been requested by a client, Steele designed it and demand has steadily grown. Neonatal catheters are still being sold today, Steele said.
The smallest tubing Microspec makes is 0.003 inches, or “slightly thicker than a strand of hair,” said Steele.
“We are always on the cutting edge pushing the envelope,” he said.
Bruce Gordon, facilities manager at Microspec has been working with Steele for 24 years. “We make some of the most innovative tubbing in the industry, period,” said Gordon.