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At 270 employees, NuVasive’s growth is exploding

NuVasive Inc. already has 270 workers at its main national manufacturing facility in West Carrollton, with 50 more openings the company needs to fill, NuVasive managers told a Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce audience Friday morning.

In fact, the San Diego spinal-implant products company intends to build up to 85 percent of its products in its 170,000-square-foot Liberty Lane facility, they said.

“We are working towards that,” said Gary Amstutz, NuVasive machining superintendent.

“We are growing daily,” said Mike Popow, engineering manager at NuVasive.

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NuVasive has invested $45 million into its West Carrollton plant, but that seed was planted five years ago when the company decided to start making its own spinal-care devices, instead of outsourcing that work. It bought a small Fairborn manufacturer, ANC LLC, in May 2013 for $4.5 million.

ANC at the time had about 65 employees. When it was time to expand that operation, NuVasive elected to stay in the Dayton area, picking a former Motoman plant in late 2015 to get bigger.

Much of the Fairborn workforce transferred to the West Carrollton side. The site has 100 CNC (computer numeric control) machines and more are being added.

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Looking to the Dayton area for manufacturing prowess wasn’t difficult, Popow said.

“This is one of the leading manufacturing areas in the country,” he said. “This where you go to get to that high talent.”

Popow and Amstutz explained that NuVasive has pioneered a form of spinal surgery that involves accessing the spine from the patient’s side. The operation, when appropriate, can be less invasive and offers faster recovery time.

“Basically, all that’s healing is a hole in the side,” Amstutz said.

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In San Diego, the company has a surgical training facility to teach the process.

“Our job is to make sure everything works flawlessly for them so they can focus on their true goal, which is the patient,” Amstutz said.

Keeping manufacturing in-house gives NuVasive control of the quality of its parts and control of costs, the managers said.

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