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Guelph-based Linamar to start making medical equipment

A Linamar facility in Guelph, Ont., May 8, 2014.
A Linamar facility in Guelph, Ont., May 8, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES / Stephen C. Host

Guelph-based auto parts manufacturer Linamar Corporation is getting into the medical market.

It announced an agreement with Synaptive Medical Inc. on Tuesday and will be investing $5 million into the Toronto-based company.

READ MORE: Guelph General Hospital receives $5M donation

The deal will also see Linamar manufacture two of Synaptive’s products: a robotically controlled digital microscope and a head-only MRI system.

Both products will be made at Linamar’s new innovation hub on Woodlawn Road in Guelph.

“This strategic partnership is a great first step for us into the opportunistic medical and biotech market, given the growing and ageing population and the ongoing demand for new, innovative and cost-effective solutions to our growing medical needs,” Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz said in a statement.

“Synaptive is truly a global innovation leader in the medical marketplace and we are excited to embark on this partnership with them.”

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Linamar said the hands-free Modus V microscope supports a wide range of surgical approaches and offers a larger field of view, a higher depth of field and more natural colour reproduction. It also allows for much shorter surgery times.

The Evry MRI system has yet to receive regulatory clearance but is designed to reduce installation and operational costs, and can be used in critical and acute situations, according to Linamar.

READ MORE: Guelph-based Linamar expects minimal impact from General Motors closures

“We recognize the importance of scaling manufacturing processes in surgical planning and navigation,” said Synaptive’s president Cameron Pirron.

“We are extremely excited about this agreement with Linamar Corporation, a demonstrated leader in device technology manufacturing, marking the advancement of Synaptive’s manufacturing efforts as we work to develop innovative technologies for surgeons worldwide.”