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April 21, 2006

Maker of medical device seals to open Springs plant, hire 20

From: Rocky Mountain News - Denver,CO,US - Apr 21, 2006

By Dick Foster, Rocky Mountain News
April 21, 2006

COLORADO SPRINGS - Bal Seal Engineering, a maker of intricate spring-loaded seals for pacemakers, defibrillators and other medical devices, will open a manufacturing facility here, company Vice Chairman Jacques Naviaux said Thursday.
The Foothills Ranch, Calif., company said it would begin hiring immediately for 20 positions, including micro-machinists, assemblers and quality inspectors.

Naviaux gave no opening date for the plant, which will operate in a 15,000-square-foot leased space. The company plans to begin building a plant near the Colorado Springs airport in about a year that eventually will employ more than 100.

The company will train its new hires to produce the patented spring-loaded seals it supplies to makers of pacemakers, cochlear implants, neurostimulators and other medical devices, many of which are surgically implanted.

Its clients include St. Jude Medical, Johnson & Johnson, Sorin Biomedica and Advanced Bionics.

The Colorado Springs facility will specialize in springs and seals used in medical devices, which Naviaux called one of the fastest-growing areas of technology.

Bal Seal Engineering was founded in 1958 by Pete Balsells, a University of Colorado School of Engineering graduate.

Originally, the company focused on the nation's fledgling space program. Balsells invented his unique spring-loaded seals to address a specific need in the liquid oxygen fuel system of the early Atlas rockets, Naviaux said.

The company has about 420 employees in California, where it continues to work in aerospace but has expanded into other fields, including scientific instrumentation and medical devices.

Naviaux said the company decided to move its medical devices group to Colorado hoping that the lower cost of living would make it easier to recruit a work force.

Bal Seal will offer wages of $20 to $40 an hour to qualified micro-machinists, $10 to $15 an hour to assemblers and $16 to $20 an hour to quality inspectors.

Applicants can contact the company at

2006 © The E.W. Scripps Co.