An exterior image of Cadence's facility built in 1995.The History of Cadence, Inc.

The business now known as Cadence, Inc. began in 1985 as Specialty Blades to address the needs of companies who required high performance, razor sharp custom-made cutting blades. Cadence is headquartered in Staunton, Virginia.

Cadence is ranked among the top companies providing contract manufacturing solutions. The Cadence reputation as the market expert for improving product performance comes from a commitment to using innovative fabrication technologies. Our proprietary “sharps” processing technologies enable Cadence to supply the most critical components and complex sub-assemblies for medical devices, scientific, and industrial applications.

From humble beginnings...

Specialty Blades developed a proprietary CNC sharpening process that featured precisely controlled, multiple step grinding and honing sequences similar to that used on razor blades, but optimized for maximum product flexibility. As one of the leading surgical manufacturers, the proven success in developing high performance cutting solutions spilled over into the sophisticated medical device market with the continued penetration of MIS (Minimally Invasive Surgery) techniques. The increasing need for smaller cutting components with razor sharp edges on unique materials created significant growth opportunities for Specialty Blades during the late '90s.

The Specialty Blades, Inc. logo.


Recognizing the pressing need to serve the growing medical device market in new and unique ways, Specialty Blades created IncisionTech in 2005 with a new mission - to enable better patient outcomes through innovative incision technologies. As the Center Of Excellence for all incisional components, IncisionTech's core competence was providing expert solutions for surgical cutting, piercing, and delivery system applications.

The Incision Tech Logo.

The Popper Acquisition

In January 2008, Specialty Blades, Inc. and its medical device division IncisionTech completed the acquisition of Popper and Sons, Inc. The acquisition of Popper, a leading specialty needle and metal tubing manufacturing company, made the combined company one of the leading contract surgical manufacturers of cutting and piercing devices for the medical device industry.  It also paved the way for the creation of the Cadence Science division that was focused on lab and analytical science applications, such as fluid delivery.

"This acquisition supports our strategy of focusing the value we bring to medical device companies on improving devices through functional expertise. While we now have one of the broadest arrays of manufacturing capabilities, our unique value proposition lies in our ability to work with OEMs to enhance the performance of their instrumentation, leading to better outcomes for patients" said President and CEO, Peter Harris. "From laser cutting and welding to CNC sharpening to EDM to tubing fabrication to electrochemistry, we believe we are the only tier one device manufacturer with such focused functional device expertise, differentiating us from other contract manufacturing generalists." 

The Popper & Sons logo.

Cadence, Inc.

In January of 2011, the three divisions of Cadence (Cadence Science, Incision Tech and Specialty Blades) were combined to create a truly unique partner for the healthcare and life science markets.

Cadence Device

In 2013, Cadence, Inc. "green fielded" a dedicated finished device facility located outside of Pittsburgh, PA.  This is the location for our Product Realization CenterTM, a dedicated facility for finished medical devices, surgical devices, and drug delivery devices, offering:

  • Design Services
  • Regulatory & Clinical
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Certified Cleanroom Manufacturing
    • Cleanroom Injection and Insert Molding
    • Component Manufacturing (metal and plastic)
  • Finished Device Assembly
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Final Packaging and Labeling
  • Sterilization Management

This solidified our full-service, concept to commercialization capabilities...

The Cadence Device logo.

The Plainfield Acquisition

In August of 2014, Cadence acquired three operating business units of Plainfield Precision Holdings. The operating units were Plainfield Precision – Sturgeon Bay, WI; Plainfield Precision – Plymouth, MA; and Plainfield Precision – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Plainfield Precision Holdings is a highly specialized solutions provider of assembled products that integrate stamped metal and molded plastic components. This acquisition firmly positioned Cadence within the top global providers of technologies and services used in medical, automotive, defense, and industrial products.

The Plainfield Precision logo.

Cadence Acquired by Kohlberg & Company

On May 21, 2018, Kohlberg & Company, a leading private equity firm based in Mount Kisco, New York, acquired Cadence.  Since Kohlberg's inception in 1987, the company has organized eight private equity funds, through which it has raised $7.5 billion of committed equity capital.

Backed by the financial strength of Kohlberg’s private equity funds, it is expected that the acquisition will accelerate the expansion of Cadence’s capabilities and its ability to serve customers in all of their core locations.

The Kohlberg & Company logo.

The Arcor Laser Acquisition

On May 1, 2019, Cadence acquired the assets of Arcor Laser Services, LLC. Arcor is a leader in precision laser welding, cutting, machining, marking, and drilling, as well as turnkey systems integration. The company is located in Suffield, Connecticut and consists of two facilities totaling 30,000 square feet. The addition of Arcor’s laser expertise represents Cadence's latest investment in building a broad platform of precision technologies and supply chain services for our customers.

The Arcor Laser logo.

The Utitec, Inc. Acquisition

On January 3, 2023, Cadence announced the acquisition of Utitec, Inc., a manufacturer specializing in miniature, deep drawn medical device and commercial components.  Utitec has two facilities located in Watertown, Connecticut and Alajuela, Costa Rica.  This acquisition expands Cadence's service offerings to include deep drawn miniature, high-precision components and additional cleanroom assembly capacity in Costa Rica to best serve our customers' evolving needs.

The ARC Florida Acquisition

On October 2, 2023, Cadence announced the acquisition of the Florida location of ARC Group Worldwide, a precision manufacturer specializing in Metal Injection Molding (MIM) and cleanroom plastic injection molding.  ARC Florida is located in DeLand, Fla.  The acquisition of ARC Florida is another major step in our strategy to be a leading MedTech manufacturing partner to our customers, providing complete solutions from early-stage development to scaled manufacturing.  By adding MIM to the Cadence portfolio, we further expand our vertical manufacturing platform with another cost-effective method to increase volume production as products reach scale.

Today, Cadence is a leading supplier of advanced products, technologies, and services to medical, aerospace, automotive, and commercial companies worldwide.

Headquartered in Staunton, Virginia, Cadence now employs approximately 800 people with other facilities in Cranston, RI; Cranberry Township, PA; Suffield and Watertown, CT; Sturgeon Bay, WI; DeLand, FL; and Alajuela, Costa Rica.

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