Greetings from 3M Columbia
3M is a global innovation company that never stops inventing. Over the years, we have worked to improve daily life for hundreds of millions of people all over the world. We have made driving at night easier, made buildings safer, and made consumer electronics lighter, less energy-intensive and less harmful to the environment. We even helped put a man on the moon.
Every day at 3M, one idea always leads to the next, igniting momentum to make progress possible around the world.
3M Columbia, Missouri
History of 3M Columbia
In 1946 3M Columbia's history is a story of continuous evolution, innovation, and invention. The Columbia plant's ability to attract and retain talent has enabled a culture of continuous improvement and operational excellence.
The site's central United States location provides convenient, direct access to major markets and customers. Columbia is a mix of rural family farms and mid-size commercial operations combined with a major university, colleges, and medical research institutions. The community has been the springboard from which 3M has successfully commercialized multiple product platforms and developed the site into a 3M center of technical manufacturing excellence.
3M started working with the Columbia Development Corporation in the late 1960s to identify a manufacturing location. In cooperation with the support of local leaders, 3M initiated development of the site in 1969 and opened a new 160,000 sq. ft. plant in 1970. The initial operations at the site were related to film making for 3M's Visual Systems Division.
Within the next 10 years, 3M would launch flex circuit, interconnect solutions, microwave products, and overhead projection manufacturing operations in Columbia. In 1980, 3M invested in an 80,000 sq. ft. expansion to the site, and, over the next several years, expanded the interconnect solutions operations. In the1980s, demand for the interconnect solutions and flex circuit products expanded which required significant investments in facilities and process improvements.
3M exited the microwave products business in 1986. During the ensuing two years, the 3M Columbia team worked with St. Paul development laboratories, and, in 1988, 3M's security systems business initiated manufacturing operations in Columbia. Although the market for these initial security systems products no longer exists, additional investments and product developments led to moving a new line of RFID solutions for the 3M Track and Trace business to Columbia. In 1988, 3M consolidated the manufacture of interconnect solutions processing trays into the Columbia site, which significantly increased the sites molding capabilities and participation in the markets of interconnect solutions.
In the late 1980s a team of engineers from Columbia and Austin, TX developed a revolutionary new way to manufacture flexible circuits. This new process eliminated the need to use organic solvents and enabled 3M to launch this technology in the printer market in the early 1990s. This team was awarded the prestigious Chairman's EHS Leadership award for their accomplishments. Over the next 15 years, the printer flex circuits business grew significantly and spawned multiple products. Multiple plant expansions occurred, and major infrastructure was added to the site. More than 10 major flex-based product platforms were developed and launched from Columbia. In the early 2000s, as flex manufacturing moved outside the United States, 3M Columbia supported the development of new operations elsewhere, including the establishment of 3M's Singapore electronics manufacturing operations.
In 2003, 3M Columbia got involved with the development of medical diagnostic products, and, in 2006, began manufacturing the Microcard product line.
By 2010, flex circuit manufacturing had completed the exit from 3M Columbia and by 2012, a new wave of product lines began to in enter the picture. The installation of the Barrier Film Coating process began producing products for the solar panel, window film, and High Definition display markets. Littmann® Stethocscope manufacturing streamlined its complicated supply chain by consolidating many operations into 3M Columbia. An infrastructure of clean-room manufacturing, analytical and microbiology laboratories, and FDA certifications enabled and attracted the manufacturing of other products in the Health Care business focused on Infection Prevention, Food Safety, and Medical Diagnostics.
The success of these product lines demonstrate 3M Columbia's resiliency and drive to adapt, innovate, and respond to opportunities with speed and operational excellence to create solutions for our customers.
Today, Lean Six Sigma is at the center of 3M Columba's drive to meet customer needs, comply with regulatory requirements, and provide an excellent return to shareholders. 3M Interconnect Solutions, Barrier Films, Littmann® Stethoscopes, and Infection Prevention products continue to be solid product platforms, and Columbia leads 3M's manufacturing and supply chain efforts for these products.
O-3M is a pioneer in developing and applying technologies in new and groundbreaking ways. The primary technologies used at 3M Columbia include:
3M Columbia manufactures thousands of product variations that fall into multiple product groups. Our “customer first” attitude and customer support success are benchmarks in the industry. Internal and external quality levels are extremely high with excellent service levels.
Columbia consistently rates as one of the best communities in America. It successfully blends a progressive business environment with a desirable quality of life. The community offers small-town friendliness with big-city features for people of all ages and interests. Columbia is a great place to live because it offers:
Points of Interest
Closest Big Cities of Interest
3M A strong and enduring connection exists between the local community and 3M Columbia. The plant actively supports educational, environmental, health, social services, and other programs through partnerships, contributions, and volunteerism in the community.
3M Columbia provides financial support, product donations, or is actively involved with the following organizations: