SRI CITY, India—West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. has completed construction of its first products manufacturing facility in India, with plans to expand production at the plant already in the works.
A dedication ceremony was held July 16 for the new structure in Sri City, which will expand the company's growing injectable medicines' packaging business, a spokeswoman said.
“With more and more pharmaceutical customers establishing operations in India, our new plant will help West meet market demand and further establishes the company's presence in this growing and dynamic market,” said Donald E. Morel Jr., the firm's chairman and CEO.
West's new facility, which it began constructing in August 2012, spans about 164,700 square feet and sits on a site that covers approximately 783,600 square feet. The firm signed a 99-year lease on the parcel of land in June 2012.
West selected Sri City because it offers the advantages of a metropolitan area, land that fit the company's needs, available utilities, suitable labor force, logistics and quality of life, the Exton, Pa.-headquartered firm said.
It plans to employ more than 45 at the plant by the end of the year, according to Don McMillan, vice president of operations for the Pharmaceutical Packaging System unit. That figure could grow in the next few years, he said.
“The plant is highly automated,” he said, “and jobs at the facility are primarily full-time positions in management, manufacturing, operations and sales.”
It makes elastomeric seals used primarily in packaging of injectable medicines manufactured by the company's pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical customers in India and the Asia-Pacific region.
West previously made packaging products for the Indian market at its production facilities in Singapore and Qingpu, China, McMillan said. The company also sourced products for the region from other plants across the firm's global network, he said.
“As our business has grown, there was a need to build this new facility to meet customer demand,” he said. “With the creation of the Sri City facility, we can reduce lead times for supply and optimize manufacture workflow to more quickly meet the needs and market demand for our customers in India.”
McMillan said even with the addition of the new plant, there are no plans at this time to cut back production at other sites.
“There are plans to expand production at the site to include West's elastomer component business,” he said. “But we haven't yet provided the details about when that would be and what specific products it would manufacture.”
He said the investment in the plant is important to the company's strategy of partnering with customers in India and the Asia-Pacific region “to help them provide medicines to patients more efficiently, reliably and safely.”
West anticipates eventually to reduce lead times for supply of products in India and the greater Asia-Pacific region, according to McMillan. By leveraging its global sourcing activities and process engineering expertise, he said, it expects to manage the overall cost of production carefully.