WATERFORD, Ireland—West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. has its eyes set on Europe.
The firm just opened its new facility in Waterford, significantly expanding its presence in Ireland with a new 220,000-sq.-ft. facility. The site will produce West's proprietary elastomeric laminate sheeting, which is used to package insulin for use in pen injectors. The site is on a 44-acre campus, giving it room for further growth if business dictates. It employs 100 and will be adding more jobs as it begins commercial production by the end of 2018.
The project was first reported as a $125 million investment. The firm did not provide an updated figure.
The move comes on the heels of a significant expansion in Dublin, adding a 60,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing site for the production of medical devices with electronic component integration to meet increased demand for connected devices.
"We see a positive outlook on a global scale for the medical contract manufacturing industry, which includes Europe," Don O'Callaghan, vice president of West's European operations, said in an email. "In particular, there is a move to more innovative devices that provide self-administration, as well as self-diagnostic devices. These are two areas where West has a strong presence with our global customer base."
O'Callaghan added that Waterford also will offer finishing for components like stoppers and plungers produced at other West facilities, including pharmaceutical washing, Envision verification, steam sterilization and flexible packaging.
The Waterford site will be among the first in its global manufacturing network to produce Westar Select, the latest in West's Westar quality enhancement offering. In addition to a tighter particulate specification, Westar Select will be made available through an optimized global manufacturing network with multi-site production capabilities to ensure a continuous supply chain while helping to reduce regulatory complexity for customers.
"As the need for higher quality drug delivery and packaging components increases, customers are challenged to meet new standards and comply with additional regulatory requirements," O'Callaghan said. "To help our pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical partners meet these challenges and reduce risk, West has developed next-generation quality for ready-to-sterilize and ready-to-use components."
West disclosed plans for its new site in October 2014, breaking ground in Waterford in June 2015.
O'Callaghan said West chose Waterford because it felt it had an experienced work force to draw from and the location is close to many pharmaceutical customers. The expanding life science footprint in Ireland also factored into the firm's decision.
"We are confident in the ability of this team to drive quality and service for our customers and patients, and we're excited about the fantastic progress made since the groundbreaking," he said.
Its expansion in Dublin is in response to customer demand for medical device manufacturing, focusing on products used for diabetes, according to West. The site employs about 600.
The facility offers complex molding and assembly services, makes a variety of medical devices such as auto injectors and glucose monitoring systems, and supplies device engineering support. It also serves as the firm's global contract manufacturing product center, specializing in providing design, development and manufacturing services for pharmaceutical and medical device producers.
West has had a presence in Ireland since 2005.
The firm also recently invested in Kinston, N.C., adding a compression molding operation that produces syringe plungers and IV system components; and in Jurong, Singapore, installing a compression and injection molding operation for metal seals, stoppers, closures and medical device components.