From the start of this pandemic, West Pharmaceutical committed to manufacturing and designing large-scale, high-quality components required to serve customer needs for the delivery of a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine, a company spokesman said. The expansion had been planned for before the COVID-19 pandemic first impacted North America, and demand was expedited by the increased need for PPE-related elastomer products.
"This is really an investment to meet the growing demand in the health care market, including the increased demand driven by the COVID-19 pandemic," the spokesman said. "Our Kinston manufacturing facility is playing a critical role in the production of elastomer components being used directly in the fight against COVID-19."
A variety of elastomer components are produced by West Pharmaceutical Services, such as rubber stoppers for vials and rubber plungers for pre-filled syringes. These products have played a critical role in the fight against COVID-19 with vaccines and therapeutic medicines being used to treat COVID-19 patients, according to the spokesman.
In addition, components manufactured at the Kinston site help meet the ongoing growing demand in the health care market for packaging components and delivery systems used for injectable medicines, many of which are helping the company to save lives.
The expansion is expected to contribute to revenue growth, although leadership is unsure how this expansion will directly impact future revenue. "I can say that it will help support our capability to produce over 100 million components and devices each day," the spokesman said.
The new jobs will include a variety of positions for qualified machine operators, procurement and planning specialists, supervisors, engineers, maintenance technicians and control specialists. West Pharmaceutical has almost 10,000 team members across 50 sites worldwide, including 25 manufacturing sites, with net sales of $2.15 billion in 2020. This equates to a nearly 17-percent revenue growth year-over-year, the spokesman said.
The company has played a vital role in fighting this pandemic by working with many of the companies that have developed or are developing vaccines and therapeutic treatments to produce other unique rubber products, as well as diagnostic kits used to detect the virus.
"This expansion will help us to better meet the growing demands of our customers," the spokesman said. "We are uniquely positioned to satisfy increasing market demand by leveraging our global scale and resources, enabling us to meet the vaccine needs of multiple customers, while still meeting the needs of our existing customers."