Originally Published MDDI August 2005
|Sterigenics is planning several expansions and plant openings in Germany, France, Belgium, and this one in Shanghai.|
|The new Shanghai facility will provide E-beam sterilization services to Chinese medical device manufacturers.|
Sterigenics Inc. is expanding into China and Germany. The new facilities, in Wiesbaden, Germany, and Shanghai, China, will provide E-beam and EtO sterilization services.
“Both facilities are very key to our strategy of servicing the medical device industry, either near the centers of final distribution or manufacturing capacity,” says Ron Peacock, marketing director of Sterigenics.
The plant in Wiesbaden is replacing the company's facility in Morfelden, Germany, which is aging and lacking in space. The Wiesbaden plant has twice as much room and is near the autobahn network. It is also close to the old facility, making it easier to transfer the company's workforce.
Sterigenics will use the Wiesbaden plant to introduce its CycleOne process to Europe. The technology preconditions, processes, and aerates in a single chamber in 14–16 hours. The process includes parametric release, which does not require biological indicators. CycleOne is designed to trim 9–13 days from EtO processing cycle.
The facility has three 32-pallet and two 16-pallet sterilizers designed around truck or half-truck loads for increased batch sizes. Customers with smaller orders will be able to use 8- and 13-pallet sterilizers. The Wiesbaden facility will also have a microbiological and analytical laboratory.
The company decided to set up shop in Shanghai because of its burgeoning medical device industry and rising GNP. Its closeness to a deep-sea port was also a consideration.
“It was critical mass—it was just about time [to expand to China],” says Patrick Hughes, vice president of sales and marketing for Sterigenics. “We found enough customers and potential customers to be there.”
The Shanghai facility will provide E-beam to manufacturers of low-density dressings and draping and gowning products. The goal is to provide Chinese manufacturers with “technology allied to a company that has experience in meeting all the regulatory requirements for North American and European markets,” says Peacock.
In addition to E-beam services, the Shanghai company will be adding an EtO facility. Sterigenics hopes its presence in China will help its customers reduce inventory. Sterigenics also hopes that the Shanghai facility will capture volumes before they ship to Europe, Australia, or North America, thereby freeing up Sterigenics' capacity for local manufacturing.
Sterigenics also has plans to expand its services to France, the UK, and Belgium.
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