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Taiwan medical molder SHL expands

By: Steve Toloken

June 4, 2013

Taiwan-based SHL Group, which says it's the world's largest privately owned maker of advanced drug delivery systems, is adding injection molding capacity as part of a US$40 million investment this year at its Taiwanese factories.

That includes an order of at least 10 KraussMaffei injection molding machines at the recent Chinaplas show, according to a joint June 3 statement from SHL and Munich, Germany-based press manufacturer KraussMaffei Group.

SHL, which is headquartered in Taoyuan, Taiwan, said its larger $40 million investment is driven by rapid growth in the biologic injectable market and by device manufacturers who are under pressure to broaden their range of services.

SHL executives could not be reached for comment but the company said in a February statement it would invest this year "primarily in molding, material handling, assembly and automation capabilities" at several of its Taiwan facilities. It said it was a significant expansion of its manufacturing.

"Our auto injector business is one of the key drivers to this expansion of production capacity," said CEO Roger Samuelsson. "Our customers are bringing more biologics to market and SHL is going to ensure that we meet their needs."

It's not clear if the $40 million investment planned this year includes other injection molding machines.

On its website, the company said it has more than 100 molding machines from Krauss Maffei, Engel and Netstal, ranging from 40-420 tons clamping force. KM said in its release the SHL has more than 130 KraussMaffei CX machines.

SHL also manufactures pen injectors, infusers and inhaler systems for global pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and a range of other medical products. It employs 2,200 globally, and said it plans to add several hundred staff in Taiwan this year.

It has additional factories in Guangdong province, in mainland China, and in Florida, with design centers in the United States and Sweden.

In 2008, SHL said it committed to the Taiwanese government to invest $100 million at its factories there.

"We kept our promise and even completed that investment early," Samuelsson said. "Now we will spend another $40 million for 2013."

KraussMaffei said SHL bought equipment from its booth at Chinaplas show that was manufacturing products with "high-quality surfaces" in one shot from a combination of injection molding and reaction process machinery on one of its CX 200-750 series models.

It said SHL bought the exhibit and 10 more CX machines for its Taiwan plants. Chinaplas was held in Guangzhou from May 20-23.