SHL invests in injection facilities in Taiwan

David Eldridge
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

Published: September 11, 2013 2:00 pm ET
Updated: September 11, 2013 2:03 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Medical, Injection Molding

Drug injector device maker SHL Group is investing $40 million this year at its injection molding facilities in Taiwan in response to new product launches by customers in the pharmaceutical sector.

SHL was set up in 1989 by two European entrepreneurs — Roger Samuelsson and Martin Jelf of Sweden — with its manufacturing wholly based in Asia.

"Five years ago I signed a letter of intent with the Taiwan government promising to invest $100 million here," said Samuelsson, CEO at SHL. "We kept our promise and even completed that investment early. Now we will spend another $40m for 2013."

SHL operates five pharma manufacturing facilities in Taoyuan and Nankan in Taiwan, and a healthcare manufacturing facility in Guangdong, China. It also has a final assembly plant in Florida, and design centers in Florida and Stockholm, Sweden. Its global staff level passed the 2,000 mark in 2012 and now stands at over 2,400 following this year's expansion in Taiwan.

The group's high volume products are auto injectors, pen injectors and inhalers, which it delivers in millions of units to European and North American pharma groups. It also makes beds, slings and other products for healthcare providers.

"The majority of our growth is being driven by disposable auto injectors," said Steven Kaufman, marketing director at SHL. He told European Plastics News that pharma groups are releasing a lot of their new drugs in an injector format.

The Molly auto injector, launched in 2010, is an example of SHL's innovation in drug delivery devices. It was designed as an intuitive and compact device, with a simplified two-step operation and a permanently hidden needle.

Lower operating costs make Asia an attractive manufacturing location for entrepreneurial companies, but SHL entrusts technology suppliers from Europe when it comes to the production platform critical to its success in the demanding pharma market.

SHL has purchased 10 KraussMaffei CX injection molding machines for its Taoyuan One plant as part of the $40 million investment this year. KraussMaffei has been SHL's preferred machinery partner for a number of years.

Samuelsson said: "With the CX series of machines, we have further enhanced reliability and continue to consistently produce high-quality components for the medical and healthcare industry worldwide. Our goal is zero error tolerance, a goal that our partners must share with us."

A key component of SHL's strategy is scaleability of its production. Kaufman said: "When we do an audit, we find we are always keen to have additional capacity."

This is particularly critical as customers launch new drugs and need the assurance that suppliers can ramp up production if demand takes off. This desire for risk mitigation is the rationale behind the investment in equipment and staff.

As well as new injection molding machines, SHL has expanded its materials handling capability to cope with this year's expansion and with future production growth too. Motan is SHL's main partner in materials handling.

Frank Isaksson, SHL's general manager, said: "We have worked closely with our suppliers to design each of our facilities for maximum scalability."

He said SHL's experience shows it needs to be prepared to expand further in its capacity for injection molding, materials handling, tooling, metrology and automation.

Kaufman said that while SHL does use some suppliers for robots (primarily Fanuc), the group has its own automation department that builds its own robots and end-of-arm tooling, such as grippers. The automation team also plays an important role with customers, as it has developed assembly equipment used at the facilities of its pharma customers or their fillers.

Growth in SHL's manufacturing operations looks likely to remain focused in Taiwan. The group's operations are located close to logistical hubs, an important factor in supplying its pharma customers' facilities around the world.

"Taiwan has one of the best infrastructures in the world for logistics," said Kaufman.

A clear indicator of SHL's commitment to Taiwan is the increasing number of skilled staff it has hired there. "We have so many experts here [in Taiwan], it would be really hard to change," he said.


Comments

SHL invests in injection facilities in Taiwan

David Eldridge
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

Published: September 11, 2013 2:00 pm ET
Updated: September 11, 2013 2:03 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Ebola scare, ACA could drive health care growth

October 30, 2014 2:45 pm ET

Bill Wood's new forecast for medical supplies and equipment calls for an increase of 6.6 percent in the total output of these products in 2014, and...    More

Image

Magna opens new exterior facility, plans for lighting investment

October 30, 2014 1:36 pm ET

Canadian automotive supplier Magna International Inc. on Oct. 28 opened a new injection molding and robotic paint line facility in Delta Township,...    More

Image

Xten may shut down, working on sale to Commercial Plastics

October 29, 2014 5:49 pm ET

Xten Industries LLC is working on a sale to Commercial Plastics Co. of Mundelein, Ill. Xten, an injection molder based in Kenosha, Wis., filed a...    More

Image

Detroit Manufacturing Systems to hire 200 for F-150 production

October 29, 2014 10:40 am ET

Interior trim supplier Detroit Manufacturing Systems LLC plans to hire 200 assembly workers by January to support production growth of Ford Motor Co....    More

Image

Cosmetic packaging maker expands in China

October 28, 2014 3:32 pm ET

A $180 million expansion project by the Derjin Group of Taiwan has broken ground in China's Jiangsu province.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events