Increased outsourcing from medical manufacturers is leading to growth opportunities for one Pennsylvania injection molder and bag converter that specializes in the health-care market.
Advanced Scientifics Inc. plans to spend at least $3 million to double its capacity with a 65,000-square-foot expansion at its Millersburg, Pa., headquarters.
The expansion is slated to begin later this year.
The company plans to add an unspecified number of injection presses to its existing 10, and is boosting capacity significantly for fluid delivery bags for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, said Chief Executive Officer Carl Martin. Medical customers increasingly are looking to outsource their manufacturing, he said.
``There are new opportunities, as [medical companies] grow and re-evaluate their costs, for contract manufacturers to take over some of those efforts,'' Martin said. ``I think there's a market shift.''
He declined to identify customers, but said his company buys film and converts it to intravenous bags and bags for things like serum products, cellular cultures and artificial nutrient liquids, for other firms.
The company makes both PVC and PVC-free bags, and Martin said he sees growth in the PVC alternatives market, in part because of environmental issues and in part because Advanced Scientifics is a Food and Drug Administration-certified device manufacturer.
Many of the company's competitors in the non-PVC market are in Europe.
``The higher it is, the FDA oversight, the more opportunity there is to keep it here at home,'' Martin said.
The privately held company started in 1985, and is seeing more competition for medical-device manufacturing from molders outside the United States.
Competition is more intense in the molding side than in bag making, and he said some companies are taking on medical molding projects at cost to keep market share.
The company is trying to bring more automation to its molding operations, and is building higher-cavity injection molds.
Advanced Scientifics prefers to focus on technologies or services, like heat sealing or handling sterilization, that ``work further down the customer's line,'' he said. ``We're trying to fill more of the customer's flow path.''
More than 90 percent of the firm's work is in medical and pharmaceutical applications. The expansion will include clean room operations, Martin said.