Nypro Inc. is opening a 160,000-square-foot plant in Tijuana, Mexico, to make medical products. The facility, half a mile from its existing plant there, will triple the size of the firm's health-care operations in the city.
The leased plant, previously used by Victor Co. of Japan Ltd. for consumer products, is to begin operating in midyear. It will replace the Nypro Precision Assemblies plant and will be called Nypro Healthcare Baja, said Steve Glorioso, corporate vice president of health care, at the Medical Design & Manufacturing West show in Anaheim. The existing plant will be phased out over time.
The new plant will be one of Nypro's largest health-care manufacturing facilities globally, rivaling the size of the company's medical plant in Clinton, Mass., where the $1.2 billion company is headquartered. Nypro did not reveal the size of the investment, but said it will be less than $10 million.
The expansion will almost double the size of the firm's Tijuana workforce to 1,500 from 800, and the company plans to add 30-40 injection molding machines. The plant will include 80,000 square feet of Class 8 or Class 100,000 clean room space and will be dedicated 100 percent to medical molding and contract manufacturing. It has 16 loading docks.
Glorioso said Nypro already has customers committed to using the plant's capacity, including three large new clients. He said the plant will supply the North American market.
``It will be primarily for labor-intensive products,'' said Glorioso, adding the plant is unlikely to take on nonmedical contracts.
``We are still in an expansion mode in health care,'' he said. ``We are trying to make our capital investments for health care consistent and have them keep pace with our growth rate in that area.''
Health care currently represents 27-28 percent of Nypro's sales and grew at a 25 percent clip in 2007. The company's objective is to grow health care into a $500 million business in this decade. Nypro would like for half of its sales to come from health care, he said.
Glorioso also said the company is refurbishing its plant in Bray, Ireland, near Dublin, so it can focus exclusively on health-care manufacturing. He said the project is 50 percent complete and will be finished by midyear.
That comes on the heels of the clean room expansion already under way in Clinton, and previously announced health-care improvements for 2008 in Shenzhen, China; Mebane, N.C.; and Bangalore, India.
He said Nypro's plants in Tianjin, China, and Bangalore have received IS0 13485 certification.
``In a few years, we will be doubling our clean room capacities globally,'' Glorioso said.
``We are seeing the fruits of the programs we put into place three to four years ago pay off,'' he said, adding that he expects Nypro to make several other announcements this year pertaining to health care.
During the next few years, health care in Asia, and China in particular, will grow at a faster rate than in other parts of the world, but ``not at the expense of growth in North America,'' he said.
``Our plants [in China] are primarily for products used in China by the Chinese people. We have a lot of customers who are not there yet. We want to be ready for them when they are ready to go.''
Glorioso did not rule out acquisitions going forward.
``We are always looking for companies that can bring us a new capability that we think our customers want, for companies that can bring us customers that we don't currently deal with, or companies that are simply a good addition to our footprint,'' he said.