West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. is expanding capacity to produce new syringe systems in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The Lionville, Pa., firm has embarked on a multimillion-dollar program to make a 1-milliliter syringe out of a cyclic polyolefin that overcomes problems with glass-based syringes, said Eric Resnick, engineering vice president for West Delivery Systems. The program will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The new syringe system is injection molded from Daikyo Crystal Zenith, a cyclic polyolefin developed by West's Tokyo-based partner, Daikyo Seiko Ltd. The new products don't shatter or delaminate like glass syringes can, the company claims.
West Pharmaceutical is converting 32,000 square feet of space to Class 10,000 clean rooms for automated manufacturing, Resnick said in a telephone interview. As well, it will add testing laboratories and more climate-controlled warehouse space. It already has launched the project and has added several new injection molding machines. At least six more will be installed for the program, he said.
Scottsdale was chosen for the syringe program because of its technical capabilities such as engineering, its in-house tool shop and a bank of injection molding presses. Scottsdale won out over West's three production plants in the Phoenix area.
We found a high level of interest in the Crystal Zenith insert needle syringe system during its formal launch at a customer open house in Scottsdale last October, West Chairman and CEO Donald Morel said in a news release. The renovation project will give us the space for additional sophisticated injection molding technologies.
Resnick did not disclose what equipment maker will supply presses for the expansion, but he said Milacron, Arburg and Netstal machines all fit its requirements.
In other news, publicly held West reported a decline in fourth-quarter net income to $5.9 million from $20.3 million a year earlier. That period's sales, at $276.8 million, were 5.7 percent lower than in 2010. The firm said non-recurring product sales, adverse currency effects and drawdown of customer inventories hurt results.