Major European device OEM establishes US base

SHL, the world's largest privately owned designer and manufacturer of advanced drug delivery devices, has just opened a new design and assembly center in the United States. Rapidly growing SHL is based in Sweden and operates six production plants in Taiwan.

"The site (in Deerfield Beach, FL) is now operational with multiple final assembly lines for auto injectors

SHL is now providing final assembly, packaging and labeling services for auto injectors and pen injectors in the USA.

already set up," SHL Marketing Director Steven R. Kaufman told PlasticsToday. "Engineers from SHL Sweden and SHL Taiwan work with our engineering staff located in the USA  facility to provide services for some of the world's largest biopharmaceutical companies."

Custom equipment

Most of the equipment at the site has been designed and made by SHL in cooperation with leading European equipment suppliers.  For example, SHL's latest semi-automatic to fully automatic linear final assembly equipment is now on site with more to come.

Sweden and the U.S. are the two primary design sites for SHL. The Florida assembly plant provides access to customers in North America and also provides greater vertical integration. "We can now be truly a one-stop shop for customers wanting to bring a combination product to market," says Kaufman.

Last year SHL announced an expansion of its Nan Kan 6 facility located in northern Taiwan to ensure that adequate production capacity can be maintained. Security of supply chain has been a critical issue in Asia in the past two years because of various natural events ranging from flooding to earthquakes and tsunamis.

CNC machined components

CNC, molding, and automation-related production were added to the facility. In particular, this facility will house extensive CNC lines to support production of automated testing and assembly equipment for medical devices.  In addition, these CNC lines will be used to support a growing need for precision machined components and modules.

"Demand for auto injectors continues to rise as the number of biologics coming to market steadily increases," says Frank Isaksson, SHL general manager for Taiwan.  "With continued expansion in Taiwan, our new facility

Photo shows KraussMaffei machines in Taiwan.

 in the USA and future expansion in Europe we will have the depth of capabilities and resources needed to maintain our leadership position in the auto injector market, including production of other drug delivery devices such as pen injectors and inhalers systems."

SHL currently has six production facilities in Taiwan related to SHL Medical and plans to acquire space at two of its larger facilities as needed.  The company employs more than 1,600 globally, with more than 1,000 in Taiwan.

Meet Molly

One of the company's newer products is its first "pre-configured" auto injector.  Called "Molly", the device features a compact design, simplified two-step operation and a permanently hidden needle. 

 "Customers need to get their drug to market as quickly as possible and Molly provides that exact opportunity thanks to our new business model," says Lucio Giambattista, executive vice president of the SHL Group.

An all-electric Engel e-motion 80H/80W/200 T WP US combi will be producing components for SHL auto-injectors in a two-component injection molding process with a servo-electrical 16+16-cavity index platen mold as part of its exhibit at NPE 2012 in Orlando, FL April 1-5.

100+ molding machines

SHL operates more than 100 molding machines in its Taiwan facilities from Krauss Maffei, Engel, Netstal and

Resin compounds are dried and distributed in an automated system.

 other manufacturers. Clamp force ranges from 40-420 tonnes. All machines are equipped with 6-axis or linear robots. Hydraulic, hybrid, fully electric and dual injection molding machines using both turntable and indexing technology are used.

Each molding machine is connected to a fully computerized raw material handling system supplied by Motan, allowing all plastic materials to be automatically dried and vacuum fed to the respective hopper of each molding machine.

SHL uses a fully integrated, completely computerized proprietary molding system to provide process control. SHL was established in 1989 by Swedish entrepreneurs Roger Samuelsson and Martin Jelf as a privately held company. Its first auto-injector, the PenInject 2.25, was developed for Pfizer.
















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