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Company Goes DIY to Fix Broken Supply Chain

Image courtesy of Alamy/Thomas Bethge red and yellow push pins illustrating business concept
Frustrated by frequent shortages of the China-made plastic consumables it needs to produce molecular testing kits, Open Lab Solutions is setting up its own US plant.

A manufacturer of molecular testing kits in Tulsa, OK, has found it difficult to source the materials and plastic parts it needs to produce its devices during the last couple of years. It finally had enough with the on-again, off-again supply chain and is now setting up a division to make those consumables for itself and other medical device OEMs in the United States.

"Over the past two years we have seen the impact of offshoring the manufacturing of items used every day in our own laboratories," explained Dennis Loudermilk, CEO of Open Lab Solutions (OLS). "It has been challenging to maintain adequate stock of everyday items we use, like pipette tips, plates, and reservoirs, which are all manufactured overseas.” Frequent shortages have strained the company’s internal inventory and been a constant source of frustration. “Without these types of consumables, we cannot make our products, and without our products our customers cannot perform the testing that patients need. The past two years have shown that a local source for these goods is needed,” said Loudermilk. OLS embraced the old adage — if you want something done right, do it yourself — and has founded AMCAR Scientific, which will produce plastic-based consumables for the medical device industry.

AMCAR Scientific initially will focus on manufacturing various styles of pipette tips; multiple plates, reservoirs, and trough configurations; and storage products from polypropylene and polystyrene. All of the raw materials and other goods required for manufacturing these products will be sourced from US based suppliers, said OLS, which is committed to a long-term “medical consumables made in America" strategy. AMCAR Scientific's manufacturing facilities will be located within the continental United States to allow for rapid delivery of supplies, consumables, and services to the healthcare industry.

OLS hopes to begin shipping AMCAR Scientific product by the end of Q3 2023. Longer term, the company plans to create more than 1000 scientific research, development, and manufacturing positions.

A site selection process started earlier this year and the choices have been narrowed down to Allen, TX; Phoenix, AZ; and Tulsa. OLS plans to complete the site evaluations in the next 45 days and announce the final site selection at that time.

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