Clearly, Sweden's Trelleborg is bullish on the North American life sciences market. Trelleborg Healthcare & Medical, which combines operations from within the Trelleborg Group to serve medtech, biotech, and pharmaceutical OEMs, has announced an investment of several million dollars to expand its manufacturing facility and BioPharma Center of Excellence in Northborough, MA. This follows its acquisition of Minnesota Rubber and Plastics earlier this month and its purchase of Wisconsin-based EirMed LLC in April 2022. Both companies supply plastic parts to the healthcare industry, among other sectors.
The Northborough expansion includes increasing the manufacturing capacities of Class 7 and 8 cleanrooms by 25,000 square feet to meet growing demand for biopharmaceutical applications, such as silicone tubing and hose as well as assemblies, said Linda Muroski, President of Trelleborg Healthcare & Medical. “The investment is a key milestone in our global biopharmaceutical strategy and will enable us to expand our offerings to existing and new customers in the industry. Our customers need a global partner for growth, and we are committed to being that partner,” said Muroski.
The three-phase expansion project will advance incrementally over the next 24 to 36 months, with phase one commencing in January 2023, said the company. This project follows the expansion of milling and extrusion capacities at the Northborough site earlier this year and is expected to create at least 50 new jobs.
“The expansion will enable us to increase our manufacturing capacities for extrusion and molding and offer enhanced flexible manufacturing solutions,” said Florance Veronelli, Global Business Development Lead for Biopharmaceutical. “As a full-service provider to the biopharmaceutical industry, our value-added offering will include assembly, kitting, contract manufacturing, packaging, validation, supply-chain management, and more.”
The company’s core products include PharmaTube platinum silicone tubing for single- and multi-use pharmaceutical applications. The company’s portfolio also includes a range of O-Rings, seals, bearings, and composite products.
In acquiring EirMed in April, Muroski explained that the decision aligned with Trelleborg Healthcare & Medical’s strategy to expand capabilities beyond thermoplastic molding and liquid silicone rubber. EirMed brings “extensive medical device assembly experience and [expands] our capabilities and capacity in thermoplastics,” she said at the time.
The nearly billion dollar deal to acquire Minnesota Rubber and Plastics, which is expected to close before the end of the year, will expand Trelleborg’s polymers business in North America. The company, which has manufacturing facilities in the United States, Mexico, and China, supplies engineered elastomers and thermoplastics to the medical, water, and industrial end markets.
The Trelleborg Group describes itself as a world leader in engineered polymer solutions that seal, damp, and protect critical applications. It reports annual sales of approximately $3.95 billion and operates in about 50 countries.