To commemorate its 20 years in the city of San Germán, German company Fresenius Kabi will invest about $10 million in technology and automation of its manufacturing operations in three years, Eric James, CEO of parent company Fenwal International Inc., said Wednesday.
“Our vision is to make our supply chain more efficient. This involves starting the internal manufacturing of certain parts that today are bought off the island,” he said.
“We will also continue strengthening the professional expertise of the staff working in our company with the advent of more sophisticated technology,” said Santiago, adding that during the past three years, the company invested about $12 million in improvements to the medical device company’s internal processes.
The plant employs 581 workers, manufacturing medical devices for the collection of blood and blood components that are distributed in the United States mainland, Germany, Mexico, Colombia, South Korea, India and other developed countries in Europe.
Santiago said over the years, the plant has overcome significant challenges to competitiveness.
“We have achieved competitive costs despite the adverse economic conditions in Puerto Rico,” he said.
As a strategy to contain costs, the company expects to increase production steadily. Currently, Fresenius Kabi in San Germán produces an average of $18 million a year in medical devices.
With the advent of new technology is expected to exceed $26.6 million a year. The company also invested in the purchase of solar panels and will seek to strengthen the areas of research and development, company officials said.
The San Germán plant manufactures medical devices for separating blood plasma, components for systems used to collect platelets, plasma and red blood cells for transfusions, automated equipment to collect and separate cells, and bags for manual blood collection. Fresenius Kabi manufactures all of the bags for blood collection used by the American Red Cross.
The plant began operations in San Germán in 1995 as Baxter. In 2007, Fenwal International bought the operations. In December 2012, the plant became part of the German company Fresenius Kabi. In Puerto Rico, Fresesius Kabi operates another plant in the town of Maricao.