The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and medical technologies provider Hill-Rom announced Wednesday a multimillion-dollar investment to improve and expand the company’s medical device manufacturing operations on the island.
With an investment of more than $3 million, Hill-Rom’s Aspen Surgical division — which operates as Aspen Surgical Puerto Rico — will improve operational efficiency of its existing systems and improve its manufacturing area. The expansion will add up to an additional 30 new jobs to Aspen Surgical’s existing payroll of 200 in Las Piedras.
“We are proud to say that Hill-Rom manufactures in Puerto Rico, with local workforce, millions of instruments that are used for surgeries worldwide,” said Gov. Alejandro García-Padilla during a morning news conference.
“This new investment and the jobs that will be created in Aspen Surgical Puerto Rico are not an isolated incident. It is the most recent of more than a dozen expansions that have occurred in the manufacturing sector over the first 16 months of my administration,” he said.
Aspen Surgical is a leading worldwide manufacturer of surgical disposable products. Its portfolio of specialty medical products and surgical instruments includes brands such as Bard-Parker scalpels and blades. The company recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of the original Bard-Parker scalpel and creation of the original Bard-Parker business.
This investment positions Aspen Surgical to expand capacity in Puerto Rico, where it currently manufactures several product lines, including Bard-Parker blades and scalpels. At the Las Piedras site, Aspen Surgical manufactures 110 million blades per year, and more than one billion blades since 2001, for a range of procedures, from general surgeries to specialized microsurgeries.
“For 100 years, Hill-Rom’s Bard-Parker products have helped ensure the safety of surgeons, operating room personnel and patients during surgical procedures,” said Scott Jeffers, senior vice president, global supply chain for Hill-Rom. “In partnership with PRIDCO, Hill-Rom is committed to continuous improvement efforts that enrich our employees’ skills and advance the technology in our Las Piedras facility so that we may continue to offer surgeons around the world the trust and confidence they need.”
Meanwhile, Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company Executive Director Antonio Medina-Comas said the agency is providing unspecified incentives for job creation and infrastructure to promote the expansion.
“The growth of Hill-Rom’s Aspen Surgical business reflects the trend among medical devices manufacturers in Puerto Rico,” said Medina-Comas.
“They recognize our experienced work force and other competitive advantages such as the attractive tax incentives that make Puerto Rico the ideal U.S. jurisdiction to make a cost-effective long-term investment,” he said.
During the past months, other medical devices companies like Coopervision, Covidien and Medtronic have announced along with PRIDCO additional major investments in Puerto Rico.