History of West in China
West’s European and Asia Pacific story is one of innovation, development and growth, which has helped to build today’s vital, dynamic organization.
West traces its roots in Europe to 1960 when Hans Wimmer formed Pharma-Gummi Hans Wimmer in Vicht, Germany, with a vision to serve Europe’s pharmaceutical manufacturers with safe and reliable elastomer components. The geographic scope expanded from Germany to Spain (1965); England (1968); France (1974); Stolberg, Germany (1982); Singapore (1983); and Denmark (1994). The company joined forces with The West Company in 1968 and adopted the West name in 1999. Today, the company is proud to hold a leadership position earned by providing products and services that enhance and improve the delivery of health care in North America, South America, Europe, Japan, Asia and Australia.
West in China
In 2007, West acquired land in Shanghai Qingpu Industrial Zone (SQIZ) for its first manufacturing facility in China. West began construction with a groundbreaking ceremony in January 2008, and on September 22, 2009, West dedicated the new facility.
The West Qingpu plant features advanced injection molding technologies in a world-class clean manufacturing environment. The plant manufactures TrimTec® and InsoCap® closures for intravenous bottles. The closures help pharmaceutical companies meet the challenging drug safety standards in China designed to improve delivery of health care services. West also exports the closures to other markets in Asia, Europe and South America. West also manufactures TrimTec and InsoCap closures in Stolberg, Germany.
The Qingpu plant is approximately 13,390 square meters (about 144,000 square feet) on a 31,590 square meter (7.8 acres) parcel. The plant currently employs 68 people.
West’s presence in the Asia Pacific market includes a factory in Singapore and sales offices in Australia, China, India and Singapore. West is also an equity partner of Daikyo Seiko, Ltd., Tokyo, Japan. Daikyo Seiko, founded in 1954, is a global leader in manufacturing ultra-clean pharmaceutical packaging and medical device components. The West/Daikyo relationship has been in place since 1973.
In addition to providing market-leading products, West’s commitment to European customers is clearly demonstrated by the resources applied to provide technical support to our customers. The Technical Support group, based in Germany, is mostly staffed with experienced chemists and engineers whose knowledge help customers to make component selections and who support customers’ technical needs throughout their products’ life cycle.
Shaping the Future
In the first years of the 21st century, West invested significantly in all European facilities to upgrade cGMP, capacity and technology. These investments have added manufacturing and processing capacity, and new equipment and technologies that improve quality and meet customer demand for increased levels of precision.
The additional investments in plants in Le Nouvion, France, and Eschweiler, Germany, enabled the introduction of new manufacturing technologies. Installations included new pharmaceutical washers, clean rooms and systems for producing Water for Injection, which added capacity to the three existing washing lines. The new finishing lines are especially important because they will enable West to satisfy customer demand for clean products.
In 2004, West completed a 4,000-square-meter expansion of the plant in Stolberg, Germany. The added space accommodates manufacturing capacity to satisfy current and anticipated sales growth in pharmaceutical seals and TrimTec closures. The addition also includes a new raw materials warehouse and a tooling maintenance shop. The Stolberg plant is a potential site for manufacturing West Spectra ID products and Flip-Off CCS seals. West Spectra ID seals display vital information such as a vial’s contents, brand name, point-of-use instructions, and dosage or strength of the medicine. West Spectra ID can help identify products as genuine and establish and protect brand identity.
West strengthened its position as a leader in the global markets for pharmaceutical and health care delivery systems with two acquisitions in 2005. In May, West acquired The Tech Group, a U.S.-based plastic injection moulding company with a facility in Dublin, Ireland.
In August 2005, West acquired Medimop Medical Projects, Ltd., a company based in Israel that designs and manufactures systems and devices for mixing, transferring, reconstituting and administering injectable drugs.
In 2009, West purchased the drug delivery device business assets of Plastef Investissements SA, and obtained the right to manufacture the Eris safety syringe, a passive safety system for use with fixed or staked needle prefillable syringes. The Eris system complements West's NovaGuard passive safety needle, which was recently introduced to the market for use with luer-lock syringes.
Also in 2009, West dedicated its first manufacturing plant in China, located in the Shanghai Qingpu Industrial Zone (SQIZ). The plant, which manufacturers TrimTec® and InsoCap® closures for intravenous bottles, was established in direct response to client demand and helps solidify West’s status as a global, cutting-edge company committed to supporting the growth of the Company’s pharmaceutical customers in China.