Technological watch

NewAge investing to boost medical division

With demand skyrocketing for medical tubing and components, including those used in ventilators and vaccine testing, NewAge Industries Inc. has invested $25 million in a new facility just 15 minutes from its Southampton, Pa., headquarters.

The tubing and hose manufacturer will collaborate with two other specialty design companies in the renovation of a 90,000-square-foot existing manufacturing facility it acquired in Warrington, Pa., just a few miles southeast of its headquarters. The facility is expected to double the capacity for NewAge Industries, parent company of AdvantaPure.

NewAge-AdvantaPure will work with Australia-based CleanSpace Modular LLC for medical respirators and Pennsylvania-based Genesis AEC with specialty architecture and construction to design and install the new clean room and equipment. NewAge expects the site to be ready for validation and testing by 2021.

"It took us a while to find the right property for our needs," said Ken Baker, NewAge Industries CEO. "But we're excited to get this important project started."

NewAge-AdvantaPure is seeing demand skyrocket for its medical products, specifically for platinum-cured silicone and TPE tubing and assemblies used in vaccine development, ventilators and laboratories. Baker expects this to continue within the biotech and pharmaceutical industries.

"We are supplying tubing, hose and molding assemblies for all the major biotech and pharma companies who are manufacturing a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment," he said. "We are under Operation Warp Speed for priority of COVID-19 orders."

The Warrington manufacturing facility is expected to be one-stop shopping for NewAge-AdvantaPure customers, with raw materials coming in the front door and end products—such as silicone and thermoplastic elastomer hose and tubing—will exit out the back. Both the platinum-cured silicone and the TPE used by NewAge-AdvantaPure are sourced in the U.S., Baker said.

Baker said the production line will see raw material come in receiving and placed into inventory in an "air locked" clean room. The raw material then is mixed on a two-roll mixer, and the mixed material is fed into an extruder. The finished tubing then comes out of the extruder and is doubled bagged, sealed and labeled.

The tubing, fitting or hose clamps then are placed into a gaylord box, which is taken to a warehouse to be picked for orders.

The clean room in Warrington ultimately will house tubing extrusion equipment, mold presses, assembly, packaging and inspection areas. Besides silicone and TPE, other raw materials used by NewAge-AdvantaPure include polyvinyl chloride, polyurethane, latex, fluoropolymers and nylon.

All of the extruders, coilers, blow-off tables and mixers are American made, Baker added.

"Plus, we have a Verigenics division which supplies gamma-stable radio frequency identification tags and systems for tracking of assets or medical devices," Baker said.

Publication date: 01/12/2020

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This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.