An urgent demand for additional capacity for the production of a drug delivery device to combat a predicted pandemic, Sovrin embarked on a challenging programme to design, build from scratch, commission and validate a dedicated cleanroom production cell.
Plastic injection moulding specialists, Sovrin
Plastics is already looking towards the next stage of its investment
strategy as the Slough-based injection moulders continues to win new
business in the medical plastics sector. This would involve
putting further machines into the impressive new facility that Sovrin
Plastics has established a few hundred yards from its main premises on
the famous Slough Trading Estate.
The 2,100 sq m premises currently house 8
Demag machines in class 10 000 clean room conditions together with a
host of state-of-the-art clean assembly and testing facilities. But as
proprietor Peter Joiner explained to PRW at the plant, it was
designed with a second machine area in mind to be placed alongside the
current moulding facility, separated by material storage and other
The £1.25m plant was only opened last
year, but is already being well utilised on a range of medical
mouldings, notably inhalation devices, blood analysis kits and a variety
of other medical products. These are also assembled in sequenced grades
of clean conditions on the first floor of the building with fully
gowned staff using space age looking magnifying glasses and antistatic
in the pristine rooms.
Having opened his first cleanroom 25
years ago, Joiner and his team are experts in the field and built the
latest versions to their own design. In all, he told PRW recently, Sovrin Plastics operates a total of 10 cleanrooms covering both moulding, assembly and printing.
A Plaque on the wall to mark Sovrin's
purchase of its 50th Demag unit recognises the partnership with this
supplier; but the next bank of machines is likely to be the subject of
particularly fierce competition in view of Joiner's edict not to buy any
more hydraulic moulding machines. All-electric is likely to be the
message from now on, not least because of the exacting demands of the
company's customers in the healthcare sector.
Sovrin has, of course, made front-page
news in the past with the purchase of a Battenfeld micro system machine,
capable of moulding the smallest items in materials that cost as much
as £1m a tonne!
The Technology has shown its worth on
such projects as moulding minute body biodegradable staples to heal
wounds such as those from a Caesarean section with greatly improved cosmetic effects. This Insorb technology
was developed by Incisive Medical of the US, which recently presented
the results to a high-level colloquium. Made from a copolymer of
polylactic acid and polyglycolic acid, the subcuticular skin stapler
technique combines good cosmetic appearance with rapid closure of the
Sovrin supplies a variety of other market sectors in addition to the healthcare and is certainly not immune from the cold winds of global pressures blowing through the UK moulding sectors, acknowledges Joiner. He believes that the new facility will underline the firm determination to meet the requirements of the famously demanding medical customers. It certainly should impress them with with conditions sometimes more akin to a medical facility than a moulding shop.