Canadian Plastics

Thermo Fisher investing $140 million to boost laboratory plastic production for COVID-19 testing

The scientific instrumentation equipment maker is creating more than 1,000 jobs across manufacturing sites globally, increasing automation capabilities, and optimizing warehouse and sterilization capacity to improve supply chain agility.

September 17, 2020   Canadian Plastics

Scientific instrumentation equipment maker Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is investing US$140 million to expand its existing laboratory plastics production to support global demand for COVID-19 testing and the development of therapies and vaccines.

“Early in the pandemic, we quickly joined forces with governments, public health agencies and industry to increase capacity across our laboratory plastics production facilities and address the growing COVID-19 threat,” said Fred Lowery, senior vice president and president of Life Sciences Solutions and Laboratory Products at Thermo Fisher. “However, demand quickly exceeded those early expansion projects, so we began a series of additional expansions to meet the growing needs of our customers. These investments, along with many others across the company, will ensure that our customers have the supplies they need to continue meeting the unprecedented demands of the COVID-19 response.”

The rapid increase in production related to COVID-19 testing, and development and manufacturing of therapies and vaccines, has created what the company calls “historic demand for laboratory plastics”, including pipette and automation tips, storage tubes and plates, transfer pipettes, and packaging vials and bottles. To support these needs, Waltham, Mass.-based Thermo Fisher is creating more than 1,000 jobs across manufacturing sites globally, increasing automation capabilities, and optimizing warehouse and sterilization capacity to improve supply chain agility.

Among the Thermo Fisher sites currently being expanded are Rochester, N.Y.; Petaluma, Calif.; Monterrey and Tijuana, Mexico; and Joensuu, Finland.

This latest investment comes on the heels of Thermo Fisher’s opening last month of a new US$40 million facility in Lenexa, Kan., for viral transport media production to meet sustained demand for COVID-19 testing.


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