Monday 18 December 2017

Home is where the heart is as Aerogen shifts manufacturing

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Aerogen, a Galway-based medical devices maker, is reversing the flight of manufacturing to low-cost economies by shifting production back to Ireland after two years in the Far East.

Automated production at a new facility developed in partnership with Molex will replace a manual assembly process previously outsourced to China.

Irish-owned Aerogen produces aerosol drug delivery products including nebulisers. It moved manufacturing from Galway to a hand assembly plant in the Far East in 2007. Molex is a US multinational that has maintained its Shannon facility for decades.

Aerogen boss John Power said the move back to Ireland showed the viability of Irish manufacturing, despite competition from Asia.

He said: "Irish-based companies have developed world class skills and capabilities in high-end manufacturing."

He also cited better protection of Intellectual Property, a key consideration for Aerogen, which spent 30pc of operating expenses on research and development last year.

"With automation we can produce the product faster and cheaper in Ireland. Highly skilled technicians and engineers, the roles this kind of manufacturing requires, are exactly the type of jobs this country needs," Mr Power said.

Irish Independent

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