Endpoint: manufacturing

Following up on IBO’s examination of manufacturing trends in the industry (see IBO 3/31/07), Singapore continues to be a popular location for manufacturing facilities. This February, Fluidigm launched a Biomedical Product Development Center in Singapore, which will be used for R&D of a new biochip fluorescence reader and biochip loader. Bio-Rad unveiled a 20,000 square feet manufacturing plant in Singapore in April. The facility will manufacture Life Science products for the “amplification and analysis of genetic material.” Singapore is also home to Bio-Rad’s Asia-Pacific headquarters, which opened in December 2005. However, this is the first manufacturing location for Bio-Rad in the region.

Consolidation of manufacturing has also been a recurrent theme. In January, Beckman Coulter announced that it will close its manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, California, which is mostly devoted to the development and manufacturing of centrifuges. The facility will be moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where the company already has manufacturing operations. Lower operational costs and a more centralized location were cited for the relocation, which is expected to cost $16 million. Illumina announced this April that it will close its research and manufacturing site in Wallingford, Connecticut, this year, which it acquired in 2005 when it purchased CyVera (see IBO 2/28/05).

In April, Varian announced that it will build an R&D, manufacturing and administrative center in Walnut Creek, California, to streamline the development, assembly and marketing of its nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry instruments. The company will integrate its NMR operations, currently based in Palo Alto, with its mass spectrometry operations already in Walnut Creek. Varian plans to build a 45,000 square-foot facility in Walnut Creek and remodel an existing building for the center, which will be the headquarters of its Scientific Instruments management team. Restructuring costs are expected to range between $9.5 million and $14.5 million; between $3.5 million and $5 million of which are expected to come in the second half of fiscal 2007. The facility is expected to open in late 2008.

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