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ILC Dover to build new Polish manufacturing plant

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ILC Dover, which has grown out of its Frederica roots, is now set to build a Polish manufacturing plant. | PHOTO COURTESY OF GOOGLE MAPS

NEWARK – ILC Dover, the specialized engineering, development and manufacturing company, announced Monday that it is investing in a major production expansion in Poland.

The new facility to be built in Gliwice, Poland, about 185 miles southwest of Warsaw near the border of the Czech Republic, is the second major international expansion for ILC Dover announced this year. In March, the company announced that it was expanding its nearly decade-old plant in Juarez, Mexico, near the Texan border city of El Paso.

The 90,000-square-foot, “state-of-the-art” Polish facility will be equipped with 20,000 square feet of cleanroom capability to manufacture single-use powder bags, single-use liquid bags, and single-use fluid transfer assemblies. The new site will reportedly provide redundant supply capabilities and reduce lead times for its European and Asian customers, while meeting its quality standards. ILC Dover aims to open the plant in early 2023.

The facility will employ 250 people at full capacity, joining ILC Dover’s more than 2,000 employees worldwide, the company reported. It complements the ILC Dover’s current global biopharmaceutical manufacturing footprint in Frederica, along with Juarez, Durham, N.C.; Stockport, U.K.; Rossens, Switzerland; and Blarney, Ireland.

While many in Delaware probably know ILC Dover for its connection to the NASA astronaut spacesuits dating back to the Apollo missions, the company has largely refocused in recent years on the biopharmaceutical space, manufacturing equipment and materials used in the production of medicine, vaccines and more as well as in cell and gene therapy research.

Corey Walker | PHOTO COURTESY OF ILC DOVER

“We are very excited to expand our global footprint in Poland with a new manufacturing facility equipped with the capacity to better serve our growing European and APAC customer base,” said Corey Walker, CEO of ILC Dover, in a statement. “Providing critical solutions to the world’s leading life sciences customers remains a top priority as our strategic investments center around ways to improve and optimize their workflows.”

The recent plant expansions are some of the first major moves since changing its CEO in November, with Walker, a veteran life sciences, advanced technologies and applied materials executive, taking over.

That capped two years of change at ILC, which moved its headquarters to the University of Delaware STAR Campus from its longtime Federica plant in January 2021. New Mountain Capital, a New York firm with $35 billion in assets under management, acquired ILC in February 2020 in a deal with another private equity firm, Behrman Capital.

The new chief executive came to Delaware after working closely with ILC’s private equity firm owner, New Mountain Capital, from 2016 to 2020. He was then a senior executive at Avantor, a chemicals and materials company headquartered outside Philadelphia, serving as executive vice president of the Americas, as well as the global Biomaterials and Electronic Materials businesses.

In December, Walker also oversaw the acquisition of KSE Scientific, a sterile solutions manufacturer which specializes in the production of water for injection for biopharma, cell and gene therapy, tissue banking and medical device end-markets. Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Durham, N.C., KSE is a leading supplier of sterile consumable products and will continue to operate under its own brand.

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