Aiming to stay ahead of the demand for single-use products, Parker recently increased its existing cleanroom capacity. Combined with the company’s proactive stock policy, this extra capacity is proving useful in the context of COVID-19.
In 2018, Parker opened a new cleanroom facility at its site in Birtley, UK. The cleanroom was built especially for the manufacturing and assembly of single-use bioprocessing components. With its 650 m2, the new space offers thirty times more capacity compared to the company’s original cleanroom. The new facility is ISO Class 7 certified, ensuring the quality and cleanliness of every product.
“The timing of our expansion turned out to be fortunate”
“The demand for single-use products has been increasing significantly during the past several years”, says Graeme Proctor, product manager single-use technologies at Parker. “We felt we needed to stay ahead of the demand by increasing our capacity. This forward planning was based on ongoing market trends and our own ambition – to be an industry leader within the single use space – and to achieve that, we knew that we would need to future-proof the facility by way of expansion.”
And then the COVID-19 pandemic started, causing a sharp increase in the demand for single-use products. Proctor: “The timing of our expansion turned out to be fortunate. We are now in a position where we can quickly step in and help primary manufacturers and contract manufacturing organisations that are working on treatments or vaccines.”
The new cleanroom also allows for the incorporation of sensing technologies and filters into the assemblies – both of which are also within Parker’s portfolio. All products can be supplied to customers fully assembled and pre-irradiated, ready for use in the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals. “All assemblies are validated and come with the compliance required by the regulatory authorities”, emphasises Proctor.
Parker aims to ensure a reliable and robust supply chain for its customers at all times. The company keeps its own stock of each of the components within its pre-validated portfolio, such as tubing and connectors. “In addition, we have a backup”, says Proctor. “All our suppliers hold stock for us. This means that we are prepared for what our customers want – reliable deliveries within a shortened timescale.”
Time is critical at the current time, as Proctor underlines. “Since the onset of the pandemic, we have seen a marked increase in the demand for single-use technologies. By ensuring the stability of the supply chain, we can help manufacturers to speed up their research and production processes.”
Parker has a specialised single-use technologies design team, ready to advise customers on the design and implementation of the assemblies within their production facilities. “Time is critical, but so is quality”, says Proctor. “By consulting with our design team, our customers can make sure that they can stay ahead of their competitors in both respects.”