The Tech Group Receives Recognition at Frost & Sullivan Manufacturing Leadership Awards Gala

Frost & Sullivan Award 2015

Earlier this month, The Tech Group, West’s global contract manufacturing solutions provider, officially received its Engineering and Production Technology Leadership award at the Frost & Sullivan Manufacturing Leadership Awards Gala in Carlsbad, California. Winners in this category were honored for embracing new design and production approaches to drive game-changing process improvements.

The award specifically recognizes The Tech Group’s innovative process monitoring strategy, an initiative known as E2: Every Machine, Every Part. This enterprise-wide initiative reviews and improves control processes by integrating a state-of-the-art process monitoring system across 300 molding machines at all seven of The Tech Group manufacturing facilities throughout North America.

The E2 initiative was launched as a pilot program in 2011 at The Tech Group’s Michigan plant. Its Process Excellence department tested manufacturing process discrepancies, including identifying sources of product variation and detecting product defects in real time. The Tech Group, heavily engaged in Six Sigma training since 2001, was able to leverage its experience in statistics and data collection, which was a critical step in the process. These findings led to new training programs, quality-focused infrastructure improvements and project management initiatives across West’s contract manufacturing facilities. Under the standardized process monitoring approach, it enhanced business processes by reducing manufacturing scrap, correcting up-time for post-injection molding assembly activities, and improving outgoing quality and on-time delivery to satisfy customers’ needs.

Several colleagues were on hand to receive the award in California. They included (as pictured above): Hector Leon, IT Manager; Shari Krusniak, Marketing Manager; Kim Koning, Site Director for The Tech Group Michigan; Bill Cowart, Engineering Manager – Process Excellence; and Mark McElfresh, Vice President of Operations, The Tech Group North America.

Congratulations to everyone at The Tech Group for their hard work and dedication that demonstrates West’s commitment to our customers.


West on the Road


Episode #2: Meet Jersey Shore employees committed to patient health

It takes four shifts’ worth of dedication, around the clock, to produce 1.6 billion parts annually at the West Pharmaceutical Services’ manufacturing plant in Jersey Shore, PA. Production manager Adam Wrench continues the facility tour, introducing some of the diverse staff of employees who know that their efforts help make a difference in the health of the patients who receive medications packaged with the products they help create.

Continuous improvement initiatives are at the heart of the Jersey Shore plant’s processes, as Wrench describes how new gowning, goggles or molding upgrades are constantly being upgraded in the quest for higher quality. In employee interviews, workers share their personal ideals of keeping both West’s customers and the patients in mind.

They understand that we all are patients at one time or another in our lives, and the next drug packaging component they make could end up a part of your treatment, their own, or our families’. That idea fuels their drive to make the best quality products they can. This episode shows both their dedication and understanding that – while they might be working on elastomer parts in a clean environment – it’s the real-life customers and patients that ultimately matter.


West Celebrates Groundbreaking of Waterford, Ireland Manufacturing Facility

Waterford_June 16 2015

Today in Waterford, Ireland, West hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction for the company’s new pharmaceutical component manufacturing facility. The event celebrated West’s continued investment in Ireland and commitment to the local Waterford community.

Waterford Mayor Cllr. James Tobin, other local officials, and West leadership were on hand for this special occasion.

During the ceremony, Karen Flynn, President, Pharmaceutical Packaging Systems acknowledged the many representatives of the Waterford City & County Council, the Irish Government and the Irish Development Agency for their support in making this new plant a reality. She also expressed pride with West’s presence in Ireland since 2005.

Newly appointed CEO, Eric Green, further explained how Waterford will address the company’s future business needs. “We evaluated and considered a number of other locations in Europe and in Ireland– but Waterford was the clear winner, said Eric. “Waterford is the ideal location for our new plant –with a growing health science industry coupled with its business-friendly environment.”

To demonstrate West’s dedication to the communities in which we work, two charitable donations were made as part of the day’s festivities. Recipients included Barnardos, a children’s charity that works with vulnerable children and their families in Ireland, and Waterford Healing Arts Trust, an organization that hosts a number of programs that incorporate music, visual arts and creative writing, for patients inside and outside of the hospital setting.

The Waterford facility will function as a center of excellence for West’s proprietary elastomeric sheeting, which is used to package insulin for use in pen injectors. Additionally, the facility will include manufacturing capacity for additional proprietary injectable component product lines, which are integral to many injectable and dosage forms, including Westar® RU, products that are delivered sterile and ready to use to our customers for their aseptic filling operations.


Westar® is a registered trademark of West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc., in the United States and other jurisdictions.


West at CPhI Istanbul

CPhI Istanbul booth

From June 2-4, West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. made its debut at CPhI Istanbul—a leading trade show in the Eurasia region. Each year, CPhI attracts approximately 4,000 professionals—bringing together local and regional drug manufacturers with global suppliers of raw materials, machinery, packaging solutions and contract services.

Sales, marketing and technical customer service teams welcomed visitors from all over the world at the West booth and shared the company’s recent innovations, while also discussing general trends in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry.

Simon Meurer, Manager, TCS, presented Primary Packaging Solutions for (Bio-) Pharmaceutical Applications and addressed ways in which to reduce regulatory and supply chain risk by integrating high-quality components and processes.

The event offered a unique opportunity to exchange ideas with technology leaders and experts from across multiple markets within the pharmaceutical industry. Additionally, West attendees were given the opportunity to join educational sessions about key trends in the global pharmaceutical market.

Events like CPhI Istanbul make it possible for West to share the company’s latest developments among new audiences and engage in an important dialogue with our industry peers.

West looks forward to presenting at CPhI Europe, which takes place October 13-15 in Madrid.


West Without Borders–Community Day in Germany


On May 30, 2015, West employees in Germany donated their time and manpower to support two local non-profit organizations—Kids auf Trab and Zwischen Uns e.V.—with a community day, held under the patronage of Rudi Bertram, mayor of Eschweiler.

Both organizations aim to improve the lives of those with disabilities. Kids auf Trab offers therapeutic horseback riding for mentally or physically handicapped children to strengthen their social development. Zwischen Uns e.V. was founded with the mission to offer a place of employment to young adults with mental and physical disabilities. Depending on the individual’s talents and interests, they produce unique felted and woven goods, paint or cook. The organization also operates its own shop.

For Zwischen Uns e.V., an allotment garden had to be made handicap accessible so that the organization can grow its own vegetables. West employees offered their physical support by paving, building planting beds and posting a commemorative plaque at the garden gate.

At the same time, another group set out to renew the horseback riding grounds for Kids auf Trab and equipped the stable with windows, built a dog pound and fixed and painted the fencing. At the end of the day, West surprised Mrs. Jacobs—who runs the organization with the help of her two sons—with a dump trailer.

None of this would have been possible without the volunteer support of West’s vendors who provided necessary machinery and their expertise. A portion of the funds raised by the Eschweiler office for during the month of May was used to purchase building material for Community Day.

Thank you West employees,  family members and partners for making a positive impact on our community. We are happy to add these two worthwhile organizations to our charitable efforts.

Exton Headquarters Celebrates West Without Borders Recipients

Woody Williams

On Friday, May 29, team members from West’s Exton headquarters hosted the 10th annual West without Borders picnic. In keeping with this year’s theme of honoring veterans, Exton team members selected the Travis Manion and No Barriers foundations, which support US veterans and their families, as the beneficiaries of the fundraising efforts.

In addition to great food and fun raffles, team members were treated to a special guest – Herschel “Woody” Williams. At age 91, Woody is the only surviving recipient of the medal of honor from the Battle of Iwo Jima, which was awarded to him for his outstanding service. Woody arrived with a few family members, including his great grandson, to enjoy an afternoon of music, games and giveaways!

To kick off the event, the staff gathered to watch a brief video chronicling Woody’s time in the South Pacific, describing his heroic performance on Iwo Jima. Woody’s speech following the video was a moving recollection of what inspired him to become a marine during such a tumultuous time in US history. He explained that he proudly wore his medal to honor those whose lives were lost in battle alongside him. Woody emphasized the sacrifices made by not only members of the armed forces, but their families as well. He said that through his experience with families who have lost loved ones in war, he has found that the sacrifices made and grief felt by those families are often overlooked.

The picnic not only was a success in celebrating the sacrifice of veterans like Woody, but also gave this year’s West Ambassador interns a chance to get involved in the philanthropy. Since the interns started their time at West only three days prior to the picnic, it was a great opportunity for them to work together to help facilitate a successful event that showcases the culture at West. Beginning at 9 a.m., the interns assisted the West without Borders committee in tasks that ranged from decorating the event space to serving ice cream sandwiches!

At the picnic, attendees were asked to sign plaques that will be given to the 14 Exton team members who have served in the armed forces as a small token of thanks for their service.

To date, the West team has raised more than $2.5 million through a variety of company-wide and local campaigns to help those in need around the world. This in addition to more than $6.4 million donated by the company itself to the Herman O. West foundation, which has provided grants to hundreds of local charities across the United States.






West kicks off West on the Road


Episode #1: West’s Jersey Shore manufacturing facility

Welcome to the premiere of our “West On The Road” video series, which showcases West’s commitment to quality and innovation. For our first plant tour, put on your mask and suit up to go inside West’s Jersey Shore, PA plant. The three-part tour kicks off our roadshow featuring facilities around the world, and offers a rare look inside West’s walls and at the team members who drive continuous-improvement initiatives.

Despite the familiar name, there’s no beach or boardwalk here. Jersey Shore is a town nestled Pennsylvania’s Allegheny foothills where, employees create numerous West components, including FluroTec® and Teflon® laminated 13- and 20mm stoppers. It’s the only West facility that includes two steam sterilizers to process sterile Westar® RU (ready-to-use) components.

Guided by Adam Wrench, you’ll get an insider’s view of how raw stock from all over the United States flows into the plant, is dimensioned through a cold-feed extrusion process and then pressed into standard and laminated parts. See some of the 17 molding presses in action through the ISO 9001:2008 certified facility, and watch as the trimming presses and coating machines create components that eventually are sterilized and made into packaging used to contain and deliver injectable drug products to patients around the world.

In pursuit of zero-defects manufacturing principles, Jersey Shore also employs West Envision™ Automated Vision Verification to add a layer of inspection to certain products coming through the pipeline. See it all as West workers set themselves apart with focus and attention to detail, as Wrench puts it.


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