You've Moved Your Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Back to America Due to COVID-19: Now What?

May 28, 2020 | American Manufacturing, Medical/Pharmaceutical

freezer-basket-for-pharmaceutical-factoryThe COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many insecurities in a variety of industries including pharmaceutical manufacturing supply chains. Dearly needed products such as ventilators, N95 face masks, and personal protective equipment were not able to be manufactured domestically since so many manufacturing businesses had moved overseas. The supply chain disruptions have resulted in scarcity and potential rise in generic drug and equipment pricing as a result of the limited supply.

As a result, the COVID-19 criss may have an unexpected result: More pharmaceutical businesses bringing their manufacturing back to the United States. Consumers are predicted to be willing to pay higher prices than if products were made in China for more supply chain security and less dependence on foreign countries. In case of another crisis similar to COVID-19 occurs in the future, domestic-based pharmaceutical manufacturing would be able to be less dependent on international supply chains that can easily be disrupted. 

If you’re a pharmaceutical manufacturing company considering moving your factory back to the United States, or have recently already done so, you may need equipment that will keep your factory as clean and sanitary as possible. Here are some options to keep the highest degree of sterility for your pharmaceutical manufacturing.  

Custom Stainless Steel Wire Baskets

Between meeting large production quotas, strict production tolerances, and upholding stringent sanitation standards, pharmaceutical manufacturing companies must have durable equipment that can meet these needs. Marlin Steel’s team of engineers designs and manufacturers custom stainless steel wire baskets for whatever challenge your company must meet. 

Marlin Steel’s custom wire baskets are built with stainless steel, which is more chemical resistant and has greater tensile strength than alternatives such as plastic.  Stainless steel alloys come in hundreds of different grades, each one resistant to different corrosive factors so you can choose the grade ideal for your pharmaceutical manufacturing.  

Marlin Steel’s wire baskets are also ideal for sanitation measures used in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Since most sterilization processes involve combinations of extreme temperatures and strong chemicals to eliminate any dangerous microbes in pharmaceutical equipment, you must make sure your baskets can weather repeated exposure. While the majority of plastic polymers will rapidly degrade past temperatures of 300°F (~148.9°C), the temperatures used in a standard sanitation process will almost never reach the operational limit of steel alloys. You can be confident that the stainless steel wire baskets can withstand repeated operations through harsh sanitation processes without losing their shape or functionality. 

Additionally, wire baskets can be customized with an ultra-fine woven mesh basket to hold delicate small pets or a stackable frame for storage. 

Stainless Steel Trays 

Stainless steel trays can have a surprisingly large variety of uses for pharmaceutical manufacturing applications. Custom trays can be used for holding tools or for safely transporting components from one process to another.  

Sterility is a high priority for any medical and pharmaceutical manufacturer. The inherently sterile nature of stainless steel and the sanitation benefits of electropolishing, make this high-quality metal quintessential for trays used in such environments. 

Electropolishing removes the top layer of the steel to provide a microscopically-smooth surface. This electropolishing makes it incredibly easy to ensure the sterility from one operation to the next. Stainless steel trays tend to resist scratching, handle drops, and take high temperatures far better than a plastic tray can.

Some uses for stainless steel trays include: 

  • Storage & Handling Purposes
  • Holding Pharmaceutical Components Through Cleaning Processes
  • Ensuring Sterility Throughout  Manufacturing

Depending on how you plan on moving your trays between processes, you can customize your stainless steel tray to either have it used in conjunction with conveyor belt, robotic hoist, or have manually moved. For example, if you plan to have someone move the tray manually, then selecting a tray that has large handles makes sense. On the other hand, if you plan on using a conveyor system to move trays between processes, then you can have a stainless steel instrument tray with a bottom designed to prevent snagging on conveyor belts makes more sense.

Stainless Steel Carts 

Stainless steel rolling utility carts can be useful for a wide variety of applications in U.S. manufacturing because stainless steel carts make it easier to store and move large amounts of parts or materials from one point to another. Marlin Steel makes custom stainless steel rolling carts to accompany your manufacturing needs for improving sanitation during processes. In pharmaceutical manufacturing, rolling carts are often useful for moving parts between processes while minimizing the risk of contamination. 

For example, a covered stainless steel rolling cart can prevent particulates in the air from coming into contact with freshly-made or sterilized medical components, helping them to remain sterile when being moved. The open space inside of a rolling cart additionally enables pharmaceutical products to dry efficiently between processes.

Stainless steel rolling carts can also be used as mobile cabinets for instruments and equipment during clinical development trials. Development personnel might need access to a wide variety of tools and equipment during such trials—which the rolling cart makes much easier to carry between workstations.

On the other hand, some manufacturers may use mobile carts as cabinets to hold baskets that aren’t designed to stack or would be too heavy to safely stack when loaded. Those baskets can be safely stored in a smaller area than they would be if left spread out over the factory floor. This helps to free up valuable floor space for more manufacturing equipment.

Let Marlin Steel Meet Your U.S. Manufacturing Business’s  Stainless Steel Needs

Marlin Steel has years of experience in manufacturing sterile stainless steel medical trays, wire baskets, and carts  for a variety of applications in hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, and medical research groups.

Whether you need to sterilize your pharmaceutical manufacturing components or carry parts safely through processes, Marlin Steel has the materials, tools, and expertise to create the best stainless steel tray, basket, or cart for your needs. If U.S. manufacturing companies want to keep up with overseas competition and increase overall productivity, then durable stainless steel manufacturing equipment that can last is essential for the future. Reach out to the Marlin Steel team today to get started!