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12/18/14 - Baxter Expanding Arkansas Medical Products Plant



 Michael Lauzon,
Plastics News

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MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark.—Medical major Baxter International Inc. is expanding its medical device plant in Mountain Home.

Baxter will add 25,000 square feet and undisclosed equipment at the operation, spokeswoman Deborah Spak stated in an email. She did not disclose the cost of the project, due for completion in mid-2015.

The Mountain Home factory, one of the largest in Baxter’s medical products division, has 550,000 square feet and employs about 900. When the expansion is done, employment will rise by about a dozen. The facility has been a medical-oriented operation since 1964.

Spak noted the Mountain Home expansion is typical of Baxter’s frequent upgrades and expansions to “ensure that we are operating in a manner that delivers high quality products as well as efficiency and responsiveness to customer demands.” She did not disclose the types of medical devices made in the Arkansas plant. The medical products unit’s applications include intravenous equipment and nutrition products, drug reconstitution systems, infusion pumps and inhalation anesthetics.

In late summer, Baxter announced an expansion at its Opelika, Ala., manufacturing location that will cost $300 million. The project is focused on boosting production capacity for dialyzers, a component for hemodialysis therapy needed by patients with kidney failure. The unit, part of Baxter’s medical products division, will add more injection molding equipment and more than double staff levels currently at about 170. Baxter is targeting project completion in 2016.

Baxter recently announced it will form a new global research and development center in Cambridge, Mass., for its biopharmaceuticals division. The division is now based at Baxter’s Deerfield, Ill., headquarters.