With 40 service centres in 11 countries across the globe, Sterigenics International Inc. is the world leader in contract sterilisation and ionisation services for medical devices, food safety and the treatment of high performance and specialty materials.

Based in Somercotes, Derbyshire in England’s Midlands, the UK plant sterilises disposable medical devices using Ethylene Oxide. Customers include virtually every UK medical supplier who delivers full pallet loads of items for sterilisation before they are returned to the client.

Medical devices range from simple tongue depressors and bedpans to complex programmable pacemakers and laser surgical devices. In addition, medical devices include diagnostic products, such as general purpose lab equipment and test kits.

Competition was growing across the UK and throughout Europe being challenged to reduce costs and increase standards whilst ensuring products get to market quickly, the pressure on sterilisation service & equipment providers continues to increase. Consequently, contract sterilisation companies such as Sterigenics are increasing their value by broadening their offerings, inventing new processes, and taking advantage of electronic communications.

While demand for Sterigenics’ services was growing, costs still needed to be reduced by increased production which was unfeasible at the Somercotes plant. Due to this it became clear to Sterigencics that they needed to consider their facility at their current location. Despite all the efforts being made by the company to streamline working practices, the fact remained that the plant was already close to full capacity.

The Englands East Midlands’ Investor Development team contacted Sterigenics to ascertain what might be done to assist the company. Keen to safeguard the future of Sterigenics in the region and the jobs that it had already created, Sterigenics decided to make an SFIE (Selective Finance for Investment in England) application to fill the funding gap.

The SFIE scheme is designed for businesses looking at the possibility of investing in eligible areas of the region but needing financial help to go ahead. SFIE is aimed towards business development and assisting the company to increase productivity and profitability whilst exploiting the use of technology.

With this funding in place the Board of Directors at Sterigenics International announced a 40% expansion of the company’s Somercotes processing capabilities. The expansion included an extra state-of-the-art steriliser and additional warehouse capacity. The expansion was designed to fit in with the company’s decision to expand its overall capacity by around 50%.

Marc Markey, Sterigenics’ President of Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia explained:

“As market share, technology and know-how leader, we owe it to our customers, employees and shareholders to invest in this fast growing market. We look forward to rewarding our customers with the very latest in technology and increased speed to market.”

This new expansion is not only good news for Sterigenics and their employees but for the local area and wider region too. The new facility will attract suppliers and clients keen to take advantage of the same factors that encouraged Sterigenics to be based in England’s East Midlands.

England’s East Midlands and the Somercotes area in particular has a long history as a centre of excellence in manufacturing. Sterigenics have discovered that the local workforce has the ability to grasp new concepts easily and work as a team.

The location is right in the heart of the United Kingdom and central to the England’s East Midlands region. The motorway and major road links are only five minutes away and the international airport is less than an hour away, so Sterigenics position from a logistical perspective could not be better.

Sterigenics’ plant at Somercotes operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week and includes an onsite laboratory which provides additional services to customers. Their own investment in the facility will enable the company to remain one of the top performing, contract sterilisation and ionisation services in Europe, as Ron Peacock, Marketing Director at Sterigenics confirms:

“We are proud of our new facility here in Somercotes which we believe will enable us to remain as the market leaders well into the future. I also look forward to expanding our presence here as we continue to develop our service offering and with that our position as a major employer both locally and regionally.”

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