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Allegheny Bradford Expands Scope With New Facility

Thu, 09/03/2009 - 7:24am
By PATRICK CONNOLLY Era Reporter p.connolly@bradfordera.com Allegheny Bradford Corp. opened the doors of its 50,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on Friday afternoon, so family of employees, along with vendors, community members and government officials could explore the newest addition to its facility. "This has been a couple-year process," said Dan McCune, president and chief executive officer of ABC, adding that the company started planning for the warehouse facility in 2007 as a reaction to the demand from customers. The new facility expands ABC's scope to making large-scale production for pharmaceutical and biotech machinery, especially with tanks and modular process systems, or "skids."Before building the roughly $8 million facility, the company had the same production but at a smaller scale. "We were limited in the tank market and modular process systems market because of a lack of space," McCune said. "Here we can better take advantage of those markets." ABC moved into the new facility in December, but it took until February to receive all the necessary equipment. "We've been truly on line and in production for four or five months,"McCune said. On Friday, easels lined the floor displaying designs of future systems. Interested attendants weaved between half-finished projects, pointing at the shining silver mechanisms. In the rear, a giant tank connected to a elaborate row of piping, tubing and electronics rested on top of a frame - this is called a "skid." Carlyle Conn, ABC sales manager, described the "skids" as a "plug and play" process for manufacturers. Pharmaceutical manufacturers, like Merck, use "skids" to make vaccines for viruses such as H1N1, or cancer drugs for chemotherapy. Generally, a manufacturer sends a design and ABC constructs it on-site. With the new facility, these manufacturers have the ability to test equipment on-site before shipping, which is important because international customers make up roughly 50 percent of sales. The new facility also features a supply of oil-free air, purified water and clean steam."It saves money and saves time," Conn said. Since the company still uses the former facility, ABC has doubled its capacity and increased output, McCune said. "It's our intention to add in the neighborhood of 100 jobs over the next couple years," McCune said.

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