In the three years since setting up its first manufacturing facility in Ireland, Edwards Lifesciences has grown to employ 200 people in the Midwest.
The US-headquartered lifesciences company set up its first manufacturing base in Shannon in 2018 and has now completed construction on a new 190,000 sq ft purpose-built manufacturing plant at the National Technology Park in Castleroy outside Limerick city.
Recruitment at the new facility is ongoing, with plans to have 650 people employed on the site when it is fully operational.
“Our plans in Limerick are to grow quickly. We have 200 of our first 650 people hired with more being added every day,” Nathan Tenzer, plant general manager for Edwards Lifesciences in Ireland, said.
“We have a variety of roles, from product assembly, inspection and warehouse operations to engineering, supply chain and finance roles to support the plant.
“New cutting-edge technologies will continue to move into our brand new facility in Limerick and we hope to be making further announcements for growth in the future.”
Edwards Lifesciences is a global leader in patient-focused medical innovations for structural heart disease, as well as critical care and surgical monitoring.
The company is headquartered in Irvine, California, with European headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.
“While we have had a sales office in Dublin for quite some time, our manufacturing plants [in Ireland] are very new,” Tenzer said.
“Edwards needed to expand its manufacturing facilities and very much wanted to base its newest investment in Europe, our second largest market.
“The facility in Shannon was established from an existing structure in 2018, and the facility in Limerick was purpose-built with construction completed just March of this year.”
Both plants were involved in making the delivery systems used to repair and replace damaged heart valves, Tenzer said.
“Once our validation and registrations are complete, products built in our Limerick and Shannon facilities will be delivered to patients worldwide.”
For Edwards Lifesciences, manufacturing in the Midwest offered easy access to Europe, and the opportunity to move ahead with “vital expansion allowing global business continuity”, Tenzer said.
The US company’s decision to set up a base in Ireland was also influenced by a number of other factors.
“First and foremost is the access to phenomenal people. Ireland is known for investing heavily in education,” Tenzer said.
“It has a very strong base of people with medical device experience, and it has an ease of working with corporations. It is stable politically and has very reliable infrastructure.”