Several questions showed up after our previous post, here there is a more precise information about the different strategies and manufacturing approach from different freeze dryer suppliers.
There are two clear trends in the market when considering the manufacturing alternatives for freeze dryers:
Single production site, with integrated design, manufacturing, testing and FAT.
Multiple production sites, with independent design, manufacturing, testing and FAT.
The decision of some freeze dryer manufacturers to select one of these models had different chapters over the last years. The increasing demand from pharmaceutical companies in Asia to install high quality and technological advanced freeze dryers, motivated some suppliers to explore the possibilities to establish new production sites to serve markets like China and South East Asia. This strategy is based on EU headquarters, focus on complex solutions and R&D, and a subsidiary (in most of the cases located in China) for standard solutions with minimized technical risk.
Freeze dryer suppliers using the multiple location had different experiences, some of them developing more their subsidiary not only for serving the local markets, but worldwide. Other companies just kept the subsidiary to play in locally.
The worldwide pharmaceutical market segmentation has a direct impact in how freeze dryer suppliers define their approach to deliver equipment and services, from a centralize production, focus on local customers and spot projects overseas, or the alternative where multiple production sites generates a range of opportunities to be present in several markets with the same strength.
But there is still a very interesting approach to the topic of production locations, which comes out with new freeze dryer suppliers coming from Asia with their eyes on the whole world. These new group of companies, already with a local proven track of experience, huge appetite and well financed, are not anymore competing against the local subsidiaries from European manufacturers. They are new players offering their technical solutions worldwide, and some of them having plans to use the same strategy and establish production sites and partnerships overseas to offer better services and trust.
So coming back to the map, in the coming years the freeze dryer manufacturers factories will be focus in three main areas: EU, USA and Asia. Where the technical complexity of each project will offer advantages or disadvantages to each potential manufacturers, but without a clear winner from the beginning of any new project.