Responding to COVID-19 and biologic demands, DuPont adds capacity at silicone business Liveo

DuPont is investing to add capacity at sites in Michigan, South Carolina and China, partly in response to the pandemic. (DuPont)

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on global supply chains, DuPont is plowing capital into its new silicone materials business Liveo.

Liveo Healthcare Solutions, which produces silicone-based products for medical devices, biopharmaceutical processing and pharmaceutical solutions, will benefit from investments at sites in Michigan, South Carolina and China, DuPont said this week.

Specifically, DuPont is adding elastomer mixers at a site in Hemlock, Michigan, which are set to go online later this month. At that site, the company is also adding a new over-molded assembly press in November to allow for expanded production.

Moving south, DuPont expects to begin operating another site in Cooper River, South Carolina, during the second quarter of 2022. That plant will initially produce silicone pharmaceutical tubing for biopharmaceutical processing.

Outside of the U.S., DuPont plans to add local manufacturing capabilities for biopharmaceutical processing tubing for regional sales in China.

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The investments come in response to supply chain disruptions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic plus an industry shift toward producing biologic drugs.

“As a result of the global biologic production trend, the reliability and adaptability of single-use components suppliers is more critical than ever,” Eugenio Toccalino, global business director, DuPont Healthcare and Specialty Lubricants, said in a statement.

DuPont is far from the only healthcare company working to respond to those supply chain issues. One notable example is National Resilience, which launched last November with $800 million in financing.

The government is getting involved, as well. Earlier this month, the Biden administration unveiled a $2.7 billion campaign to bolster vaccine manufacturing.

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DuPont first unveiled plans to invest in innovation and manufacturing capacity for Liveo last November. The company launched the silicone business group last September.