Smith & Nephew Opens Beijing Facility to Boost Production for International Customers

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Smith & Nephew (NYSE: SNN), an international medical device company, opened its new manufacturing plant in Beijing this week. It will produce surgical instruments and components of the company’s artificial hip and knee replacement products.

The 10,000 square meter facility replaces a smaller building that Smith & Nephew inherited when it bought Plus Orthopedics Holding AG in 2007. Last year, Smith & Nephew opened another China manufacturing facility, a plant that makes wound dressing products in Suzhou.

The near-term goal of the new China facility is to provide products for S&N’s international customers. As the China market for joint replacements grows, Smith & Nephew will start developing joint replacement parts that are specifically designed for China’s population. Smith & Nephew has previously said that its existing orthopedic facilities, which are located in Memphis, Tennessee and Switzerland, are operating at capacity.

To develop a China market for its products, Smith & Nephew will also undertake a large education product. It plans to train 5,000 surgeons in advanced orthopedic techniques in the next five years. The company has built four dedicated education centers in China to accomplish this task.

For the time being, Smith & Nephew will build only lower-tech instruments and components of joints in China, because it remains fearful of counterfeiting of its products.

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