Fapomed opens factory in Ukraine

Opens tomorrow in Rivne, the latest Fapomed unit of surgical gowns. This company from Felgueiras invests seven million euros to combat Chinese competition.

Fapomed, a medical device company from Felgueiras, has selected Ukraine by cost factors and geographical advantages. In 2011, the facility will have 400 jobs, invoicing 10 million. In the initial phase will employ 65 workers.

The operation in Ukraine is a response to the Chinese threat and was being prepared for three years, in the aftermath of the competitive start, after the opening of European markets to Asian products. A contract with a multinational pharmaceutical company to supply a considerable amount of surgical gowns was the push that was needed to advance the project. The unit (5000 sqm of covered area) cost 7 million euros.

Diversifying product offering.

In Portugal, Fapomed evolved from gowns to surgical sets to survive and remain competitive. Through new technologies and new products, Fapomed also evolved into an integrated supply kits , backpacks and variable composition sets manufacturer, in order to meet the exact needs of surgical teams of different specialties.

Three years ago, Fapomed adopted a new business paradigm, abandoning the surgical gowns as sales engine, this at a time when multinational companies had diverted their orders to China. “The quality was acceptable and prices unbeatable”; recalls Miguel Lopes da Cunha, president of the company.

However, the manager found that Asian manufacturers were suffering not only from logistics gap but also from responsiveness. There were margin to win the multinationals on the run, combining credibility and fast deliveries, with an approximate price to the Chinese industry. It was the combination of these factors that led the company to Rivne, an average city of Ukraine in the road axis linking the capital Kiev to the border with Poland.

In Portugal, Fapomed employs 190 people in two units and will end 2009 with sales of 7.8 million, a growth of 12%.