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Assure Infusions’ Advanced Manufacturing Plant Ready to Open in May

February 20, 2024 News

Bartow’s central location and collaborative leaders prompted Assure Infusions Inc., which produces sterile fluid-filled IV bags, to locate its advanced manufacturing facility there. 

The 60,000-square-foot plant – designed by The Lunz Group and built by SpringerVoss Construction – is scheduled to be completed in March 2024, said CEO and founder Alex Lucio. “The final factory buildout — installation of our production lines, for example — will be completed around May.” 

Assure will employ about 100 people at an average wage of $75,000 a year, he said. The $20 million plant will manufacture IV bags 24 hours a day, seven days a week, producing more than 17 million a year.  

Lucio said he chose Bartow for the pharmaceutical manufacturing facility for reasons:  

  • “The city’s proximity to the Port of Tampa will facilitate the receipt of raw materials for production.  
  • “Its location on U.S. 60 provides convenient transportation access. 
  • “The somewhat rural nature of the area offers a higher quality of life for employees. 
  • “Bartow’s city leadership and the Bartow Economic Development Council have been instrumental in expediting the development of the facility, demonstrating a strong commitment to the company’s success.” 

Economic Development 

Assure Infusions will help the economic development in Polk County in several ways beyond new jobs, Lucio said. For instance: 

  • “Our hiring will typically be at higher wages than the surrounding businesses in Bartow.  
  • “We will also be attracting professional talent to the area, including chemists, microbiologists, pharmacists and engineers.   

The benefits extend beyond Bartow as Assure fits into a coveted industry sector, said Lindsay Zimmerman, senior vice president at the Central Florida Development Council. “Assure further diversifies Polks advanced manufacturing sector, providing high-tech jobs within a full-automated pharmaceutical manufacturing environment. Polk’s unique workforce offers companies the strong talent pipeline they need for success.”

Advanced Manufacturing Product and Process 

At the plant, the company will produce sterile IV bags filled with the most common liquids. 

“Our facility will form the bag, manufacture the fluids, fill and sterilize,” Lucio said. “Our goal is to be a one-stop shop for a hospital sourcing IV fluids ranging from sterile saline and dextrose to almost every major fluid used by hospitals to manage patients. Our business model is designed to allow the company to pivot into any fluid shortage.” 

Two companies produce the majority of the country’s sterile filled IV bags, and both have manufacturing plants that run at capacity, according to the Business Observer. That leaves hospitals without the necessary resources when crises like the pandemic hit. 

“Hospitals signing on with Assure Infusions will be guaranteed to never again face a shortage in any sterile fluid required,” he said. “In fact, our company slogan is: ‘When Sterile IV Fluids are in Shortage, We’re Your Lifeline’ for that reason.” 

Innovation at its Best 

Assure Infusions is taking manufacturing one step further.  

Lucio explains: “The manufacture of sterile fluids is tricky. Many of the manufacturers experience recalls due to quality issues. Where Assure Infusions is innovating is in production automation. Our goal is to manufacture a sterile IV bag with zero human touch. Each human touch is a potential quality failure point. Assure Infusions is relying on a high degree of industrial automation to ensure product quality.” 

For instance, most manufacturers require visual inspections of the bags.  

“A human operator is genuinely limited to identifying particles that exceed 700 microns. Assure Infusions, however, has partnered with an Italian engineering firm to design and install a fully robotic visual inspection system that relies on artificial and high-resolution cameras to improve visual acuity from 700 microns down to 10 micros — a 70X improvement in quality. We intend to use higher-quality assurance as one of the major product differentiators.”  

Helping Hospitals 

The new plant will help hospitals that face recurring shortages in sterile fluids, Lucio said. “Existing manufacturing capacity falls short of demand despite year-over-year growth of 6% to 7% in utilization.” 

Hospitals that enter into an agreement with Assure “will receive a commitment to prioritize the hospital in the event of any national shortage of an IV fluid” once the company’s plant is operational, he said. The company thinks it should have a “true partnership” with local hospitals, working together to help each other out. 

If you are intersted in partnership please contact Melissa Santos at msantos@assureiv.com.

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