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May 23, 2021 | Tom Ballard

Scapa Healthcare’s large and expanding Knoxville operation flies under the radar

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

Scapa Healthcare is probably one of those companies with a large presence in Knoxville that is not on your radar, even though its facility in the Hardin Valley area serves as the global corporation’s North America Turn-Key Center of Excellence.

And now, thanks to a recently completed multimillion-dollar expansion, the facility houses a new product development team and four innovation and product development labs to provide a collaborative space for the development of new technologies and products; contract design and manufacturing operations for over-the-counter (OTC) drugs; and the installation of high speed automated vision systems that enhance process controls to ensure quality and consistency.

Scapa Healthcare, part of the Scapa Group headquartered in the United Kingdom, established its presence in Knoxville a decade ago when it acquired WEBTEC Converting LLC. At the time, the company was a leading contract manufacturer and full-service converter, printer and packager of adhesive-backed medical devices distributed worldwide. We spotlighted that transaction in Part 3 of this multi-part 2014 series on Randy Holmes.

Today, Scapa Healthcare has expanded on the WEBTEC Converting expertise as we learned in a conversation with Trent Brown, Site Director for the Knoxville facility. He assumed that role in 2015 when the local operation had 145 employees and a 77,000-square foot building. Today, there are 245 employees housed in the recently expanded operation that occupies 152,000-suare feet. It is one of Scapa Healthcare’s five operations in North America.

“We do consumer wellness, nasal strips, and converting,” Brown says. More specifically, the local facility specializes in the design, engineering and manufacturing of custom skin friendly fixation solutions including advanced wound dressings, negative pressure wound therapy drapes, consumer bandages, custom wearable solutions for monitoring, fixation and diagnostic devices, and IV dressings. This site also produces topical consumer products including medicated powders and topical OTC drugs.

“You will not see the Scapa name in a store,” Brown says, explaining that the company operates as a business-to-business (B2B) provider.

The expanded location, described by Scapa as a state-of-the-art facility, includes manufacturing space as well as a Class 8 clean room environment. It is Food & Drug Administration-registered for medical device and over the counter drug manufacturing, is ISO 9001 & ISO 13485 certified, and has ANVISA Good Manufacturing Practice clearance from Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency.

The site is also fully equipped with advanced high precision converting machines, high-speed automated packaging equipment, and a medical device kit assembly to serve customers in the professional and consumer space.

“Scapa Healthcare has made significant investments in the Knoxville Center of Excellence to leverage the power of collaboration between our employees and customers to rapidly bring innovative new products to market,” said John Petreanu, President of Scapa Healthcare. “Our customers require not only a dependable partner that provides high-quality products, but also a partner that supports their innovation efforts. Our goal is to continue to play an active role as a trusted strategic partner across all our key markets segments, successfully serving our customers to help them meet increasing market demands.”

Like many local employers, Scapa finds the competition for talent much greater than it was when Brown moved here six years ago. To help address those challenges, he says that the company “continues to invest in our employees, particularly their education.” Scapa Healthcare has also partnered with Pellissippi State Community College to “find the next level of technical people.”

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