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Philips opens first Magnetic Resonance manufacturing facility in Latin America

Philips Medical Systems : 15 October, 2008  (Company News)
Philips has opened the first Magnetic Resonance manufacturing facility in Latin America to enable customers across Latin America to benefit from shorter delivery periods and reduced equipment costs.
The factory also contributes to the development of Brazil’s high-tech industry, as well as to the regional economy in the state of Minas Gerais, where the facility is based.

From November 2008 the plant will also produce Computed tomography devices. The site will be the only one in Latin America manufacturing the two types of equipment, and one of only a few facilities manufacturing such devices in the world. The new production plant was built at the former site of VMI Sistemas Medicos, a Brazilian diagnostics equipment manufacturer acquired by Philips in 2007.

“The use of advanced diagnostic equipment such as the devices that will be manufactured at the new facility is well established in hospitals across the region,” said Daurio Speranzini Junior, vice president for Philips Healthcare in Latin America. “This factory is part of Philips’ strategy to offer the right solutions in the right markets, and reflects our belief in the growing importance of emerging markets such as Latin America.”

Magnetic Resonance and Computed tomography are advanced imaging systems that are used to diagnose diseases and investigate injuries. Magnetic Resonance scanners are particularly used for viewing the structure of the body’s soft tissues, as well as the functioning of the body’s organs. Computed tomography is used to generate three-dimensional images of many of the body’s structures, including bones, organs and the circulatory system.

Three types of Magnetic Resonance device will be manufactured in Brazil: the Intera 1.5T and Achieva 1.5T and 3.0T. Initially, 70 percent of the components for the devices will be imported, but Philips’ intention is to increase the proportion of locally-produced components to 60 percent by mid-2010. The company is currently identifying and equipping locally-based factories to enable them to manufacture many of the highly advanced components used in the devices. “In a sense we are going through the same process that the Brazilian automobile industry underwent a few decades ago by strengthening a specialised industrial sector we can position the country amongst the leading manufacturers of medical equipment globally,” added Speranzini.

The delivery time of the products is set to be substantially reduced from eight months to 30 days. There will also be a reduction of around 15 percent on the final price of the Magnetic Resonance equipment due to a combination of reduced taxes and lowered production costs.
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