From Conception to Completion
Datwyler, a Swiss-based company, produces plastic plungers for medical syringes in their new manufacturing facility in Middletown, Delaware. It is the first building of its kind in the United States using Datwyler’s FirstLine® manufacturing standards.
Datwyler engaged Watchdog to provide project management services. The Watchdog team oversaw several aspects of this design-build, ground-up facility: site development, governmental permits and approvals, and contractor coordination. The team occupied offices on-site and collaborated with the general contractor to make sure Datwyler’s project goals were reached. Besides offices and laboratories, nearly 65% of this new 245,000-square-foot space is a specialized cleanroom environment.
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The site was an undeveloped cornfield and presented a challenge as the building could not be built on the existing clay soil. Watchdog partnered with Datwyler and the general contractor to compare the cost of multiple solutions. One consideration was to delay the project’s start to allow the clay to form a better base. However, based on detailed analysis, Watchdog recommended an alternate plan. By removing some of the existing soil and bringing in stone, construction was able to start quicker.
Watchdog recognized the extensive local government permits and requirements of the Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) agency associated with this type of project. The team coordinated with experts to prepare accurate and thorough documents requesting approval from federal, state, local governmental authorities. By engaging third-party experts early, Watchdog reduced the risk of extending the project schedule because of permit or inspection delays.
Another area of complexity for the project was Datwyler being an international business. The original drawings followed European standards, which were not familiar to American general contractors. The Watchdog team stepped in and responded to questions asked by contractors preparing bids. After receiving bids, Watchdog provided cost comparisons and analyzed the different construction methods to help decide the best value for Datwyler. The team led intense discussions with contractors about equipment, materials, and systems selection. Through these efforts, the project costs were cut by approximately $30 million without compromising design intent.
Watchdog also served as a link between companies to coordinate equipment delivery. Our team connected overseas firms that designed and assembled the facility’s complex conveyor-belt systems to local U.S. companies able to receive and hook up the large pieces of equipment. Through active partnering with the stakeholders, Watchdog completed the facility and office space on time to the satisfaction of Datwyler.