BY BRUCE MILLS
bruce@theitem.com

One of Sumter’s leading manufacturers was recently recognized with its company’s most prestigious award.

BD, a medical device manufacturer of blood tubes and needles for the health care industry, won the 2021 Bronze H.P. Becton Quality Award among the corporation’s 83 facilities, and Plant Manager Ken Lee spoke recently on the honor.

According to the firm, the award is the highest recognition of a team, individual or organization of BD associates that successfully demonstrates the intent and spirit of the “BD Way” on quality policy standards.

Quality performance metrics measured with the award include basically every aspect of the business model from device performance, functionality and efficiency to on-time delivery of shipments to customers, Lee said.

“The award reflects positive incremental changes in today’s high-tech, global economy,” he said.

BD currently has about 1,000 associates at its Airport Road facility with a focus on technical fields – to include mechanical, electrical and robotics.

About 120 associates at the plant work in the quality area under Associate Director of Quality Jason Appel.

The facility is currently in the middle of a three-phase expansion that should be complete in two years, Lee added. Phase 2 includes new warehouse space that will increase facility size to 680,000-700,000 square feet. One warehouse near an entrance way will be completed this summer and is about five stories and 62 feet tall.

The most recent award was the first time the corporation gave gold, silver and bronze awards for quality. First- and second-place honors went to medical devices involved in COVID-19 therapy, Lee said.

BD has issued the H.P. Becton Quality Award since 1984, and the Sumter facility won the honor twice previously in 1984 and ’85.

“It’s been a very long time since we were recognized with this prestigious award,” Lee said. “It’s very difficult to win it because BD is full of exceptional, quality-focused professionals who continue to improve year after year.”

Credit: The Sumter Item