Published December 16, 2008
Volume 16, Number 12

Waters Corp. Opens New West Coast Center for Excellence in Hacienda
Company's Instruments Play a Key Role in Development of New Medicines and More

Michael Wakefield and Steve Shriver of Waters Corp. in one of
the company’s new labs.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

At 13,000 square feet, Waters Corp.’s newly opened West Coast Center for Excellence for Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry, and Informatics, at 5720 Stoneridge Drive in Hacienda, is considerably smaller than the company’s almost one-million-square-foot headquarters outside of Boston. Nevertheless, the facility represents a significant step into the limelight for the world leader in liquid chromatography.

The Waters Division designs, manufactures, sells, and services sophisticated analytical instruments and laboratory information management systems for demanding scientific applications. Specific devices include ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), chromatography columns and chemistry products, and mass spectrometry (MS) systems.

Pledged to “The Science of What’s Possible,” the company first sets out to understand what customers want to do, and then designs products that will help them accomplish those goals. “Much like what Levi-Strauss did for miners of the Gold Rush, we provide the tools for the miners of today, who are developing new therapeutics, medical devices, biopharmaceuticals, food safety, and environmental products for a better quality of living,” states West Coast General Manager Steve McDonough.

Many of those modern-day miners are located in the Bay Area, and several have operations in Hacienda, which makes it such a prized location for Waters. “Our building is right in the middle of the business park. Just across the intersection I can see Roche Molecular Systems, one of our largest informatics customers in the world. CooperVision and Thoratec, with which we also do business, are literally within walking distance now,” he comments.

Other customers might have to travel farther—from Davis, Seattle, or the Rocky Mountain states, for example—but the new site, which features a training facility that accommodates 50-plus people for seminars and customer education programs, is expected to host a substantial number of visitors. “We also built out three demonstration labs chock-full of LC and mass spectrometry products, as well as informatics (the software) to manage the information the instruments produce,” McDonough points out. 

The company’s scientific prowess is evident from a look at just a few of its new product announcements. In October it published “a rapid method for the detection of melamine in infant formula and liquid milk,” to help the Chinese government eradicate that problem. An environmental testing product, introduced in November, is used in sample preparation for the analysis of EPA Method 8270, to detect the presence of endocrine disruptors, personal care products, pharmaceutical residues, and other emerging contaminants in surface water and drinking water.

Waters also made headlines last month when an employee-based survey from The Boston Globe named it one of the Top 100 Places to Work in Massachusetts. Started in 1958 by James Logan Waters, an energetic and forward-thinking physicist and engineer, the company developed the first commercial high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) system in 1963. Following its founder’s formula for success,  “innovation, a good attitude, and hard work,” it has continued its pioneering work, and as a publicly traded company recorded revenues of $1.47 billion for 2007. 
For more information, visit www.waters.com or call (800) 252-4752.


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