Success story AHPharma moving into new space

Moving from Downtown Salisbury to a 26,000-square-foot building in Hebron was part of Dr. James McNaughton’s lifetime goal.

The CEO and founder of AHPharma Inc. recently relocated his business into the old Chesapeake Firemen’s Museum building, on 6.5 acres.

A homegrown company, AHPharma operates in the agricultural poultry industry, with research consulting and now, new products.

“For years I’ve worked to assemble a turn-key operation where every aspect of the product development process can be managed under one roof,” McNaughton told the Salisbury Independent this week.

“With the recent acquisition of our innovation center property in Hebron I believe we are poised to take some of the final steps toward achieving this goal. Our new campus gives us physical space to grow, but also makes a statement to the community that we are hanging out our shingle in the Salisbury-Wicomico area.

“We’re currently looking for local businesses interested in innovation and entrepreneurship that require space to grow,” he said.

Now that the company has 3D printing and mold-making ability, ideas can be transformed into products, said David Ryan, executive director of Salisbury-Wicomico Economic Development.

An idea for a new produce can go from concept to prototype to manufacturing more easily and less expensively with 3D printing, Ryan said.

If someone wanted to create a new cell phone cover, for example, the 3D printer would allow him to skip the many steps that used be necessary, such as making mold after mold, and improving each one until it was marketable.

“The 3D printer can do it for pennies on the dollar. With Dr. McNaughton, we explored how we can develop our own companies here today. AHPharma has demonstrated its entrepreneurial capabilities through the development of a number of new products including an LED lighting display for poultry houses, a bio film detecting device and pulsed arc discharge technology,” Ryan said.

Agreeing, McNaughton said he likes the idea of incorporating makerspace, “where local individuals interested in manufacturing or other trades can go to learn and work with equipment that is typically cost-prohibitive from owning or renting on a personal level,” he said.

“We wanted to create a space that not only provided room for us to grow but also attract like-minded entrepreneurs,” McNaughton said.

“By doing so, better collaboration can occur which enhances our collective abilities to generate new jobs, new businesses and new technologies.

“We are also working with local agencies such as SWED to determine what spaces on the property can be utilized for public outreach, continuing education, and economic development,” McNaughton said.

Founded in September 2006 to provide services and products for the food animal industry, AHPharma succeeded PARC Institute, Inc., also started by McNaughton.

PARC opened in 1986 to conduct contracted food animal research and develop associated products, according to the company’s website.

It explains, “AHPharma has spent years assembling a team of consultants representing various disciplines and areas of expertise to provide a turn-key rapid prototyping task force. (Its) team of experts … encompasses nearly every aspect involved in the development of products, from electronics to mechanical devices and even large-scale implements such as automated manure-to-energy incineration chambers.”

“Ultimately,” McNaughton said, “AHPharma would like to house several different tenants that provide services or products congruent with the mission here at AHPharma to develop unique technologies for the agriculture, food safety and medical industries.”

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