Prof. Hanns-Peter Knaebel, President & CEO of the Röchling Group, said: “This is an investment in the growth of our Medical division. Demand for medical products has risen sharply in recent years. By building the new production building, we will be able to better serve our customers’ requirements moving ahead while also expanding our market position.”
At the groundbreaking ceremony, Joachim Lehmann, Director BU Medical Europe, highlighted the successful cooperation with the local government and neighbors in the industrial area: “I would especially like to thank the city of Neuhaus am Rennweg, in particular Mayor Uwe Scheler and Councilman Hans-Peter Schmitz, and our neighbors for working together positively. Thanks to them, we have been able to make our plans for expanding the location a reality.”
The more extensive production capacity will create new perspectives for the city of Neuhaus am Rennweg. “We are delighted that the Röchling Group has decided to continue its growth in Neuhaus. This is also an acknowledgement of our urban and regional economic policies,” said Neuhaus’ Mayor Uwe Scheler. Councilman Hans-Peter Schmitz is also very pleased about the effect the plant will have: “The additional jobs will be a boost for the local economy and will help increase the appeal of the Rennsteig region.”
Excavation work is scheduled to begin now that ground has been broken. Construction is set to start next year, and the expansion of the building and the clean room, in addition to the installation of the technical building facilities, should be completed by 2022. The new production building is expected to open for business in the first quarter of 2023.
Expansion of clean room production
A four-story building with a total area of 1,850 m² is to be built by the start of 2023, creating space for the necessary clean areas for extrusion blow molding production. The standout feature of the new production building will be the top floor with around 1,700 m² of class C and D GMP clean room production, of which approximately 500 m² will be in GMP high-level pharma standard C.
Sustainable and innovative
The building’s design pays special attention to concepts such as automation, Industry 4.0, and sustainability (renewable energies). In addition to the location’s environmental standards already certified to ISO 14001, the new building will feature an energy-efficient cold storage system to sustainably save on energy resources and reduce carbon emissions. Under this concept, the firefighting water tank in place for the sprinkler system, which has a volume of around 2,000 m³, will be reduced to a low temperature overnight as cold storage, in order to use the energy produced to provide the production lines with cooling water the next day.
The overall internal product flow will be managed by an autonomous transport system so as to optimize production workflows under clean room conditions and to avoid the contamination of products and the means of transport. The end product is coordinated by the entire process chain in a batch-clean and controlled manner throughout the building on the basis of the networked systems (Industry 4.0). This will satisfy the demands of the pharma and medical industry in terms of clean and fully monitored production.
Signs point to growth
In 2016, the Röchling Group added the Medical division to its two existing divisions, Industrial and Automotive. In doing so, it defined a clear strategic focus on the development and manufacture of high-quality plastic products for the fields diagnostics, fluid management, pharma, and surgery & interventional. In these segments, Röchling Medical develops innovative solutions at its six locations in Europe, the US, and China, continuously expanding its leading market position around the world.
350 employees work on more than 43,000 m² of production and logistics space at the Neuhaus site. Röchling Medical Neuhaus’ core competences include extrusion blow molding, injection blow molding, injection molding, injection stretch blow molding, and various fully automated, class C GMP clean room assembly processes. In Neuhaus, the company currently operates seven injection blow molding machines, one injection molding machine, one injection stretch blow molding machine, and 20 extrusion blow molding machines, three of which are capable of co-extrusion blow molding.
A EUR 35 million investment project that included the construction of a state-of-the-art new building was launched in 2015. This extension was opened in April 2018.