Gerresheimer to expand Dongguan plant in China

Published: 4-Sep-2012

Will offer customised solutions for price-sensitive and complex products

Gerresheimer Medical Plastic Systems, a leading manufacturer of special products made from glass and plastic for the international pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, is expanding its plant in Dongguan, China, into a centre of competence for injection moulding, printing and assembly of medical devices.

The production of price-sensitive products starts at the German plant in Pfreimd, and is then transferred to China by the company’s Production Co-ordination Unit. The production of two lancing devices has already been transferred successfully in this way.

In the market for medical devices product cycles are becoming increasingly short and the price pressure increasingly high. Therefore, product development is based on modular platform concepts, the elements of which can be used for several product generations. This is complicated by the demand for highly efficient solutions for product manufacture and assembly.

‘By combining our European development and industrialisation competency with the production potential in China, we are able to offer customised solutions with attractive production costs,’ Manfred Baumann, COO/CTO of Gerresheimer Regensburg, explained. ‘Processes that are only cost-effective in Europe if they are fully automated, can be performed in a manual or partially automated fashion. This means fewer investments in automation technology.’

In the case of the two lancing devices, many of their components are the same, enabling costs to be decreased. The industrialisation takes place in the Technical Competence Center of Gerresheimer MPS in Wackersdorf; the production was first set up in Europe and then transferred to China in accordance with preset milestones. Continuous of components was guaranteed by a respective product transfer and logistics concept. An important element of the successful transfer was the training programme for the Chinese employees.

The entire transfer was co-ordinated and supervised by the Production Coordination Unit, including the layout planning for production and assembly, the personnel planning, as well as the capacity planning, machine specification, and qualification. During the transfer phase, the unit also had to address many detailed tasks from packaging to the handling of customs formalities.

In the meantime, the entire process chain for lancing devices has been set up in China. Fifteen injection moulding machines, two semi-automatic assembly units including welding installations and six Kent printing machines for the pad printing process are available in China.

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