Thirty-Three-Ton Heavyweight Takes up the Fight Against Covid

At the beginning of May, groninger sent out a system again used specifically for processing Covid-19 vaccines. The Crailsheim-based filling machine manufacturer built the line in record time: There are only eleven months between ordering and commissioning.

In the joint fight against the global Covid-19 pandemic, it is still important to use all available means to stop the virus as quickly as possible. This is exactly what groninger has done in the past weeks and months: In record time — in just eleven months — a filling and closing machine for a US pharmaceutical company was designed, built and delivered on time. The customer, a national US contract filler that is part of an international pharmaceutical company, received an order from the US authorities to produce and process Covid-19 vaccines in the early summer of 2020. The production and processing process has been running in other plants since fall. The capacity is now even being expanded.

This is urgently needed because the global need for Covid-19 vaccines is immense; the existing availabilities as well as the currently available processing capacities are — compared to the current demand — still manageable. Therefore, it is important to continue to increase this massively to be able to meet the global demand for vaccination doses.

The Covid-19 pandemic places special demands on vaccine producers and machine manufacturers. “You could also say the heat is on — justifiably so. We all want to get this virus under control as quickly as possible,” says Jens Groninger, CEO of the filling machine manufacturer of the same name from Crailsheim, Germany.

The construction and timely delivery of this system are one of the most ambitious orders in the company’s 40-year history. “Thanks to the outstanding commitment of our team and our partners that everything went so smoothly. The coordination and organization of the dispatch alone took an immense amount of work and was a downright mammoth task.”

"We all want to get this virus under control as quickly as possible."
Jens Groninger

No wonder, the vial system with isolator has a total weight of 33 tonnes — distributed over nine air freight boxes in three trucks. An aircraft was chartered especially for air transport: A Boeing 747-F took off from Frankfurt-Hahn for the USA at the beginning of May. The groninger cargo, which weighs tons, is on board.

On May 13, after several days of transport, the machine arrived at its destination and is now immediately being put into operation. Almost 15,000 vials and with that around 45,000 vaccine doses are then processed every hour on the fully integrated line. The line is operated at full capacity and produces over 30 million vaccination doses per month.

“This is another important step in the fight against the coronavirus,” Groninger is convinced. “We are proud to do our part here and to contribute to society.”

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