Meet… Harald Castler

As President of Getinge Life Science and former Chairman of Halmstad University, Harald sees his role as facilitating interaction between the academic world and industry

Harald Castler

Tell us a little about your company’s business

Getinge started selling farming machinery in 1904 and then moved into kitchen equipment and sterilisers. Now, it’s a global MedTech company supplying a wide range of hospital and sterilisation solutions. In 1993, it was listed on the Swedish Stock Exchange and is now one of the top 30 Swedish companies.

Getinge is a leader in its chosen business segments, which focus on surgical workflows, products and services to clean, disinfect and sterilise instruments and equipment, and acute care therapies for intensive care, surgical interventions and catheter-based procedures. Previously part of the Infection Control segment, the company added a new Life Science business area in January 2018, which provides a wide range of standard and customised solutions to ensure a contamination-free environment.

As President of Getinge’s Life Science business area, what’s specific about that segment?

Life Science is a different business from Healthcare, with different customer groups and a regulatory framework that requires a specific focus. Getinge’s Life Science products are manufactured at three sites: Getinge (Sweden) for sterilisers; Toulouse (France) for washers and lab sterilisers; and Vendôme (France) for isolators and the DPTE sterile transfer system. Only about 25% of the products supplied are standard (some lab sterilisers and washers, the DPTE-BetaBag sterile transfer range), so most of our equipment is customised.

The new business area has a very customer-centric strategy. We have substantially increased our presales support to provide well-thought-out solutions that meet our clients’ expectations. Manufacturing capacity has been extended at our three factories to improve our delivery lead times.

Are there any innovations in the pipeline?

Built on experience and customer insight, the GSS P is our latest steam steriliser. It is optimised to meet the core functionality and flexibility needed in a modern biopharmaceutical production environment. Thanks to its state-of-the-art design, secure process configuration and intuitive interface, the GSS P Series helps to eliminate unplanned production downtime.

It is vital to protect both product integrity and staff in biopharmaceutical production, which is why we have designed the GSS P Series to optimise a safe work environment and ensure product quality. The patented DPTE sterile transfer system is being extended with a new, motorised and rotation-free DPTE-XO Alpha port with an automated chute for component transfer, a new glove leak tester and a transfer leak tester. All of these, together with our single-use DPTE-BetaBag range, will be available for “hands on” interaction at Getinge’s ACHEMA booth.

DPTE sterile transfer system on an Octapharma SVP-filling line in Stockholm

In our washer sector, the new ULTIMA 1800LXA will replace the current version of the LABEXIA 1800 LXA model later this year, bringing enhanced functionalities and software. Getinge is continuously working to enhance its products to meet the future demands of industrial automation. This includes (but is not limited to) more advanced control systems that interface with other computerised systems, full process and traceability control and automated handling systems.

What differentiates Getinge from other suppliers?

Our technical expertise and industry experience mean that we are able to design and manufacture tailor-made equipment to meet our clients’ needs. We supply equipment and the support our customers need through an outstanding global sales and service network. To improve the customer experience and reduce downtime, we concentrate on providing high quality maintenance, global service, spare parts and equipment upgrades. In simple terms, it’s service without borders.

What’s the most exciting thing happening in pharma right now?

Biotech is a very good area to be in at the moment, with growth of 20% per year and expansion projected in emerging markets. Drug manufacturers are switching to single-use technology to increase flexibility, reduce costs, lower process downtime and cross-contamination risks. Our DPTE-BetaBag range is well placed to eliminate contamination risks when transferring items into and out of cleanrooms, filling lines and isolators.

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