Schott has added a capacity of 20,000 tons of glass for pharmaceutical packaging
Schott Tubing soft opening plant China. Photo: Schott
Specialty glass manufacturer Schott has commenced production at its new pharmaceutical tubing factory in China. The new plant will produce high-quality FIOLAX borosilicate glass tubing – the base material for pharmaceutical packaging such as vials, ampoules, syringes and cartridges, which the vast majority of COVID-19 vaccine projects rely upon. Schott has invested €60m in the new plant as part of a $1b USD investment in its global pharmaceutical business.
The new facility went into operation in mid-November after just 15 months of construction. “This is a new record for Schott, and a proud achievement given the global pandemic,” said Dr Frank Heinricht, Chairman of the Management Board of Schott AG. Adding an initial capacity of 20,000 tons of glass per year, with room for further expansion, the plant is equipped with state-of-the-art production technology and follows the perfeXion philosophy - conducted as a 100% inspection of each tube by using cutting-edge big data methods. This follows the approach of Schott’s other pharma tubing manufacturing sites around the world.
Production at the new plant comes at a time when borosilicate tubing is highly sought after. Marketed under the brand name FIOLAX, Schott borosilicate glass has been the gold standard for pharmaceutical packaging since it was first developed by the company’s founder Otto Schott in 1883. The material is highly inert and protects against any drug-container interaction, making it ideal for COVID-19 vaccines and other life-saving drugs.
Schott sells the glass to third-party packaging manufacturers, but also converts the tubes to vials and other pharmaceutical containers in-house. Pharmaceutical vials made by Schott are used in 75% of COVID-19 vaccine projects around the world.