Schott to invest €5m in modernisation of Rio de Janeiro plant

As part of its global quality initiative for pharmaceutical tubing manufacturing

The modernisation of the Brazilian plant highlights a commitment to unified product standards across all of the facilities at Schott

German glassmaker Schott is to invest around €5m in the modernisation of its manufacturing plant in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The site is home to Fiolax glass tubing production – a base product, which in the past 100 years has grown to become the gold standard for glass packaging in the pharmaceutical industry.

The move is part of the company's global quality initiative for the manufacture of pharmaceutical tubing.

Schott will install the latest measurement technology for process and quality control at the Brazilian plant, highlighting its commitment to high and unified production standards across all of its facilities. This emphasis on quality ensures that Fiolax glass tubing can be used worldwide for the manufacture of high-quality vials, syringes, ampoules, and cartridges for the optimal storage of medicines – supporting the pharmaceutical industry in its efforts to minimise risks and ensure patients’ well-being and safety.

The technology transfer between Schott’s tubing sites follows a strict process: manufacturing machines and processes, as well as corresponding measurement technology, are developed at the main plant in Mitterteich (Germany) and then implemented at all sites worldwide within a clearly defined timeframe. Furthermore, all plants adhere to the same quality manuals which are stored in a central database. Any changes are shared with every site within 24 hours and are executed immediately.

The premium quality of the tubes is crucial for the production of premium packaging later on

'The premium quality of the tubes is crucial for the production of premium packaging later on,' said Reinhard Männl, Schott's Vice President of Technology. 'It determines the process capability of the tubes once they are formed into ampoules, vials, cartridges or syringes and later also their performance on the pharma company’s filling line.'

Furthermore, the company’s stringent process for change management provides enhanced safety. Before any changes are implemented, such as optimisation measures, a full analysis and risk assessment is conducted. This process offers insight into any potential effects a change may have on the manufacturing process associated with the packaging.

Schott is investing in a global quality initiative for pharmaceutical tubing manufacturing

'Change management is only one of the tools we employ as part of our quality management system, which is based on GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standards. We are also committed to full traceability of our products, uniform standards and comprehensive risk management across the entire process chain – from purchasing and production through to delivery,' added Karsten Hennig, Director Quality Management for Schott Tubing.

In addition to South America, Schott also manufactures glass tubing in Europe and Asia, with a production capacity of more than 140,000 tons. These plants not only use the same machines, quality manuals, production and management processes, but they also employ the same procedures for the inspection of raw ingredients, allowing the company to deliver consistent high glass quality all over the globe.

The focus on quality is completed by investments into related services including an e-commerce order system and a technical-scientific consultation service which supports customers in the selection of materials and generates product feasibility studies as well as glass defect analyses.

Furthermore, the Fiolax Academy is continually expanding to offer pharmaceutical companies a complete training programme covering topics such as glass quality, interactions between glass and medication and regulatory requirements.

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