GEA’s factory in Elsdorf sets new standards in pharmaceutical production

Published: 22-Mar-2024

The factory will cover over 40,000m2 , featuring modular manufacturing structures and digital technologies to improve the efficiency and flexibility of production

GEA, a global pharmaceutical machinery and plant manufacturer, have commenced construction of its novel pharmaceutical technology centre in Elsdorf, Germany today. 

The factory will cover over 40,000m, featuring modular manufacturing structures and digital technologies to improve the efficiency and flexibility of production. 

The company is investing EUR 80 million in the new freeze-drying systems facility; used in the production of numerous injectable pharmaceuticals, including vaccines. 

The new facility is scheduled to open in the second half of 2025.

With people increasingly aware of the major role immunisation plays in preventing disease, the market for vaccines is growing rapidly worldwide. In order to meet this rising demand, GEA opted to build a new plant, as capacities at the existing facility in Hürth were nearing their limits. 

All 250 employees are to relocate to the new plant.

“This investment will open the door to our onward growth as well as improved innovation opportunities in the pharmaceutical sector, which is strategically significant for us. The new plant will enable us to align even more closely with our customers’ needs and expand our leading market position,” says GEA CEO Stefan Klebert.

Following the opening of the first factory in Poland in 2022, the second plant of its kind – covering an area of over 40,000 m² – is now being built in Germany.

At Elsdorf, state-of-the-art processes and working methods as well as the associated digitalisation are the main focus alongside sustainable construction. Mobile devices coupled with the use of apps for production control and monitoring will help create an ergonomic and attractive workplace for employees. 

End-to-end document management and digital workflows will ensure efficient and targeted access to company-relevant information. 

Reliable material tracking will be made possible by the intelligent warehouse management system.

“With modular manufacturing structures and digital technologies that make our production more flexible and faster, we are setting new standards in the GEA network,” says GEA COO Johannes Giloth.


Sustainability standards to be met

“We develop sustainable solutions for the food and pharmaceutical industries to help protect future generations. So we need to reflect this also in our own actions. Ultimately, only an industrial base with a firm focus on sustainability will remain competitive and strong on exports going forward,”adds CEO Stefan Klebert.

Because of this, the novel pharmaceutical technology centre will be built with high sustainability standards in mind. Power will be generated by the company’s own photovoltaic system, with the electricity accumulated to be stored in batteries. 

No natural gas will be used, and heat recovered in system test runs can be used to heat and cool the plant.

A green roof will provide protection against hot weather for the building and employees, as well as making sure air quality remains. 

A water retention system and minimum soil sealing will ensure that annual rainfall is used and distributed to optimum effect. Biodiversity at the site will be promoted by the green roof and an ecological compensation area on the property.




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