Pharmaceutical giant Roche relies on Almatec AODD pumps to handle waste solvents safely—Air-operated double-diaphragm pumps from German manufacturer Almatec have proved an ideal solution for Roche, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturers, in handling waste solvents, many of which are flammable, toxic, or both. A relationship spanning 25 years was first built on Almatec’s A-Series pumps, and now continues thanks to the company’s economic and efficient E-Series models.
Established in 1896 by banker and pharmacist Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche, the eponymous F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., today known simply as “Roche”, was among the first companies to recognize that the industrial manufacture of standardized medicines would be a major advance in the fight against disease.
By 2013 Roche, based in Basel, Switzerland, had grown to a turnover of CHF 46.8 billion (USD 52.5 billion), making it the world’s fifth-largest pharmaceutical company. Roche has operations around the globe, from the US to Ireland and from Pakistan to Germany.
Roche’s operations are divided into two core businesses: Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics. The Roche Diagnostics facility in Penzberg, Germany, about 50 km (31 miles) south of Munich, is unique within Roche in that it is home to both pharmaceutical and diagnostics operations. One of the largest biotechnology research centers in Europe, the facility is also the scene for the production of the active ingredients used in almost all of the important pharmaceuticals and reagents that Roche manufactures.
Handling Flammable Solvents
The Penzberg facility has been in operation for 40 years, employs more than 5,100 people and features about 60 buildings. Constantly on the move around the site are large volumes of finished pharmaceutical products and raw materials — including solvents used in the pharmaceutical production processes.
“Roche Diagnostics produces lots of medicines and is a very big pharmaceutical factory,” says Florian Habeck, Assistant Tank Manager at Roche Diagnostics. “We must have solvents in order to produce our products. We buy the solvents from manufacturers and after using them for production we send the used solvents to underground storage tanks.”
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