Germany: Tablet Production Smart Factory Set to Boost Pharmaceutical Production in Germany and Europe

Editor: MA Alexander Stark

Pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim opened a new tablet production facility in Ingelheim. Starting immediately, the Solids Launch Factory will manufacture all the company’s new drugs introduced in tablet form (solids). Digital tools are a crucial pillar of the new plant.

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Two employees of Boehringer Ingelheim in the preparation of product transfer tubes for cleaning.
Two employees of Boehringer Ingelheim in the preparation of product transfer tubes for cleaning.
(Source: Boehringer Ingelheim)

Ingelheim/Germany – A new tablet production facility is to play a key role in bringing innovative drugs to the global marketplace. Boehringer Ingelheim invested € 90 million in its new Smart Factory, with the goal of accelerating time-to-market for new drugs. All machines and equipment are fully networked, and almost all the processes are autonomous, which allows the new facility to respond automatically to changes in production data, quality parameters, and environmental conditions.

“We understand what is happening in the plant more quickly and can respond accordingly,” says Dr. Anja Preissman, Head of Human Pharma Supply Germany. “The flexible, digitally-integrated design of the new tablet production facility and its close interconnections with development allow us to bring our new products to market more quickly and efficiently than ever. This is not only a competitive advantage for our company; it also benefits patients worldwide.”

The 2800 m2 Solids Launch Factory consists of three levels: The basement houses utility and storage rooms as well as changing rooms. Additional utility rooms, offices, and social areas are located on the top floor. The ground level houses the centerpiece of the new plant: the production facilities. Two production lines for small and medium batch sizes are available, which can produce tablets for clinical studies and market launches, among other things. A continuous automation concept ensures the facility’s reliable and paperless operation. Highly efficient heat recovery systems for ventilation, air compression, and wastewater ensure reduced CO2 emissions compared to conventional plants.