Hector Garcia (see below), Gerresheimer's Senior Vice President of the Americas, discusses an investment plan at the manufacturer's Querétaro, Mexico facility.

This will include 10 glass forming machines and boost manufacturing capacity for ready to fill glass syringes.

The transformation of Gerresheimer to a system and solution provider to the global pharmaceutical and biotech industry has fuelled our growth in the last years. Based on the positive development of our operative business and a high new order-intake, we have been and still are expanding our global production capacities.

The expansion of our Querétaro site is one of our large global projects to double our syringe production capacity until 2028. We are also expanding our capacities in Skopje, North Macedonia, and Buende, Germany.

Queretaro site

The Querétaro site is positioned to serve the North and South American pharmaceutical and biotech markets. We concentrate here on type 1 tubular glass products (clear and amber) and manufacture e. g. ampoules, vials, cartridges and prefillable syringes and process them into ready-to-fill (RTF) formats.

We are transforming our sites and upgrading our capabilities to respond to the pharmaceutical and biotech industry trends where customers are looking for the right solution provider.

Our strategic view is to partner with our customers, to be the high-quality system, solution and service provider they are looking for.

Capacity increase

The expansion of the new production building at Queretaro will include 10 glass-forming machines, several needle assembly lines and RTF processing lines. Syringe preparation, including washing and packaging will take place in ISO 8 to ISO five class clean rooms.

The expansion is dedicated to RTF syringes. With the project completed, we will increase our manufacturing capacity for syringes in particular for the North American market by several hundred million RTF syringes annually.

The building is expected to be completed by mid-2024 and validation work and ramp-up of production is anticipated to start in the second quarter of 2025. We expect the expansion facility to run at full capacity in the first half of 2026.

Technology

The modern production lines (glass forming, needle assembling, RTF lines) will in general increase production efficiency while reducing scratches or breakages.

For quality assurance we will use - beyond other measures - e. g. Artificial Intelligence (AI) based automated camera systems for the inspection of geometrical parameters and cosmetic-visual defects. Our quality management system in Querétaro is ISO 13485, ISO 9001 and ISO 15378 certified.

We are a global player, but we always produce locally for the respective regional markets. With the Querétaro expansion we will not only expand our footprint in the Americas, but also fulfil a growing need on the market for RTF syringes.

These pre-fillable glass syringes are - among other applications - suitable for injectable biopharmaceuticals such as GLP-1-based drugs for the treatment of obesity, a market which is expected to grow substantially over the next years.

We certainly see for our markets a growing demand for pharmaceutical glass products, like vials, cartridges and syringes, with added-value features. This may include special coatings and/or delivery as sterilised RTF product for a better line performance and reduced risks in the fill and finish process.