Gerresheimer Medical Plastic Systems is expanding its plant in Dongguan, China, into a competency center for injection molding, printing and assembly of medical devices. The production of price-sensitive products starts at the German plant in Pfreimd, and is then transferred to China by the company’s Production Coordination Unit, which specializes in these kinds of transfers. The production of two lancing devices was already successfully transferred in this way.
In the market for medical devices such as lancing devices and lancets, the product cycles are becoming increasingly shorter and the price pressure increasingly higher. Therefore, product development is based on modular platform concepts, the elements of which can be used for several product generations. This is complicated by the demand for highly efficient solutions for product production and assembly.
“By combining our European development and industrialization competency with the production potential in China, we are able to offer our customers customized solutions with attractive production costs,” Manfred Baumann, COO/CTO of Gerresheimer Regensburg GmbH, explained about the concept. “Processes that are only cost-effective in Europe, if they are fully automated, can be performed in a manual or partially automated fashion due to the global structure of Gerresheimer Medical Plastic Systems (MPS). This means fewer investments in automation technology.”
In this specific case, Gerresheimer produces two lancing devices. Many of their components are the same, which is why costs can be decreased. The industrialization takes place in the Technical Competence Center of Gerresheimer MPS in Wackersdorf; the production was first set up in Europe and then transferred to China in accordance with preset milestones. The continuous supply to the customer with components was guaranteed by a respective product transfer and logistics concept. An important element of the successful transfer was the training program for the Chinese employees.
The entire transfer was coordinated and supervised by the Production Coordination Unit. This includes the layout planning for production and assembly, the entire personnel planning, as well as the capacity planning, machine specification, and qualification. During the transfer phase, the unit also had to address many detailed tasks from packaging to the handling of customs formalities.
In the meantime, the entire process chain for lancing devices has been set up in China. Fifteen injection molding machines, two semi-automatic assembly units including welding installations and six Kent printing machines for the pad printing process are available in China.
Injection molding in clean room class 8
Kent printing machine