The tube pan 32, which has just been "tempered", is much more than just a container in which glass can be melted at up to 1500 degrees Celsius.

In fact, the highly complex plant, which was set up in just nine months and has been in operation since the end of April, is a production facility where pharmaceutical tubes are to be manufactured as if on an assembly line.

The Mainz-based technology group paid around 40 million euros to install a second production line at its headquarters on Hattenbergstrasse.

Markus Schug

Correspondent Rhein-Main-Süd.

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In the future it will be possible to produce twice as many glass tubes as before, says Frank Heinricht, CEO of the more than 130-year-old special glass manufacturer, at the presentation of the new furnace.

It is an "important milestone in the growth strategy" of the company, which currently employs more than 17,000 people in 34 countries.

The pharmaceutical tube formed from borosilicate glass is an important preliminary product from which other Schott locations then make high-quality, long-lasting packaging for pharmaceuticals, such as bottles, ampoules, cartridges and syringes.

Demand for pharmaceutical glass secured in the long term

According to Heinricht, the Fiolax brand tubes, which are 100 percent quality-tested and in which there is no interaction between the medication and the packaging, are used to store vital vaccines.

This currently applies, among other things, to the Covid-19 vaccine known as Comirnaty from the Mainz-based manufacturer Biontech.

With the help of the new melting tank, which is supported by the federal government with several million euros, an additional 1.5 to two billion medical packages could now be manufactured and delivered every year.

The Schott boss found that this secured the long-term demand for pharmaceutical glass in Germany and Europe.

The fact that Mainz has not only become the “pharmacy of the world” thanks to Biontech, but that the associated packaging is also produced in the city, was not only found extremely gratifying by Lord Mayor Michael Ebling.

Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (both SPD) also said during a factory tour on Monday that she was still "very proud" of Mainz and Rhineland-Palatinate when she met her counterparts.

This includes the fact that Schott has proven to be a reliable driver of innovation over the decades - and plans to become a completely climate-neutral company by 2030.

Which shouldn't be easy when you consider that a large part of the very energy-intensive production is currently still based on natural gas.

In the near future, if possible, fossil fuels should be replaced by hydrogen and green electricity.

City and country as pioneers for biotechnology

Tubular tub 32, which was housed in a hall formerly used for the manufacture of television screens, is currently creating a good 100 new jobs in the plant and with external service providers.

Another 100 positions are currently vacant at Schott, said Heinricht.

And thus took advantage of the opportunity to point out training and career opportunities in the Mainz model company, which, in Ebling's opinion, "always stands for the upheaval in the city".

It all started with the legendary "Course of 41 Glassmakers", who moved with their families from Jena to the Rhine soon after the end of the war, where they opened a new factory in 1952 in the middle of the badly damaged city.

On this occasion, the Lord Mayor and Prime Minister reiterated the claim that the city and state see themselves as pioneers in biotechnology and as successful pharmaceutical locations.

It is nice to see "how our companies from Rhineland-Palatinate - above all Schott - are helping to overcome the corona pandemic and to ensure the security of medical supplies in Europe," says Dreyer.

In times of crisis, the company has repeatedly distinguished itself through rapid adjustments.

And in the end, Schott usually had to produce more.

In view of the war in Ukraine, one can only hope that there will be no gas emergency.

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