Our innovations for products and processes

Part of our growth strategy is to devise innovative products and solutions and meet our customers’ increasingly stringent quality requirements. We continuously invest in optimizing production and product quality as well as in our product portfolio, working closely with our customers and partners from industry, academia, and other institutions.

Our development centers as drivers of innovation

Our development centers as drivers of innovation

We have four development centers known as Technical Competence Centers (TCC) working in the field of medical systems. Experts at our TCC in Wackersdorf (Germany), Peachtree City (Georgia, U.S.), and Dongguan City (China) spend their time developing and engineering customer-specific medical products made of plastic. The center in Wackersdorf is currently being extended and will also produce new glass products in future. Part of this process involves setting up small-scale production facilities for prefillable syringe systems and cartridges made of glass. We also have another TCC for prefillable syringe systems and safety accessories in Bünde (Germany), while Gerresheimer item specializes in developing and designing pharmaceutical and medical technology products.

By enhancing our design and development expertise, we are continuously coming up with new projects and innovative product ideas. Our various areas of expertise come together at the TCC in Wackersdorf, from initial development, planning series production (industrialization), and mould making through to setting up and testing machinery and tools, small batch production and prototyping. The center also draws on, applies, and implements new developments and ideas from customers, industry, and academia. One of these trends in medical technology is miniaturization. Micro injection moulding requires new technological expertise in mould making and injection moulding as well as in validation and process control. In the latter case, for example, computed tomography is being used for the very first time at the TCC in Wackersdorf to measure micro injection-moulded parts.

Safety syringes and other syringe innovations

Ultra-clean syringes with protection against needlestick injuries

Safety is key when it comes to using syringes – not just for patients but for medical staff too. With their exposed cannulas, used syringes are a constant source of risk, for example. Although existing needle protection systems reduce the risk of injury, they make syringes more complex for pharma companies to fill. With the Gx InnoSafe®, Gerresheimer is offering a syringe with an integrated passive safety system which avoids inadvertent needlestick injuries and prevents the syringe from being reused. What is more, it can be integrated seamlessly into pharma companies’ production processes and is typically intuitive and simple for medical staff to use. That’s because the protection mechanism is activated automatically, with no extra steps involved whatsoever. Pharmacists can use the new syringes without the need for any major changes to existing filling lines because no additional assembly stage is required for the safety system.

A syringe is moulded

Our plant in Bünde (Germany) is home to the development and production center for our sterile Gx RTF® (ready-to-fill) glass syringe systems. The center houses what is at first glance a small but nevertheless key innovation in prefillable glass syringes for an increasing number of new drugs. Thanks to a new production technology, metal-free syringe bodies can now be produced. Traces of tungsten or other metals can occasionally remain in the drilled hole when a syringe is converted, which can cause problems when they are used. Metallic impurities should ideally be ruled out, particularly in the case of drugs that are based on bioengineered substances. Thanks to a spike made of a special type of ceramic needed to form the syringe, Gerresheimer is able to mass produce residue-free syringes to hold particularly sophisticated drugs. A study by Institute Fresenius confirmed that no traces of ceramic could be found in the syringe. The production technology already has a patent pending.

Syringes with innovative technology

The development process also includes accompanying research and studies, of course. For instance, a large-scale, long-term study was conducted from 2011 to 2015 to investigate what factors made for optimum syringe functionality. The study focused in particular on all the variables influencing break loose and gliding forces, including siliconization as a gliding coating in prefillable glass syringes. Bioengineered drugs are commonly held and administered in such syringes, which are usually coated in silicone to aid emptying. Just the right amount of silicone oil must be used, otherwise the syringe becomes too stiff or droplets begin to form in the drug and cause the substance to flocculate. This is especially problematic in the opaque section since this reduces the amount of substance available. With its Gx® baked-on RTF syringes, Gerresheimer has added a patented solution to its range that creates a very even coating with a small amount of silicone. To achieve this, the silicone emulsion is sprayed into the syringe body and heated so that it firmly bonds to the glass. As a result, less silicone is required and a reliable gliding coating is created for the entire storage period.

In conjunction with our Japanese partner, we offer an innovative drug delivery system made of a special type of plastic boasting similar properties to glass. This plastic is known as COP (cyclic olefin copolymer) and is marketed under the name ClearJect®. Since traditional glass syringes may reach their limits when it comes to complex pharmaceutical or biopharmaceutical drugs, developers are looking for suitable alternatives. The ClearJect® syringes were developed with precisely these applications in mind. They broaden the range of applications for prefillable syringe systems, for which Gerresheimer is handling sales and technical consulting in Europe and the Americas as part of the RTF® (ready-to-fill) concept, already well established in the glass division. Working closely with its Japanese partner, Gerresheimer Medical Systems produces the new syringe at its European production plant. The first product in this line is a 1-ml-long syringe with an integrated cannula known as the Gx RTF® ClearJect®.

Injection vials of the very highest quality

Injection vials of the very highest quality

One result of our global investment in optimizing our production processes is the development of the Gx® Elite product range made of glass. These high-end tubular glass vials made of type I borosilicate glass are our response to increasingly stringent customer demands on the pharmaceutical market and greater demands for patient safety. They are two to three times more robust than standard type I glass, significantly more shatter-resistant on the filling line, and exceed the industry standard by a long way when it comes to lyophilization. Thanks to comprehensive optimization of the manufacturing process, the risks that can lead to product defects are avoided, including glass-to-glass and glass-to-metal contact. The Gx® Elite vials are highly robust, free from cosmetic defects, and boast extremely accurate dimensions. They can also be integrated seamlessly into different filling lines, providing customers with greater quality at lower costs.

Injection vials of the very highest quality

The Gx® RTF vials offer a standardized platform for prefillable, sterile injection vials, which are combined with the recognized Ompi EZ-fill® packaging technology. The vials are washed, packed in trays or in nests and tubs, and sterilized before being delivered to pharmaceutical customers, who can then start filling them straight away without the need for any intermediate process steps. Among other benefits is the fact that customers can source their vials from two different manufacturers. The new packaging solution also allows the vials to be used from the development phase of new medications to small or large-scale production.

Gerresheimer helps enhance quality during the production process using its own conversion and inspection technology that monitors the moulding of each individual vial. The Gx® RHOC system inspects all the quality-related dimensional factors and the Gx® G3 camera system reliably identifies cosmetic defects. Random samples are tested on an ongoing basis to see how likely they are to delaminate. The Gx® THOR control process that ensures an optimum temperature profile in the conversion process and the Gx® FLASH test procedure are two measures that Gerresheimer developed specially in-house.

Product innovations for plastic packaging

Duma® Pocket

We continuously optimize some of our proven pharmaceutical packaging products and come up with innovative packaging solutions. Here are some examples: Our eye drop bottles are now also available with a fixed TE ring to meet the new regulations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This method of protecting the original contents is a reliable way of demonstrating that packaging is intact, and must be firmly attached to the bottle in accordance with the regulations. The Duma® Pocket product range is a type of pharmaceutical packaging that doesn’t look like a medical product. This is Gerresheimer’s response to patients’ need for packaging that doesn’t give away its contents at first glance. The containers look more like a packet of sweets, chewing gum, or peppermints and are now available in new 40-ml and 100-ml sizes – and of course come with a childproof closure as well as boasting an ergonomic design.


The BioPack range offers a broad spectrum of drugs and cosmetics packaging made of biomaterial instead of conventional polyethylene (PET). Another example of Gerresheimer’s innovative capabilities are its very own MultiShell® plastic vials for packaging particularly complex liquid drugs.

Cosmetics bottles with an innovative design

We place the very highest demands on our processes and the quality of our products when it comes to developing and producing cosmetic glass for perfume bottles and pots of cream. Each year, we develop around 100 new glass bottles for the cosmetics industry. Gerresheimer also produces several hundred variations of these products from glass, which in some cases involves complex finishing processes such as spraying and metalization. The company is especially focusing its investment in developing finishing technologies for the growing market in premium-quality cosmetics packaging.

Cosmetics bottles with an innovative design
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