Merz Pharma

Successful Project "Fast Skin" of Our Customer Merz Pharma

Customer: Merz Pharma GmbH & Co. KGaA

Project: integra filling line

Timeline: 2021/2022

With the integra, Merz Pharma triples the production capacities at the Dessau site with just one filling line - within a very short time. The aim of this turnkey project was to create an integrated high-performance line that produces reliably, efficiently and safely.

With the integra, we were able to implement a high-end filling solution for our customer Merz Pharma in Dessau. This is a high-performance line with an integrated SKAN isolator and two HOF freeze dryers, which will be used to process vials in bulk. The modular integra concept, which was developed in cooperation with SKAN, also convinced Merz Pharma - so the team project was launched in the fall of 2020.

The requirements of the project were high: a user-friendly machine with three times the production capacity of the existing plant. Another challenge was to install the machine during the ongoing production process at Merz Pharma. In March 2022, the line was successfully installed in the designated clean room and it became clear that when all partners work together closely, you can achieve fantastic results.

groninger & Merz Pharma - Success Story Part 3: SAT of the integra filling line

Technical Details

Formats and Output

  • Processing of vials with diameter 22 mm x height 37 mm
  • Filling volume: 0.5 ml
  • Capacity 200 pieces / min for loading the GTs
  • Output 350 pieces / min for unloading the GTs
  • Processing of three different caps

Line Configuration

  1. Vial washing machine with feed table and infeed turntable
  2. Hot air sterilization tunnel
  3. SKAN Isolator (over filling machine and crimping module as well as the HOF loading and unloading system)
  4. Rake transport system with 100 % IPK
  5. 4-headed filling system with peristaltic pumps
  6. Product infeed via single-use system
  7. Stopper infeed via transfer system from ATEC
  8. 4-lane stoppering unit
  9. Line-integrated loading and unloading system as well as 2x freeze dryers from HOF
  10. Flanging module incl. camera inspection station
  11. Cap infeed via transfer system from ATEC
  12. Outside washing machine
  13. Coding and inspection machine incl. printer and camera inspection system
  14. Double magazine outfeed

About Merz Pharma

Merz Pharma GmbH & Co. KGaA is a true "bedrock" of the industry: the family-owned company has been successfully marketing its products in the pharmaceutical and consumer care sectors since 1908. The pharmaceutical segment is divided into the divisions Merz Aesthetics and Merz Therapeutics. The product portfolio includes innovative drugs and medical products in the fields of aesthetics and neurology.

At the future location Biopharmapark Dessau-Ro├člau, Merz is currently expanding its production capacity substantially in the areas of Merz Aesthetics and Merz Therapeutics. Products based on the active ingredient botulinum neurotoxin are manufactured here and are used primarily in aesthetic medicine, but also for neurological diseases.

Mission: Tripling

The mission of the team project in a nutshell: Merz Pharma wants to triple production capacity at the Dessau site with just one new plant, and do so within a very short time.  A new production hall was built specifically for this purpose, thus doubling the production area of the company site. In order to successfully (and above all quickly!) implement a project of this dimension, competent partners are needed.

Under the slogan "Fast Skin", the joint project was therefore initiated in the last quarter of 2020. The core of the line is a modular filling solution in combination with an integrated SKAN isolator. This recipe for success has been proving its worth on the market since 2018 under the name integra. The line is completed by two HOF freeze dryers.

Due to the increasing demand, capacity expansion in the shortest possible delivery time is the essential goal for the production site.

modular high-efficiency line
-fold production capacity
partners at eye-level

groninger + SKAN: the Best of Two Worlds

Solutions as if From a Single Source

The long-standing partnership between groninger and SKAN is characterized by reliability, trust, and innovative strength. groninger as an experienced expert for filling solutions and SKAN as the industry leader for cleanroom technology and isolators complement each other perfectly. The fact that the cooperation between groninger and SKAN enables solutions as if from a single source is currently also demonstrated in the "Fast Skin" project of the company Merz Pharma.

integra Machine Concept

integra - as the name already suggests - stands for the best possible integration, especially for isolator filling lines. Together with SKAN, groninger has developed an advanced, modular machine concept that combines the expertise of both companies.

Through the strong partnership between groninger and SKAN, customers such as Merz Pharma benefit twice over, since not only is the product optimally integrated, but project development is also simplified significantly.

Partnership is Key

Overall, a very good partnership was established between all companies involved during the project. Coordination with regard to mock-up, design, construction, etc. was uncomplicated and smooth, also as a result of the integra concept.

In general, this project demonstrated how important a good partnership and mutual trust are. Due to the long-standing business relationship, there was already a good mutual understanding of processes, which meant that information could be exchanged easily and transparently. This solution orientation on all sides, is one of the reasons why the mega project could be implemented within the desired schedule despite the pandemic.

As a result, Merz Pharma was able to install an efficient, smart and digitalized machine. In the meantime, the recommissioning and the associated qualification for the whole line have been completed. After the successful SAT and handover of the line to Merz Pharma, minor changes and customer preferences are now being implemented to optimally adapt the line to the needs on site. In parallel, the line partners SKAN, ATEC and Hof Sonderanlagenbau continue to support our joint customer in the preparatory work for the planned start of production. The focus here is on technical runs and the media fills. Of course we will inform you about further updates. Stay tuned!

Project team members say

With the integra, we combine a smart, efficient and digitized line with our existing equipment. Thanks to the sophisticated solution, we can triple our production capacity.

Maik Wiese
Team Leader Machine Setter Merz Pharma Dessau

During the project, any potential obstacles were successfully overcome and solutions were worked out in a constructive manner. The positive atmosphere within the project team helps enormously and is characterized by mutual understanding and trust.

Matthias Heck
Project Manager groninger

One highlight of the project is the friendly interaction between the participants. It is an absolute speciality when diverse teams work together in such an intensive project, far beyond the boundaries of corporate structures. As the saying goes, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."

Sebastian Hillbrand
Product Manager SKAN


The integrated process solution for the processing of vials in bulk.

Learn more