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Niklas Zwettler talks about EcoSecur, our innovative type 2 pharma glass

Innovation Ecosecur

EcoSecur - a process that has greatly improved the manufacture of type 2 pharma glass.

With over 200 years' experience in the glass industry, Stoelzle has provided many packaging solutions for a wide range of sectors, including: pharmaceutical, food & drink, spirits, perfumery and cosmetic goods. Their unique designs and state-of-the-art process techniques are second to none; and with a number of manufacturing plants, decoration sites and sales offices located around the world, it’s no wonder they’re a name that’s well established on the global stage.

As a company that continuously moves and adapts to accommodate the needs of their clients, whilst looking after the planet, Stoelzle is conscious that they need to remain agile as various changes to their service need to take place. One of these remarkable improvements is the introduction of EcoSecur; a process that has significantly improved the manufacture of type 2 pharma glass.

We recently spoke with Dr Niklas Zwettler, the Head of Research and Development at the Stoelzle Glass Group, about this new process and this was his response.

Hello Niklas. So, what is EcoSecur?

EcoSecur is a new process that has been created exclusively here at Stoelzle which is more resource-efficient, safe and stable. This new and improved technique was developed from the need for Stoelzle to ensure our products remain of the highest quality and are produced using the most efficient methods possible. EcoSecur uses a liquid treatment process, which enables reliable and precise dosing and is tailored to each different sized bottle; from 6 ml vials to much larger volumes, as well as being available in flint and amber glass.

Why is it an improvement on previous techniques?

Although the legally binding standards and quality specifications define the quality and performance of the glass, there are no specific requirements set out in terms of how it can be produced. For this reason, there are a number of different production methods in use throughout the industry, and Stoelzle is committed to ensuring our processes stand out from other manufacturers. We are proud to say that EcoSecur surpasses previous technologies used in manufacturing and producing type 2 glass in terms of quality, process stability and reliability. The entire production process is also much more environmentally friendly, which contributes to Stoelzle’s overall plan to reduce energy use and become more sustainable. It’s also much safer than still used gas treatments using approximately 50% less and no toxic chemical components. This results in an up to 80% reduction of the CO2-footprint during the production of EcoSecur.

What led to the development of EcoSecur, and what was involved in implementing this process?

Our motivations for the development of EcoSecur are quite extensive. At Stoelzle, we are dedicated to continuously improving the quality of our products, the processes involved in their production and the impact our systems have on the environment. Within the framework of production and related to the product quality, the process capability has become indispensable. This means that the quality of a single container is not sufficient to guarantee the quality of an entire production batch. Therefore, a quality product can only be the result of an extremely efficient and repeatable process, capable of obtaining not only individually compliant products, but also a homogeneous population of containers with uniform characteristics. It was the results of our in-depth analysis into all these factors and other manufacturing processes in use on the market, which led to the birth of EcoSecur.

What steps are you taking to ensure the continuous quality control of EcoSecur?

Right from the start of production through to packaging and distribution Stoelzle has implemented a number of strategies to ensure this process continues to be a success, both for our clients, for our company and for the environment.

We have introduced new processes for automation and automated control in the industrialisation phase. This is necessary to ensure we have complied with all the regulations that are in place at every stage of the process. It also helps us to identify any potential deviations that may compromise the quality of the result. Automatic adjustments and relative control are also essential to ensure the correct treatment of each individual bottle. In addition, we use the latest and most advanced inspection machines, which include fibre optic and chamber inspection systems. With this equipment, we can ensure a controlled environment, warranting that our processes are consistent.

What else can you tell us about the development of EcoSecur?

It’s true to say the development phase of EcoSecur was intense. The team spent many hours on this project; not just in design, but also in performing laboratory experiments and field applications to determine certain aspects of the process, including: identifying the best treatment agent, which temperatures to use and the dosing itself.

Whilst we celebrate this revolutionary development, we also congratulate the efforts of our team and the people who made it possible. We utilized the skills from a number of departments, such as: hot and cold end, planning and quality control. The project was greatly driven by two of our Engineers, Karl Kertschmar, who led the process development and Bettina Lechner being responsible for the serialisation and implementation into manufacturing.

We really enjoyed speaking with Dr Niklas Zwettler and thank him for sharing his incredible insights with us. We look forward to updating you in the future as to how EcoSecur continues to transform our business.

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