Siemens accelerated BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine production setup with automation and digitalization solutions
- Siemens helped BioNTech to convert its Marburg facility into one of the largest mRNA vaccine production facilities in the world - Key parts of the new Manufacturing Execution System implemented in two and a half months
May 27, 2021 – Siemens has helped the BioNTech SE biotechnology company based in Mainz to convert an existing facility in Marburg for the production of the Covid-19 vaccine in a record time.. The site is one of the largest mRNA vaccine manufacturing sites in the world.
BioNTech acquired the production facility that was already equipped with capabilities for producing biotechnological substances in the fall of 2020. The production plant has been producing the vaccine BNT162b2 (also known as COMIRNATY®) since the end of March.
Through collaboration with Siemens and the team of experts on-site in Marburg, the project timeline for converting the existing facility for the production of mRNA-vaccine was cut from around one year down to five months, and the implementation of key parts of the new Manufacturing Execution System (MES) was reduced to two and half months. The new system and end-to-end digitalization of vaccine production enabled conversion to “paperless documentation of production”, which can immediately fulfill all documentation requirements – a critical component of vaccine efficacy.
The Marburg facility when fully operational will be able to produce deliver up to one billion doses annually.
The entire process flow is controlled by Siemens technology: The Opcenter Execution Pharma MES is used to orchestrate subsystems and processes and to analyze their quality. Production processes can be automatically developed, optimized and managed. mRNA processes encompass a number of manual work steps, such as weighing, which can now be performed by Siemens weighing systems, as precise measurement of weight is vital for product quality. All systems were modified for automation using the Simatic PCS 7 process control system, which controls and regulates the system processes. Other solutions used include network technology, WLAN access points, communication technology and the TIA Portal engineering framework.
The partnership between Siemens and BioNtech has accelerated the delivery of a safe and effective vaccine to the world much sooner than many people would expect. With Siemens technology, the Marburg facility is now set to produce about a quarter of the 2.5 billion doses of vaccine that Pfizer and BioNtech pledged this year.
Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 170 years. Active around the world, the company focuses on intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems and on automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. Siemens brings together the digital and physical worlds to benefit customers and society. Through Mobility, a leading supplier of intelligent mobility solutions for rail and road transport, Siemens is helping to shape the world market for passenger and freight services. Via its majority stake in the publicly listed company Siemens Healthineers, Siemens is also a world-leading supplier of medical technology and digital health services. In addition, Siemens holds a minority stake in Siemens Energy, a global leader in the transmission and generation of electrical power that has been listed on the stock exchange since September 28, 2020. In fiscal 2020, which ended on September 30, 2020, the Siemens Group generated revenue of €57.1 billion and net income of €4.2 billion. As of September 30, 2020, the company had around 293,000 employees worldwide. Further information is available on the internet at www.siemens.com
Corporate Communications Department