MOSCOW (MRC) -- Merck KGaA says it has entered a collaborative partnership with Siemens for the joint development of an overall process-control system for the automation of modular production of materials and products for the electronics, pharmaceutical, and life science industries, said Chemweek.
Merck will build a first modular plant based on this production system at its Darmstadt, Germany, site by 2022, investing EUR10.0 million (USD11.9 million) for the first phase, it says. Merck has experience with modular production systems, and the aim of the collaboration is to advance the concept of flexible and simple interlinking of individual modules worldwide in the process development and production network of all its business sectors, the company says.
"The time needed from the product idea to market readiness is a critical success factor. The resulting technology platform for standardized, modular production will also be usable in product development in the future. This allows data-based decisions to be made as early as the product development phase and applied seamlessly to the production process. Therefore, in the future, we will be able to respond quicker and even more flexibly to high customer requirements," says Kai Beckmann, CEO/performance materials and board member at Merck responsible for the Darmstadt site.
Merck is taking on the establishment of the production infrastructure and Siemens is responsible for the development of process orchestration layer (POL) technology, the company says. POL is a supervisory control system that interlinks various production modules to an overall process, which is expected to operate without the need for additional programming, Merck says.
"This will create new opportunities for us to drive forward modular production and to meet growing requirements for chemical and pharmaceutical processes in our joint development work,” says Eckard Eberle, CEO/process automation at Siemens.
The project forms part of a EUR1-billion investment program announced last year for Merck's headquarters at Darmstadt until 2025, which will also be funded by the German federal ministry of economic affairs and energy on the basis that the plan's investments in modular, flexible, and efficient technology can reduce the carbon footprint of production, Merck says.
As MRC informed earlier, Merck KGaA has presented its new sustainability strategy, with which it aims to integrate sustainability more deeply as an essential component of its corporate strategy. The main aims of the strategy are to develop sustainable science and technology, integrate sustainability into all the company's value chains by 2030, and achieve climate neutrality and reduce its resource consumption by 2040, Merck says. The company will report annually on the current implementation status of the strategy.
We remind that Russia's output of chemical products rose in September 2020 by 6.7% year on year. At the same time, production of basic chemicals increased by 6.1% year on year in the first nine months of 2020, according to Rosstat's data. According to the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation, polymers in primary form accounted for the greatest increase in the January-September output. Last month's production of primary polymers decreased to 852,000 tonnes from 888,000 tonnes in August due to shutdowns in Tomsk, Ufa and Kazan. Overall output of polymers in primary form totalled 7,480,000 tonnes over the stated period, up by 16.4% year on year.
Headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck opened an OLED application center in Pyeongtaek, Korea, in 2015. Merck Korea now has 11 operation sites and some 1,200 employees and operates businesses in functional materials, health care and life sciences. The functional materials business encompasses advance materials for information technology products such as displays and semiconductors. It also includes cosmetics and paints for automobiles.
Its health care business involves pharmaceutical and medical devices for treatments of cancer, multiple sclerosis and infertility. The life sciences business deals in an extensive portfolio of over 300,000 products used for protein research, cell biology, antibodies, water purification and microbiome tests.