Siemens Supports BioNTech Vaccine Production in Marburg

Siemens helped the vaccine supplier convert new Marburg facility for vaccine production, providing automation solutions and enabling paperless documentation of production.


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The BioNTech SE biotechnology company quickly converted an existing facility for the production of the Covid-19 vaccine with assistance from Siemens
Photo Credit: BioNTech SE

BioNTech SE has converted an existing facility in Marburg, Germany, for the production of the Covid-19 vaccine with assistance from Siemens. The production plant has been producing the active substance since February 2021 and the vaccine BNT162b2 (also known as COMIRNATY) since the end of March 2021.

BioNTech acquired the facility in the fall of 2020. Initially, the company projected a timeline of one year to convert the facility for production of the mRNA vaccine, but Siemens and the on-site experts enabled conversion in five months. 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 production enabled conversion to paperless documentation of production, which can immediately fulfill all documentation requirements. 

Siemens reports that the entire process flow is controlled using its products: The Opcenter Execution Pharma MES is used to orchestrate subsystems and processes and to analyze their quality. Siemens weighing systems have automated weighing, providing precise measuring to meet quality standards. All systems were modified for automation using the Simatic PCS 7 process control system, which controls and regulates the system processes. Other products used include network technology, WLAN access points, communication technology and the TIA Portal engineering framework. Siemens and BioNTech enjoy a long tradition of partnership collaboration and have intensified their cooperation for Covid-19 vaccine production.