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China Medical glass for vaccine containers
China Medical glass for vaccine containers. With the launch of the new coronavirus vaccination work, topics such as the production capacity of vaccine glass bottles have attracted attention. The borosilicate glass used to produce vaccine glass bottles is facing a shortage of supply.
How about the manufacturing capacity of China National Pharmaceutical Glass? Xinhua News Agency reporters interviewed relevant organizations, industry associations and manufacturing companies.
01 The important material behind the vaccine bottle
The quality of medicines is inseparable from packaging materials that are in direct contact with medicines. In order to avoid the interaction between the container and the vaccine, the selection of the vaccine bottle material is very knowledgeable. Medium borosilicate glass, the important material behind this vaccine bottle, has gradually entered people’s field of vision.
Medium borosilicate glass bottle (photo provided by manufacturer)
“The stronger the water resistance of the bottle body and the more stable the performance, the more reliable the quality of the vaccine in the bottle.” said Li Jian, senior vice president of the investment department of SDIC Chuanghe Fund. The borosilicate glass is resistant to acid and alkali corrosion. It has strong resistance to cold and heat shock and stable chemical properties. It is the mainstream vaccine bottle material on the market.
Hu Wenyan, executive vice president of the China Biochemical and Pharmaceutical Industry Association, said that China’s vaccine vials are roughly divided into two types: vials and prefilled. Direct injection, both use medium borosilicate glass.
The manufacturing process of medium borosilicate glass is not simple. It not only faces problems such as difficulty in forming, but also the drawing link of the control process has once become a manufacturing difficulty.
But difficulty does not mean that it cannot be done.
The reporter learned that from the early soda-lime glass, low borosilicate glass to medium borosilicate glass, China’s pharmaceutical glass industry is continuously upgrading, and the technology of medium borosilicate glass continues to mature. Some Chinese companies have separately overcome the two processes of molding and control, and some have achieved controllable industrial links.
02 China’s manufacturing road of borosilicate glass
“There are not many companies producing borosilicate glass in the world, but Chinese companies are among them.” Hu Wenyan said, compared with established pharmaceutical glass companies such as Schott and Corning, Chinese companies have entered relatively late, but they also Related technologies.
The reporter learned that the manufacturing process of medium borosilicate glass is mainly divided into molding and control. The former is usually formed by molding the molten glass at one time through a mold, and the bottle is relatively thicker than the control process; the tube drawing link in the control process requires the liquid glass to be drawn into a slender tube, which is particularly difficult. At present, there are not many companies in the world who master tube drawing technology. .
The enterprise is engaged in the production of borosilicate glass in the drawing process. (Photo courtesy of the manufacturer)
CNBM Kaisheng Junheng adopted all-oxygen electric boosting technology, and the No. 2 kiln realized stable mass production; Shandong Pharmaceutical Glass made a breakthrough in the molding process; Chongqing Zhengchuan built a borosilicate glass kiln… Many Chinese companies developed Lizhong made borosilicate glass and achieved certain results.
Wang Huanyi, chairman of Hebei Cangzhou Four-Star Glass, chose the “cold-top all-electric fusion technology”. In order to break through this technology, he almost got into the whole family.
In 2005, faced with successive price increases of imported glass and delayed delivery, Wang Huan made up his mind to develop it himself. Four-star glass has gone through countless cycles of building kilns, feeding materials, and ignition. “At one time, there was no money to pay for electricity.” In the end, companies overcome difficulties. Currently, Four Star Glass has 4 medicinal borosilicate glass tube furnaces and 12 drawing production lines.
Many Chinese companies continue to explore the field of borosilicate glass and penetrate the entire industry chain.
Currently, there are 23 borosilicate-related enterprises in China that include “medium borosilicate and neutral borosilicate” in their business scope and whose status is active, existing, moving in, or moving out. About half of them were established within 3 years. There are more than 2500 enterprises whose business scope includes “pharmaceutical packaging materials and containers, special equipment for glass production, and glass packaging containers”, and their status is active, surviving, moving in or moving out.
In addition, valuing the Chinese market, veteran pharmaceutical glass companies have successively established factories in China, becoming a link in China’s industrial chain. For example, SCHOTT Glass Tube is building a borosilicate glass tube plant in Zhejiang Province. It is expected that in the first half of 2021, it will be able to provide samples from the plant for local Chinese customers for compliance certification and gradually realize local supply. The Chinese manufacturing road of borosilicate glass is getting wider and wider.
03 The industry still needs to persevere
Borosilicate glass can be made in China, but the path of Chinese companies has to go more and more solid and wider. Strengthening the industry requires concerted efforts and perseverance.
The enterprise is engaged in the manufacture of borosilicate glass. (Photo courtesy of the manufacturer)
The market is one of the key links.
“Domestic products come out late, and there is a process for brand recognition.” Hu Wenyan said that the particularity of medicines also makes the replacement packaging process more complicated. For example, a large number of complex tests are required, which requires a process.
Li Jian believes that, on the one hand, the upgrading of drug quality standards, on the other hand, the increasing demand for vaccines and the launch of a series of new drugs will inevitably promote the upgrading of pharmaceutical packaging materials; policies such as consistency evaluation will also promote the integration of Chinese pharmaceutical packaging with international standards. The market opened up will bring opportunities for Chinese companies.
At the same time as the market, it is also crucial to strengthen R&D and innovation, intensify efforts to improve product quality, and continuously improve the industrial chain and supply chain.
“On the basis of realizing the production of borosilicate glass, from 2017 to May 2020, we will continue to carry out key core technology transformations.” said Wang Xiaoxuan, general manager of CNBM Kaisheng Junheng Co., Ltd., and 28 technologies were changed to No. 2 furnace Stable mass production and high-standard independent manufacturing have laid the foundation. Currently, Kaisheng Junheng has signed contracts to build production bases in Qingdao, Chongqing, Nanchang, Zhenjiang and other places.
The industry believes that medium borosilicate glass requires a large investment and high precision requirements. To manufacture a high-quality glass tube requires not only excellent material technology, but also sophisticated production equipment, quality control system, etc., which is a comprehensive enterprise Manufacturing capacity considerations. Enterprises must have patience, perseverance, and perseverance to make breakthroughs in key areas.
Experts believe that the gradual replacement of low borosilicate glass by medium borosilicate glass is a general trend, and Chinese enterprises will usher in opportunities. Continuous R&D and innovation, continuous improvement of process rigor, etc., China’s borosilicate glass industry will accelerate its progress towards high quality
(source:internet, reference only)