Greene Tweed Helps Pfizer Ramp Up COVID-19 Vaccine Production

by:Greene Tweed

Greene Tweed Chemraz® Employees Are Working Overtime – and Honored to Help

In her role as Director of Industrial Operations and Life Sciences Sales, Beth Sassano has been instrumental in developing relationships within pharmaceutical manufacturing for Greene Tweed to service this market with high-performance seals, thermoplastics, and composites – and the unparalleled ability to custom design sealing solutions for these harsh chemical, temperature, and wear environments. This includes becoming a valuable supplier to pharmaceutical giant and leading COVID vaccine manufacturer, Pfizer – providing Greene Tweed’s Chemraz® brand FFKM O-rings for Pfizer’s pharmaceutical manufacturing operations.

Over the last several years, Greene Tweed has grown within the Life Sciences market providing custom design capabilities and commitment to quality and innovation for the most challenging applications particularly in pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing.

Fast forward to December 2020, and Pfizer is mounting an unprecedented effort to ramp up production to meet orders for millions of their COVID vaccine doses this year – and Pfizer is relying on Greene Tweed to help. “I received a phone call directly from the manufacturing engineer at Pfizer’s Kalamazoo plant during the Christmas holiday asking Greene Tweed to help them scale up quickly to meet the demand,” said Sassano. “I turned to Greene Tweed’s Territory Manager for Pfizer, Ray Daugherty to take the ball and work with our teams to deliver.”

“On Christmas Eve, I was on the phone with Greene Tweed’s Senior Sales Support Lynn Granite and Butch Nyce working to be sure we could commit to Pfizer on their tight delivery requirements,” said Daugherty. “Pfizer has been working hard to scale a new process to commercial capacity on tight timelines."

Pfizer is relying on Greene Tweed to help ramp up production quickly!

To produce millions of doses, Pfizer is bringing together supply chains in a matter of months—a process that usually takes years. This supply chain includes Greene Tweed’s Chemraz® SD625 Seals for Chromatography Columns. This equipment is used in the vaccine production process.

Pfizer’s production facilities around the world are now mobilized to make vaccine ingredients, combine them into finished products and fill them into vials. “Sales Operations Manager, Jenna Fitz, was instrumental in communicating how Greene Tweed would design the seals and the materials we would recommend against the multiple solvents and temperatures that the process would see,” said Daugherty. “Jenna’s efforts are a perfect example of how Greene Tweed collaborates with customers to solve problems and deliver custom design capabilities.”

“Greene Tweed employees can be proud to know that their hard work and dedication to quality and innovation will play a major part in helping Pfizer deliver these life-saving vaccines to the world,” said Greene Tweed’s Chemraz value stream manager in their Selma, Texas operations, Leroy Brandon. “In Chemraz, we are honored to be part of this effort.”

“Greene Tweed employees can be proud to know that their hard work and dedication to quality and innovation will play a major part in helping Pfizer to deliver these life-saving vaccines around the world.”

Michael Flores, Greene Tweed production planner in Selma says, “It is extremely motivating to work on a project like this, and we’re working round the clock to supply our Chemraz seals to Pfizer. We’re happy to help Pfizer provide these vaccines to people around the world – as soon as possible."

Chemraz® Enterprise Value Stream Manager, Carolina Rodriguez said, “This is an example of Greene Tweed innovation at its best. Operations and commercial teams working cross-functionally across multiple sites to manufacture solutions for our customers. It takes all of us to make great things happen!”

“It takes all of us to make great things happen!”

Pfizer’s Kalamazoo, Michigan facility is the largest manufacturing site in the Pfizer network. This 1,300-acre facility manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), drug products (DP) and medical devices. It now manufactures COVID vaccines. Pfizer will ship their COVID-19 vaccines around the world. The company has added workers and night shifts, additional manufacturing production lines, and new equipment to keep up with demand.

COVID-19 vaccines rely on a new messenger mRNA technology, named after the molecular couriers that deliver genetic instructions to a patient’s immune system to fight Covid-19. That makes industrialization easier than for traditional vaccines, pharmaceutical experts say, because manufacturers don’t have to work with live pathogens.