Growing demand for sterile medical devices: BGS stable despite difficult market environment

Radiation sterilization for medical devices, implants and pharmaceutical primary packaging is increasingly in demand at BGS Beta-Gamma-Service, also as a result of population growth, and is generating positive figures in this division. By contrast, the stagnation in the construction industry is having a negative impact on the radiation crosslinking division. The company therefore remained stable in the 2023 financial year despite the difficult market environment.

The rising demand for radiation-sterilized medical devices, implants and pharmaceutical primary packaging materials and raw materials had a positive impact on BGS’s business performance with an increase in the low single-digit percentage range. “The medical technology sector is growing, but is also under increasing pressure. An ageing society with increased demand for sterile products and packaging is faced with high costs, including for the implementation of the EU Medical Device Regulation (MDR), which is having a negative impact on investments in Germany and research expenditure,” says Dr. Andreas Ostrowicki, Managing Director of BGS Beta-Gamma-Service.

Structural problems weigh on Germany as a business location

High energy costs and an unchecked increase in bureaucratic regulations weighed on Germany as a business location in 2023. Supply problems with raw materials and possible long-term effects, particularly for plastics and metals, are also having a negative impact. BGS is concerned about business relocations abroad, such as those announced by the chemical industry, and their consequences for the manufacturing industries. “In Germany, the problems of bureaucracy and regulation, energy and logistics costs and the supply of raw materials have been a growing concern for some time. Last year’s interest rate developments had an additional negative impact in this combination,” explains Ostrowicki. “For some manufacturers of medical devices with higher cost pressure, such as single-use devices or products for wound care, a point seems to have been reached where, in many cases, a decision has already been made against Germany as a location for new investments.”

New production space at the Wiehl site

Despite rising energy costs, BGS Beta-Gamma-Service remains committed to its business activities in Germany and is currently making a seven-figure investment in new production space at its founding location in Wiehl, North Rhine-Westphalia.

The most beautiful Christmas card comes from Wiehl: Primary school pupils design Christmas post for BGS

For the second-graders of the Wiehl-Marienhagen Primary School Association (GVB), it is a living tradition: for 16 years, they have been painting the annual Christmas card for BGS as part of a fundraising campaign. The most beautiful Christmas picture was chosen this week at the GVB’s Advent carol singing. Managing Director Dr. Andreas Ostrowicki handed over a donation cheque for 1,500 euros to Headmaster Kai Stäpeler.

“Personal contact and a close partnership with our customers, but also with our immediate region, is very important to us. We are therefore delighted every year with the many creative Christmas pictures from the second classes of the Wiehl-Marienhagen primary school. The best picture traditionally adorns our Christmas card, which we send to our customers and partners internationally,” explains Ostrowicki.

Choosing the best three pictures was not easy this year either. Ronja (7), Anna (7) and David (8) from classes 2a and 2c were lucky and received book vouchers. Their pictures were the most popular of the 72 submitted.

The annual fundraising campaign has been organized jointly by BGS Beta-Gamma-Service and GVB Wiehl-Marienhagen since 2008. This year, head teacher Kai Stäpeler plans to use the donation for the sports hall and new play equipment.

BGS establishes staff position for technology management and reassigns head of application development

BGS has created a staff position for strategic technology management as of 1 July. Dr. Dirk Fischer, PhD chemist and longstanding head of application development at BGS, will take over the management. Marie-Bernadette Watolla will take over as Head of Application Development. After working at B.Braun, one of the leading companies in medical technology, the graduate materials scientist comes back to BGS.

“With the new staff position, we are successfully positioning our service for the challenges of the coming years. Because the key to the development of new technological solutions and the early recognition of industry trends lies in a systematically pursued technology management. In doing so, we will continue to cooperate closely with partners from science and industry,” emphasizes Dr. Dirk Fischer on assuming his new position. Ongoing projects, including the recycling of radiation-crosslinked polyamides, the crosslinkability of biopolymers or alternatives for determining the degree of crosslinking, will thus be transferred to the area of responsibility of the new staff position.

“In order to drive innovation, new technologies must be recognized, evaluated and implemented at an early stage. With the new staff position, we are increasingly tackling technology development, not only in the future-oriented sectors of renewable energies or e-mobility,” explains BGS Managing Director Dr Andreas Ostrowicki. “We are very pleased to have won Dr Fischer as a highly competent and valued colleague for the new task. With more than 25 years of experience in R&D, industrial engineering and technology and innovation management, Dr Fischer brings extensive knowledge to establish and bring to life a systematic technology management process at BGS.”

Marie-Bernadette Watolla takes over as Head of Application Development
Marie-Bernadette Watolla has taken over as Head of Application Development. In future, she will have overall responsibility for the department’s tasks, which include technical feasibility tests and product qualifications in the fields of radiation crosslinking and radiation sterilization. Watolla is thus the new person responsible for the technical implementation, optimization and adaptation of customer-specific requirements for production. “For her new role, Marie-Bernadette Watolla brings years of experience as Deputy Head and Team Leader Sterilization in our Application Development department, as well as valuable practice as Program Manager Sterilization at B.Braun. We are delighted to have won her back as a valued former colleague,” says Dr Andreas Ostrowicki.

Introduction of Cargoclix at the Wiehl site

From 12 June 2023, BGS will implement the online-based time slot planning system Cargoclix for the delivery and collection of goods at the Wiehl site. This was preceded by a one-year usage phase at the Saal site.

Oliver Borsch, the operations manager of the Wiehl site, explains: “The time slot management of Cargoclix has convinced us in the long term at the Saal site, so that a roll-out to the Wiehl site can now be implemented.”

All parties involved benefit from improved plannability of loading and unloading volumes, increased loading performance and transparency regarding free capacities. This is a decisive advantage for the forwarders and also an economic aspect for customers who usually have to pay for waiting times. Due to the introduction of the new system, waiting times for freight forwarders can be reduced by several hours in the future.

BGS customers of the Wiehl location will have the possibility to reserve appointments for deliveries and collections from 12 June onwards. It should be noted that freight forwarders who have not booked a time slot will have to wait for available time slots and should therefore plan for longer waiting times. Booked appointments will be given priority.

Before booking an appointment, it is necessary to set up an account, which only takes a few minutes and is explained in detail by the provider.

One of the best: two awards for BGS trainee

Outstanding performance: 522 trainees out of a total of 10354 examination participants in around 150 different professions completed their training with a “very good” in the 2022 final examinations of the Cologne Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The Cologne Chamber of Industry and Commerce celebrated this special achievement at the end of October together with the top trainees, their training companies, vocational schools and other guests. Also present at the award ceremony was our trainee Marko Kürti, who completed his training as a machine and plant operator in the field of plastics and metal with excellent results. Due to the very good graduation of our apprentice, BGS is at the same time one of the training companies that were honored for outstanding achievements in vocational training.




A lot of praise for Marko Kürti and three other year’s best there was then again last Tuesday, 13.12.2022 from the IHK Oberberg and the Wiehl mayor Ulrich Stücker. In the context of the meeting of the city council he presented certificates and gifts and congratulated warmly on the successful examinations. Ulrich Stücker wished all successful examinees continued success and joy for their professional and personal life. For more information, visit (text in German)




Marko Kürti with Stefan Semmel, Head of Processes and Technology at BGS ©IHK Köln / Schmidt-Dominé

Mayor Ulrich Stücker honoring the best apprentices ©Christian Melzer

Professional article in the magazine ATZetxra: Radiation crosslinking refines plastics in serial production

Lightweight materials can be a central component in climate-neutral production. Plastics are often effective in this context. However, depending on the application, they have to stand up to high temperatures and extreme conditions. Radiation crosslinking of thermoplastics offers new potential for lightweight construction as conventional plastics can also be qualified for demanding tasks with this refining process.

You can download the complete article here as a PDF file.

(ATZextra 02/2020, Authors Dr. Dirk Fischer und Dipl.-Ing. Sebastian Schmitz)