Exclusive white papers, PDFs and videos for all presentation topics now available free of charge
Wiehl, 07 October 2021 – With the BGS Irradiation Service Days (ISD), BGS Beta-Gamma-Service successfully conducted its first virtual trade fair on 29 /30 September 2021 on the topics of radiation sterilization and radiation crosslinking.With more than 350 participants, experts from business, research and associations analysed current trends and topics in presentations, discussion groups and guided virtual tours revolving around the application of beta and gamma rays for the sterilization of products in medicine technology and biotechnology and also for the crosslinking of plastics. Exclusive white papers, PDFs and videos on all presentation topics may be called up free of charge until September 2022 after registering on our virtual trade fair platform at https://bgs-isd.expo-ip.com/.
“Transfer of knowledge and the personal exchange with customers and technical experts in research facilities and associations mean a great deal to us. Following the motto, “energy that changes everything”, we actively raise awareness for the topics of radiation sterilization and radiation crosslinking. Due to the pandemic and the associated contact restrictions as well as cancelled trade fairs, this concept of services was relegated to the backseat in the past months. We are all the more pleased to have created an innovative and sustainable format with the Irradiation Service Days in the context of which we can combine live conferences and a virtual trade fair and make them accessible to a large group of interested people independent of the location,” explains Managing Director of BGS Dr. Andreas Ostrowicki.
For one year: Material for downloading free of charge As of today, video recordings of all presentations during the two-day event are available in the virtual trade fair spaces. In addition, a number of exclusive white papers and complementary material can be downloaded free of charge. After registering at https://bgs-isd.expo-ip.com/, those who are interested will find further material as well as the recordings of the live conferences.
Wiehl, 02 September 2021 – BGS Beta-Gamma-Service is presenting a virtual trade fair this year for the first time. BGS Irradiation Service Days (ISD) will take place on 29 and 30 September and focus on radiation sterilization and radiation crosslinking. With six virtual fair spaces and live conferences and discussions, the interactive fair offers guided tours and possibilities for a personal exchange with experts. The topics on 29.09. are aimed at a trade audience from the medical technology and biotechnology sectors, and on 30.09. at a trade audience from the automotive, mechanical engineering, cable and electrical industries. Participation in the BGS ISD is free of charge. Registration is now possible via the event website at https://en.bgs.eu/isd21/.
The BGS ISD is a two-day virtual event over the course of which more than 15 experts from business, industry, research and associations will be presenting themes from the world of radiation sterilization and radiation crosslinking. The live presentations, interviews and discussion groups conducted in German and partly in English will be complemented by a virtual trade fair where visitors can find further information and numerous download materials in virtual spaces, and arrange talks with experts.
Focus on radiation sterilization on 29 September
On 29 September, radiation sterilization will be the focus in the afternoon. Current themes will be introduced and range from comparisons between different sterilization methods, the five factors for a successful validation, optimisation possibilities of logistics processes right up to best-practice examples. “In medical diagnostics and the safe application of medical devices, sterility is absolutely essential. A theoretical probability of less than one in one million that a viable microorganism is present: this is how the standard DIN EN 556 defines the sterile condition of a medical device. At the BGS ISD, we will use live presentations, digital descriptions and knowledge transfer to show how sterilization processes can be carried out successfully and efficiently,” explains Managing Director of BGS Dr. Andreas Ostrowick. In addition to contributions from BGS, the BGS ISD also present numerous external lectures, for example from the International Irradiation Association, AERIAL, GfPS Gesellschaft für Produktionshygiene und Sterilitätssicherung mbH or Medical Mountains. Experts will discuss, among other things, methods and the market, the future of cobalt-60 supply and alternatives to gamma irradiation, as well as the typical workflow of irradiation processes.
Focus on radiation crosslinking on 30 September
In the morning on 30 September, plastics technology and radiation crosslinking will be the main focus: As the largest provider of industrial irradiation services in Germany, BGS will be offering presentations and discussions at the virtual fair on the use of radiation crosslinking and its possibilities, for example, in the area of e-mobility. Experts will demonstrate in which applications crosslinked thermoplastics can replace high-performance plastics. “E-mobility, cable technology and digitalisation continually pose new challenges for the materials used, in particular, with regard to weight, temperature resistance and duration. The properties of commodity plastics and technical plastics can be substantially improved to meet the increasing demands. At the BGS ISD, we will demonstrate in many ways the potential that radiation crosslinking offers for corresponding applications,” says Ostrowicki. Renowned experts such as Prof. Martin Bonnet, Professor of Materials Engineering and Plastics at the Technical University of Cologne, Dipl. Ing. Uwe Stenglin from Rotfeld Consulting or Prof. Ulrich Bruhnke, CEO TechMAG AG, will provide insights into the future of polymer materials, address the challenges of e-mobility for components and materials and discuss the opportunities of radiation crosslinking for additive manufacturing.
Trade fair highlights
Additionally, a guided virtual tour of the production and logistics halls at BGS’s headquarters in Wiehl will form the highlight at the trade show. Participants can view the four electron accelerators as well as the 5 MCi strong cobalt-60 gamma facility, and will be able to ask questions live.
Wiehl, 29 July 2021 – BGS, a specialised provider in the area of radiation sterilization and crosslinking, is turning 40: Founded by Dr. Lothar Wiesner in 1981 in Wiehl and a current headcount of more than 190 employees across three locations in Germany, BGS today has co-developed established processes and is a leading service provider in the area of industrial applications of beta and gamma rays.
Starting out with seven employees and two irradiation facilities in Wiehl, the privately owned company established itself as a pioneer in the industry in the 1980s. However, the beginnings were difficult and required perseverance. With the building of its first Cobalt-60 gamma irradiation facility, BGS succeeded in raising more awareness for the technology and in offering radiation sterilization as a service on a large scale. From then on, there has been a growing interest and demand. In particular, the sterilization of medical devices and primary packaging material for food and pharmaceuticals has been in demand. As a specialised supplier in the area of plastics refinement through radiation crosslinking, BGS has also developed over the years into an important service provider for the automotive and mechanical engineering industries as well as for the construction sector. With its expansion to include the locations Bruchsal in 1986 and Saal an der Donau in 2000, the company also established itself in southern Germany. Dr. Andreas Ostrowicki has been Managing Director of BGS since 2008. Ostrowicki, who has a doctorate in chemistry, continues to modernise the company, introducing industrial processes and standards, making BGS an important service provider for customers from 28 countries to date. In 2021 for the third time consecutively, BGS received the TOP 100 Award for its innovative strength and innovation successes, including in the areas of radiation crosslinking, 3D printing, lightweight construction and recycling.
Forty years after its founding, BGS continues to look into the future optimistically. “Future technologies such as lightweight construction require innovative ideas and materials. Through the upgrading of standard polymers, higher resource efficiency is achieved and crosslinked plastics can replace expensive high-performance plastics or heavy metals in certain applications. This not only holds high potential for the automotive industry. In addition, radiation sterilization has proven to be an indispensable technology, particularly in the past year, and is absolutely essential for health protection. Without sterile materials for the biopharmaceutical industry and research, we would not have a vaccine against Covid-19 today,” explains Managing Director Ostrowicki. To meet the high demand, BGS is also investing in the expansion of its capacities this year and is researching new applications for ionising rays with partners from industry and science.
Virtual fair in September In its anniversary year, the company is hosting the BGS Irradiation Service Days 2021, a virtual fair revolving around the themes radiation sterilization and radiation crosslinking. On 29 und 30 September, experts and users from the industry, the field of research and associations can exchange views on current issues at the fair. Amongst other things, the live presentations in the area of sterilization explain what you require to carry out successful sterilization processes and how to establish efficient back-up solutions to ensure security of supply. In the area of crosslinking, the live programme will elaborate on developing knowledge in the application areas, and discuss the potentials of radiation crosslinking and queries concerning materials, also in connection with additive manufacturing. Participation in the event is free of charge; further information will soon be available on the company’s website.
With Sarah Haufe, BGS has a new manager for quality assurance since mid-April. The engineer and trained quality auditor comes from Biovegan GmbH, where she was most recently responsible for quality management and the areas of production and storage as a member of the management board. At BGS, Sarah Haufe is in charge of quality assurance in the business areas of radiation sterilization and radiation crosslinking.
As head of quality assurance at BGS, Sarah Haufe works closely with all business divisions and is responsible for carrying out and monitoring external and internal quality management audits. She heads the department of quality management at the different locations and is responsible for all employees from the test laboratories, quality assurance and management departments at the company’s headquarters in Wiehl, as well as the sites in Bruchsal and Saal an der Donau.
“We are pleased to have been able to recruit Sarah Haufe, an experienced leader and quality manager,” said Managing Director of BGS, Dr. Andreas Ostrowicki. “We shall continue to develop the stringent quality system at BGS together with Ms. Haufe with respect to regulatory requirements and standards as well as the needs of our customers.”
“The creative opportunities and challenges at BGS as a strongly growing company are very appealing to me. As head of quality assurance, I am looking forward to being part of this development and continuously optimising the existing business processes in direct cooperation with the management,” says Sarah Haufe.
Quality assurance and certifications at BGS
BGS has a stringent and sophisticated quality system that is being consistently enhanced. The quality management system of our company is certified pursuant to the standards ISO 9001, DIN EN ISO 13485 and EN ISO 11137. In addition, BGS is registered with the FDA and has the JAPAN PAL certificate for all three locations, which is a prerequisite for the approval of medical devices in Japan.
BGS continues to expand: Following around ten months of construction, we have now taken a new logistics hall into operation at the Bruchsal location and with this addition, more than doubled the previous space.
The market for in-vitro diagnostics, laboratory supplies and medical devices is growing and for several years now, it has ensured a steadily rising demand for sterilization capacities. In addition to the gamma irradiation facility at the headquarters in Wiehl (North Rhine-Westphalia), BGS has been operating a new, ultra-modern plant at the location in Bruchsal since 2018 to manage these growing capacities. Its activity has increased continuously since then. “Of course, the increased output requires more logistics space, which led us to start the planning of a new storage hall on the existing premises of the company grounds already at the end of 2019,” explains Managing Director Dr. Andreas Ostrowicki. The start of construction of the new building in April 2020 was preceded by extensive demolition works of the old building as well as earthworks.
Further increase in expendable medical items during the corona pandemic
“Since the beginning of the corona pandemic, the need for laboratory consumables and primary packaging material for the pharmaceutical industry has risen significantly once again, and correspondingly, the need for sterilization capacities,” continues Andreas Ostrowicki. “Similarly, the increased demand for single-use products required for the production of corona vaccines is clearly evident. Through the construction of the new hall, we have created urgently needed storage space to cater to the further expansion of these capacities. Furthermore, the expansion allows an even more efficient handling of the flow of goods, while ensuring that regulatory requirements are fulfilled, for example, the separation of non-irradiated and irradiated products.”
Wiehl, 23 March 2021 – BGS Beta-Gamma-Service GmbH & Co. KG continues its expansion: In particular, the pandemic-related rise in demand for sterilization capacities for biotechnological products and pharmaceutical primary packaging material ensured sound revenue increases. Only last year in 2020 did BGS invest eleven million euros in the expansion of its facilities and locations. This year sees further investments in the mid-seven-digit range.
Health protection through sterile products: With the sterilization, for example, of medical disposables such as catheters or laboratory consumables, BGS provides a systemically relevant service not only in the pandemic. “Sterilization with rays is generally an indispensable method of producing sterile products for health care. In the past year, we were also able to record a significant surge in demand for biotechnology products, consumables for laboratories and primary packaging materials for the pharmaceutical industry,” explains Managing Director of BGS, Dr. Andreas Ostrowicki.
In addition, the stable development in the construction industry resulted in a slight increase of sales in the other business division, namely radiation crosslinking of plastics: “With the help of radiation crosslinking of tube and rod products to name a couple of examples, we ensure the usage properties of systems implemented in new buildings or renovation projects,” declares Ostrowicki. The high degree of material stability of crosslinked plastics is especially relevant for lightweight construction in the field of electromobility. BGS expects an increasing demand this year for radiation crosslinked components in the automotive industry.
Investments in expansion of capacities
In order to cater to the increased demand especially in the area of sterilization, BGS invested in the expansion of its capacities last year. “Our goal is to ensure long-term supply for our customers in the future. With this in mind, we have invested approximately eleven million euros in the expansion of our facilities and locations,” explains Managing Director Ostrowicki.
For the third time in succession, BGS has secured its position among the best in the TOP 100 innovation challenge. In the scientific selection procedure, our company was able to convince the jury in the size class B (51 – 200 employees), especially in the categories “Innovation-friendly senior management” and “Outward looking/Open innovation”. Among other things, it was our high degree of flexibility in dealing with the corona crisis in the business segment radiation sterilization that was decisive; in the business segment of radiation crosslinking, we were able to score particularly well with our numerous development projects in the areas of 3D printing, lightweight construction and recycling.
In the independent selection procedure, the innovation researchers based their choice on 120 assessment criteria from five categories. “Repeat winners” must have demonstrably improved in the process. “We at BGS are expanding and we are pleased that our willingness to invest in the expansion at our locations as well as our continuous commitment to digital advancement were among the decisive factors taken into account in the assessment,” commented BGS Managing Director Dr. Andreas Ostrowicki on the award.
Business segment radiation sterilization: High degree of flexibility in the corona pandemic
Due to the current situation, this round also featured a special section examining the entrepreneurial response to the corona crisis. “Our service, radiation sterilization, plays a major role in modern health care. Our technology is indispensable in pandemic times since it is an important building block in the production of vaccines – for example, we sterilize the disposable bioreactors in which vaccines against Covid-19 are produced. In this respect, we swiftly created capacities and switched production so that corresponding products could be treated with priority,” Ostrowicki continues.
The corona crisis, in particular, has demanded special flexibility and solutions for existing processes from the medium-sized company, in part due to massive entry and exit restrictions. “When we recharged the sources for our gamma facilities in Wiehl and Bruchsal in March and October 2020, we were not able to fall back on our partners abroad,” explains Ostrowicki. Following intensive negotiations, we were able to win over a domestic partner and successfully solve the issue with the experts and our own employees.”
Business segment radiation crosslinking: Numerous development projects in progress
In the radiation crosslinking business segment, BGS was able to convince decisively with its ongoing research projects, above all in the area of 3D printing. For example, in a project with partners, BGS succeeded for the first time in using radiation crosslinking for 3D-printed plastic components, thus significantly improving the range of material properties.
In the future as well, it will be important to continue exploring the potential of radiation crosslinking. “Whether it involves weight reduction and lightweight construction, dealing with strong electrical currents, batteries or new production processes: The materials used are exposed to high temperatures and have to withstand extreme conditions. Radiation crosslinking can provide solutions for a wide range of applications now and in the future,” explains Ostrowicki. Sustainability is also on the agenda of the TOP 100 innovator. In this respect, BGS collaborates with the Technical University of Berlin, the University of Aalen and the partner nylon polymers on a process for the mechanical recycling of radiation crosslinked thermoplastics; the first results are expected in the course of this year.
About the TOP 100 competition
Since 1993, compamedia GmbH has awarded the TOP 100 seal of approval to small and medium-sized enterprises for outstanding innovative strength and above-average innovation achievements. Professor Dr. Nikolaus Franke has been scientific director since 2002. Dr. Franke is the founder and director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. With 25 research awards and over 200 publications, he is one of the leading innovation researchers in the world. Mentor of TOP 100 is the science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar. Project partners are the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research and the German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (BVMW). Two business magazines, “manager magazine” and “impulse”, support the company comparison as media partners. More information and registration at www.top100.de.
According to the DIN EN 556-1 standard, a medical product is claimed sterile if the theoretical probability of finding a viable reproducible germon the product is less than 1:1,000,000. In order to achieve this state, products have to undergo a subsequent sterilization process. Different procedures and technologies are available to this end. Among the most common is sterilization using beta or electron and gamma rays, since this process offers a number of advantages. X-ray sterilization is in the early stages of development. In addition, chemical processes can be used for sterilizing, for example, exposure to ethylene oxide (EO or EtO) or to heat.
What are the similarities and differences between electron and gamma rays? What are the prerequisites for the use of radiation sterilisation and what are the main advantages of the procedure?
You can download the complete article here as a PDF file.
When it comes to social media communications, BGS is taking a new direction, and to this end, it is relying on the expertise of the Hamburg agency, Bamboo Consulting. Following a comprehensive agency screening process, the agency that specialises in B2B communications delivered a convincing tailor-made communications strategy for the social media channels of BGS.
“We have found a true expert in Bamboo Consulting for the communication of products and services requiring explanation in business-to business,” explained Dr. Andreas Ostrowicki, Managing Director of BGS. “The team has impressed us with its very sound knowledge and experience in the international technology sector and has presented a convincing social media concept. We are confident that with this, we shall strengthen our position in the market for irradiation services, while also optimally promoting the topics of our two business segments, namely radiation sterilization and radiation crosslinking.”
As of now, Bamboo Consulting will assume responsibility for the entire social media communications of BGS at European level – ranging from strategy development over continuous consulting and ongoing training to content development and marketing, as well as performance measurement.
Many medical devices need to be sterilized before they are launched on the market or allowed to be used on patients. One possible procedure here is sterilization with beta or gamma rays. How does this technology function exactly? Which are the differences between the two types of irradiation, and how long does it take to sterilize devices?
In order to answer these questions, a camera team from COMPAMED.de visited BGS headquarters in Wiehl and interviewed our expert on radiation sterilization, Dipl.-Ing. Annett Heilmann. More information in the short video report “Radiation sterilization: Sterile medical devices quick and safe”.