Rompa/ITB Group produces corona tests for a major medical multinational
22 October 2020
In record time, Rompa/ITB Group has prepared its production site in the Netherlands for the ramped-up production of COVID-19 tests for a major medical organisation. The site in Boxtel will be producing medical trays used for the production of millions of corona tests. This means our small country can play a major role on the global stage when it comes to testing for COVID-19. In recent weeks, the impossible has been made possible at both Rompa/ITB Group and the final producer.
This project attracted the attention of many, including the Dutch royal family. King Willem-Alexander.
His Majesty the King opens the final producer’s new production and assembly site
King Willem-Alexander opens the new production site in Winschoten and is given a tour to see for himself how the testing kits are made. Patrick Gerard, CEO of Rompa Group, had the honour of being present for this royal visit. Click the link to see more of the king’s visit.
Meeting the client’s needs quickly
To curb the spread of the coronavirus, it is incredibly important that anyone with symptoms can get tested. That shows why the tests are so important for public health and the fight against the coronavirus. At the moment, there is a global shortage of tests. By working together, we hope to quickly eliminate that shortage.
Rompa/ITB began its production of corona tests in September of 2020. At the time, the project ran with only one injection-moulding machine.Given the high demand for COVID-19 tests, multiple additional moulds have already been built to allow for more and faster production. Usually, building and implementing a new mould takes around six months. This time, Rompa/ITB managed to get it done in just two months – all without affecting its normal activities. That is a great example of teamwork!
Extra job opportunities during difficult times
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many talented and hard-working people have lost their jobs. Rompa/ITB has already hired fifteen new employees for this project and it looks like there will be more new additions to the company in the future.
How does the test work?
The test consists of two parts. The first part is the cotton swab that is used to take a DNA/RNA sample. With the swab, a sample of the virus DNA/RNA is taken from the patient’s saliva.
The second part of the test involves using the PCR process in a laboratory to look for traces of the coronavirus. Rompa/ITB is partially responsible for the production of this final component. The product (tray) contains a total of ninety-six tubes/holes. In total, the PCR process consists of five steps. The American scientific journal Nature has called Perkin Elmer’s COVID-19 test the most accurate test in the world.
High-grade technological cleanroom
All trays for the COVID-19 tests are produced in a cleanroom. This is a space designed for the production and assembly of plastic products that require a clean production process, thereby eliminating the risk of pollution or contamination. Due to the enormous demand for the COVID-19 test, the existing cleanroom was not big enough. In less than two months, Rompa/ITB built a new cleanroom that meets the strict requirements for the production of the COVID-19 test.
In addition to improving people’s wellbeing, sustainability was also a key concern during this project.
The trays for the tests were initially produced in China. That resulted in high transport costs (air freight) from China to the Netherlands. Besides these costs, production in China is also not the most environmentally friendly solution. Because the two parties have worked together successfully in the past, their customer in the medical sector asked Rompa Group to take over the production process. This Rompa/ITB production site has been manufacturing medical products in the cleanroom for years. Relocating the production of the trays from China to the Netherlands is better for the environment, but also for the Dutch economy.
Rompa/ITB Group wants to thank everyone who took part in the realisation of this project.