L-R: Jean-Claude Schmitz, CEO of Rotarex; Franz Fayot, Minister of the Economy; unknown; HRH Prince Guillaume; Credit: Vincent Flamion

On Monday 22 February 2021, His Royal Highness the Hereditary Grand Duke and Luxembourg's Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot visited the premises of Rotarex SA in Lintgen to inaugurate the new production lines for products contributing to the fight against COVID-19.

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, demand for Rotarex's medical devices has exploded and exceeded the company's annual production capacity. To meet this increased demand and thus effectively contribute to the fight against the pandemic, Rotarex has decided to increase its production capacity. Thanks to an investment project estimated at €4.5 million, the company can now again produce in-house certain critical components that were previously supplied by subcontractors who were lacking at the start of the crisis. Equipped with greater flexibility, Rotarex thus aims to double its production and create ten to 25 jobs by 2025. Through the automation and better traceability of these new production lines, the company also aims to increase the quality and performance of its products.

In parallel to the production project, the company has engaged in three research and development (R&D) projects aimed at developing new generations of taps / valves and regulators for the administration of medical gases, the new design of which will allow production automation and easier maintenance, while ensuring greater safety and ergonomics of use by medical personnel. These three R&D projects represent an investment of nearly €1.5 million.

During the inauguration, Economy Minister Franz Fayot said: “Rotarex is making a concrete contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. With Rotarex, Luxembourg is home to an industrial leader whose high-quality medical devices have proven to be essential for treating patients with respiratory distress. With this investment project, the company is fully in line with the European strategy to reindustrialize and strengthen critical supply chains, with the aim of improving resilience in the face of crisis situations. In addition, the R&D projects started once again demonstrate that the company has assimilated the value of research and innovation as an asset in terms of competitiveness”.

 Jean-Claude Schmitz, CEO of Rotarex, added: “We would like to thank the Luxembourg government and the Ministry of the Economy for their support in carrying out investment and R&D projects in the COVID era. A great effort was also made by our collaborators during this period. From the start of the crisis, we were called upon by gas companies to increase our capacity and above all to have available a capacity such that we could respond to peaks in demand. Flexibility is and will be for the future an argument to be able to satisfy the market and the demand of gas carriers all over the world. In addition, the development of new products is an equally essential axis. The acceptance of our file by the government is an important step allowing us to meet demand with innovative products".

Founded in 1922 in Luxembourg, the Rotarex group is a family business whose activities began with the production of innovative gas cylinder valves. Today, the group is active in 65 countries and employs nearly 1,600 people, including 780 in Luxembourg. It has more than 350 individual patents in the field of gas equipment (valves and regulators).

In 2023, the group will move its headquarters to Bissen, where 30,000 m2 of buildings will be constructed, including 8,500 m² of offices (including 700 m² of laboratory space and 1,000 m² for R&D) and 21,500 m² of production space. The new plant will include an automated storage system (an “industry 4.0” type digitalisation project).