Kardham supports the Merck in the industrialization of its production facility in Molsheim (Alsace, France)

June 2023

We has been entrusted by Merck, a major player in the field of science and technology, with the implementation of a third production unit for single-use assemblies at its Life Science site in Molsheim, Alsace. The project, called Mobius® and carried out in close collaboration with OTE Ingénierie, is a continuation of Kardham's ambitious plans to support the expansion of the German group's industrial capacities at its second-largest production site on a global scale, starting in 2021. Two major challenges were involved: increasing production capacity on a site with a restricted perimeter, and operating in an occupying environment. The project, which will lead to the recruitment of 800 new employees by 2028, bears witness to Kardham's excellence in operating for major players in the industrial and pharmaceutical world. Completion of the works is scheduled for September 2024.


A third unit as part of Merck's strong regionalization strategy

The project is part of Merck's plan to relocate a sterile bag production unit, currently located in the United States, to its Molsheim site (Bas-Rhin, France). This will be the third unit on the Alsatian site dedicated to the production of single-use assemblies, with the aim of meeting most of the European market's demand.

Kardham's scope of services, in partnership with OTE Ingénierie, are the project management, design and execution* of the third Mobius® factory, i.e. the third M3 phase, which involves the construction of new high environmental performance buildings, with delivery scheduled for the end of 2024.  These new facilities, which will be gradually ramped up until 2028, include a production building, a logistics center and a staff canteen (total area 37,000 m2). A total of 11 assembly lines and 2 automated pouch production lines are planned to manufacture 4 product ranges, covering virtually the entire European market.


A long-term plan to relocate…

As a reminder, Kardham has been working with Merck since 2021 on its master plan for the industrialization of the Mobius® project in Molsheim, and more specifically on the reintegration of three assembly lines (FT2 or Fast Track 2), which were installed in the extension of an existing building and have been in production since May 2022. Relocated, these FT2 production units have been the subject of consultation and workshops between the various unit operators in the USA and France.

This master plan, which aims to establish a long-term investment and deployment plan for the site, was preceded by a first step, the installation of two FT1 (Fast Track 1) assembly lines in a modular building, whose first manufactured products were put on the market in December 2021.


… rethink and optimize

In addition to defining a master plan to support Merck with a coherent and rational long-term strategy, Mobius® was also distinguished by the need to manage the project in an occupied environment. Thus, the phasing of operations was a major challenge in order to maintain activity at the site, currently the only Merck unit in Europe to manufacture these products, which are used in the sterile production of vaccines and biotherapies.


An industrial project demonstrating the strength of an integrated, multi-sector approach

An industrial project demonstrating the strength of an integrated, multi-sector approach

Last but not least, the project, which testifies to Kardham's industrial expertise, is also a fine example of the strengths that a holistic vision of professional real estate can offer. It is in fact the fruit of collaborative work between different Group divisions and areas of expertise:

  • the architecture division, to rethink the project's overall planning programming on a site-wide scale; to design and produce graphic and written documents (schematic design and pre-project phases, building permits); to define the roles and responsibilities of each team member, etc.
  • the consulting and space design department to design and implement the common thread, the design, the user path, the materials, the space schedule, the tertiary spaces, etc.


« We are very pleased with the trust Merck has placed in us since 2021 through this third phase of its Mobius® project. This is a complex project, requiring us to account for a wide range of constraints in a highly technical sector such as healthcare. It's a project that demands foresight, agility and flexibility. It's a project that resonates with the proven expertise we're developing in all kinds of workspaces, whether tertiary or industrial: it highlights the importance of fully understanding the internal processes of companies, so as to be able to bring together different solutions and enable organizations to operate in a relevant and functional way to achieve their development objectives », concludes Franco Guzzini, Architect and Technical Director of Industrial Development for the Kardham Group.

* The scope of services is sometimes spanned by Kardham, sometimes by the client adviser (AMO).


Project specifications

  • Client: Merck
  • Partner: OTE Ingénierie
  • Scope of work: industrial organization expertise, general design
  • Handover: september 2024
  • Cost: 130 M€ i nvestment, including processes
  • Certification, environmental performance: BREEAM very-good certification


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Nathalie Neyret

Nathalie Neyret

Head of Marketing & Communication

+33 6 37 68 50 99