The plant in Schweinfurt, which was established in 1979, is Fresenius Medical Care’s largest development and production facility for dialysis machines and other medical devices. The company now employs more than 1,200 people in the city, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Frankfurt in northern Bavaria. About one third of them work in research and development.
Dialysis machines, bloodline systems and dialyzers – the latter often dubbed “artificial kidneys” because this is where the blood is actually cleaned – are the most important products for treating chronic kidney disease. During treatment, the dialysis machine pumps the patient’s blood through bloodlines, monitors its circulation through the dialyzer, and adds anti-coagulants. Treatments are generally carried out three times weekly, and take between three and six hours each.