MADE IN GERMANY
It feels good when responsibility has history.
Production at Ritex takes place exclusively in Germany, using the latest technology. This film shows the whole process from natural rubber latex to the finished condom. Made by Ritex - with love, for love!
SHAPING NATURAL RUBBER LATEX
Condoms are made from a natural, renewable resource extracted as a sort of "milky" sap from the bark of rubber trees, cultivated in plantations in tropical zones.
From Raw Material to Condom
To extract the raw material, cuts are made in the bark of the rubber tree and the sap, which emerges in droplets, is collected in containers which are attached directly to the trunk. Following this harvest, the liquid natural rubber latex is collected in large tanks, centrifuged and stabilised using ammonia for transportation by sea all over the world. The quality of the raw material is comprehensively checked both upon landing at the port and once the tanker arrives at our site. For further processing into condoms, which are classed as medical devices, only material of first-class quality comes into consideration. Once the natural rubber latex has been transferred to our tanks, approx. three percent of additives are added to the raw material according to a closely guarded formula ahead of further processing. They are charged with optimally regulating the natural raw material so that a consistent output is achieved.
The Condom Is Created
The natural rubber latex mixture must be stored for several days to allow it to ripen, whereby the degree of ripeness is constantly monitored. Once the optimal degree of ripeness for processing has been reached, the mixture is carefully poured into the tanks of the dipping lines. Above the tanks run endless chains, to which the glass dipping moulds are attached. These glass moulds, which exhibit the shape of the respective type of condom to be produced, are dipped in the mixture. Upon emerging from the tank, a thin latex film, still in liquid form, remains on the moulds. The liquid latex is retained on the moulds through continuous rotation and is dried using intense heat (“vulcanisation”). As a result of the vulcanisation, natural rubber latex molecules coalesce on the glass moulds to form a strong, dense and highly-elastic film. In a further step, the rolled edge is made, which securely closes off the open end of the condom. Using soft brushes and with the aid of warm water and a special soap, the condoms are stripped from the glass moulds and collected in a collection container.
Washed and Packaged
Afterwards, the condoms are washed thoroughly by machine in order to rinse out soap residues and soluble components, for example. The specially developed, intensive washing processes ensure that Ritex condoms have maximum compatibility and a pleasing aroma. A special coating agent also guarantees that the products have a silky-smooth surface, allowing for optimum unrolling and unparalleled lubrication. Then, the products are whirled around in hot air by a machine until they are completely dry both inside and out. In the next working step, all condoms are individually mounted on electrically conductive metal moulds and subjected to a fully automatic, electronic individual test. In this way, the smallest of holes and also areas in which the latex film of the condom is too thin can be detected. Only those condoms which exhibit no flaws in the tests conducted at this production station are rolled up and stand by for further processing. The condoms rejected at this station are destroyed.
Quality Checks in our own Laboratory
The condoms which exhibited no flaws in the tests are provided with a drop of lubricant by a machine and individually sealed in light-impermeable and air-tight protective foils. In this process, the corresponding batch number and the expiry date are imprinted on each wrapper. In a final step, the wrappers are inserted in the product boxes along with the accompanying instruction leaflet, on which instructions and tips for use are noted. These are condensed into cardboard boxes for dispatch on pallets. Before the products are cleared for dispatch, samples are taken according to strict sampling plans for scrupulous examination by Ritex quality control personnel in our own laboratory. All test results are electronically recorded and documented. Only batches which have also fulfilled all of the requirements of this final testing stage receive approval for dispatch. All of the processing steps named and the numerous quality inspections during and following completion of production are documented in writing along with their results and assigned exactly to the individual production batches. In this way, all of the data is available at all times – from the data of the imported raw material to the finished product. The careful archiving and long-term statistical evaluation of these batch documents creates an invaluable pool of data.
In addition to this, Ritex voluntarily subjects its condom range to stringent external reviews by the State Materials Testing Institute Darmstadt.
Exciting Product Innovations
Using our experience to develop new products
Ritex is continuously innovating its condoms and lubricants and is committed to constant product optimisation. For example:
National, European and International Certifications
Numerous German, European and international certifications demonstrate the competence and capability of Ritex in the manufacturing of condoms, lubricants and protective covers for medical ultrasound probes. The accompanying EU certificate confirms that, in accordance with the European Council Directive concerning medical devices, Ritex has implemented and continues to apply the best possible quality assurance system for each phase from design to final product inspections.