Pharmaceutical Processing created a questionnaire to learn more about MG America, their technologies, and some of the upcoming trends they are seeing in the industry. MG America is an exhibitor at INTERPHEX 2016. Randy Fraatz, Business Development Manager for MG America, answers our questions.
Below are the edited responses to this exclusive Q&A.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your company—what do you do and what are some of the areas that you specifically excel in?
Fraatz: MG America is a leading supplier of packaging equipment for the pharmaceutical, healthcare and personal care industries. We provide equipment for all phases of the packaging process, specializing in primary solutions for capsule filling and liquid/semi-liquid filling, as well as thermoforming, cartooning, and all downstream machinery solutions. At MG America we provide single monoblocks or completely integrated lines—whatever the scope of the application requires.
Q: What don’t most people realize about your company?
Fraatz: MG America is well-known for providing the highest quality capsule filling machines in the industry, which they have been doing since the 1960s. Although our capsule filling Processing Division is a very important part of our company, many people don’t realize that this is only one part of our solution portfolio—many people don’t realize that we have a Filling Division that concentrates on parenteral, aseptic, and non-aseptic filling equipment applications, and a Packaging Division that focuses on secondary/tertiary machinery solutions.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges in your industry?
Fraatz: As the industry evolves, making sure you can adjust to the changes presents a variety of challenges. These changes that require careful management occur in many forms: customers going through mergers and acquisitions; customer colleagues changing positions, being downsized, or promoted; new methods of medication administration; new medicines coming to market and older medicines coming off patent; legislative developments; and, of course, in our space technological advancements in packaging machinery that create state-of-the-art machinery options.
Q: What is one of the biggest areas of growth your industry has seen in recent years?
Fraatz: Developments in all forms of process automation—including mechanical device improvements, software engineering, the use of robotics, and streamlined manufacturing methods—continue to lead the agenda in terms of industry growth. Each company and customer is going to have specific topics that are most important to them, but process automation strategies are at the front of the discussion as electronics and software engineering have developed so quickly, which has allowed machinery manufacturers such as MG America to implement automated, repeatable, consistent, and safe equipment solutions.
Q: Where do you see the industry going in the next 10 years? Your area of expertise?
Fraatz: The packaging machinery industry will continue to move towards automating equipment and integrating lines in ways that focus on where human intervention is required versus where it is not, meaning where the machinery can be designed to perform essential steps. For certain functions, the necessity of human involvement and critical thinking is required; for other functions, methods to automatically perform tasks in a safer and more efficient way will be developed and incorporated into the design process.
Q: What would you consider to be a major achievement for the industry in the near future?
Fraatz: For many applications there is the discussion of ‘zero defects,’ implying that rejects essentially become obsolete. Through equipment controls and the handling of product that would normally be rejected, there are ways to rework and correctly package the product without treating the product as a reject. This will not be easily applicable to all forms of packaging machinery, but in the near future it will be a major achievement if more-and-more machinery designs do include more sophisticated methods to limit rejects.
Part of this achievement will possibly include the greater use of robotics which provide significant movement and container handling flexibility. Replacing traditional methods for handling containers and packaging materials with more intelligent robotic systems opens up new opportunities for reworking product within a process and therefore only accepting completely irreparable rejects.
Q: Will you be exhibiting any new products at the show? If so, tell us about them!
Fraatz: We will be debuting PLANETA 200 Capsule Filler at INTERPHEX. The lineup also includes a new robotic aseptic vial filler/capper from equipment manufacturer STERILINE, with whom MG America has a strategic supplier partnership.
Q: What are you most looking forward to at INTERPHEX this year?
Fraatz: We value the networking with existing customers and always seek to spend time together to strengthen those relationships. On top of this, we are really looking forward to extending our reach to include new customers and continue to share information about all three of our divisions and our entire equipment program. It is important for people to understand our range of machinery solutions, and this year we really look forward to sharing this information with everyone.
Pharmaceutical Processing is a platinum sponsor of INTERPHEX.
Follow us on Twitter this week for the latest updates on INTERPHEX!