Pharmaceutical Processing created a questionnaire to learn more about Maruho Hatsujyo Innovations (MHI), their technologies, and some of the upcoming trends they are seeing in the industry. MHI is an exhibitor at PACK/Pharma Expo 2016. Greg Zaic, President and Chief Executive Officer for MHI, answers our questions.
Below are the edited responses to this exclusive Q&A.
Tell us about your company. Specifically, what do you do and what are some of the areas that you excel in?
Maruho Hatsujyo Innovations (MHI) is the U.S. subsidiary of Maruho Hatsujyo Kogyo (MHK). MHK is the second largest pharmaceutical packaging company in Japan and has been building these machines since 1987. There are currently >350 MHK machines installed in Japan and Southeast Asia. Customers include several of the largest pharmaceutical companies.
One of the reasons for MHK’s success in the pharmaceutical packaging market is that its parent is Maruho Pharmaceuticals, Japan’s number two dermatological drug company. Effectively, MHK’s machines are “made by pharma for pharma.”
MHI was created in 2014 to aid MHK’s globalization.
We are committed to meet the needs of our U.S. customers by providing packaging machines that are specifically designed for the U.S. market, not just knock-offs of our Japanese machines.
What are some of the major innovations that have taken place in your industry in recent years? How has it impacted operations?
The industry is demanding smaller runs and greater product diversity. The increased drive for process control (pushed by serialization) and the trend toward smaller batches has increased the need for smaller capacity machines with greater versatility to allow for packaging of a greater number of products/SKUs in the same facility and speed of changeover.
What are the biggest challenges in your industry?
The change to smaller batches and need for greater versatility while maintaining outputs.
Where do you see the most room for growth within your industry?
Addressing the growth in contract manufacturing and packing for generics and servicing the need for increased capacity in the production of unit dose packaging for home delivery and robotic hospital dispensing.
What are the biggest markets of your industry, and why do you think that is?
Certainly the generic pharma has dominated the growth pattern, but continued expansion of the nutraceutical and medical device markets have shown excellent areas for growth.
Will you be exhibiting any new products at PACK/Pharma Expo? If so, tell us about them!
Yes, we are introducing the Eagle, an Americanized version of MHK’s widely successful PF-D1 series. Over 170 have been installed in Japan and virtually all are still in service. Eagle is a reliable, compact, servo-driven, high performance machine. Capable of handling all commonly used forming and lidding materials, the competitively priced Eagle can produce up to 100 blisters per minute at a maximum index length of 90 mm and maximum width of 130 mm. Eagle features fast, tool-free changeover in less than 10 minutes. It also offers multi-zone pre-heating, recipe-driven format change, and is compatible with third-party feeders.
What are you most looking forward to at PACK/Pharma Expo this year?
Showing the Eagle to prospective customers.