Pharmaceutical Processing created a questionnaire to learn more about Romaco North America Inc., their technologies, and some of the upcoming trends they are seeing in the industry. Romaco is an exhibitor at PACK/Pharma Expo 2016. Charles Ravalli, Managing Director of Romaco North America Inc., 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?
Romaco is a leading global engineering supplier of processing, tableting, and packaging equipment, predominantly for the pharmaceutical industry. Furthermore, the company delivers solutions for the cosmetics, food, and chemical markets. Romaco encompasses a total of eight brands from four European locations, with the headquarters in Karlsruhe, Germany. Four Romaco sales and service centers in the USA, Brazil, China, and Russia serve the local markets. Romaco North America was officially opened in New Jersey in December 2014. Expanding operations in North America is a focal point of Romaco’s overall strategy for the future.
What are some of the major innovations that have taken place in your industry in recent years? How has it impacted operations?
Since the rise of the generic markets, pharmaceutical manufacturers are forced to shape their portfolio and to optimize their production processes to remain competitive and successful in their respective markets. This has led to a general trend of automation and individualization.
According to the customer’s needs, Romaco’s solutions are available from a very low to a very high level of automation. The different feeding and transfer systems, for example, can be equipped with a wide range of robotic or servo driven solutions.
Furthermore, Romaco supports its customers with the realization of individual packaging designs. For the first time, strip packaging in different geometries can be manufactured. From now on, round or clover-leaf shaped forms are possible, too. Individual-shaped strips attract everyone’s attention and can play a crucial role in the branding of a new product.
What are the biggest challenges in your industry? How have companies endeavored to address this?
More and more, Romaco customers ask for complete line solutions from a single hand supplier that cover the whole production process including processing, tableting, primary and secondary packaging, and end-of-line solutions.
Since the launch of Romaco’s life cycle business strategy “beyond technology” in 2014, the company focuses on engineering solutions for processing and packing pharmaceutical solid dosage forms.
With the acquisition of Medipac AB in 2015, Romaco is now one of the major players in the field of effervescent engineering solutions. After being pressed into effervescent tablets, they can be packed either into strips or tubes before being fed into cartons and cases. The combined expertise of the Romaco brands Kilian, Siebler, and Promatic makes it possible.
Where do you see the most room for growth within your industry?
Due to the growing diversity of the worldwide pharma markets, the total number of products commercially available is increasing. In terms of production, batch sizes are decreasing as a consequence. This requires equipment that is very flexible in use concerning product and format changes and the handling of different product and packing types. Romaco offers its customers distinct OEE support during the whole life cycle of their equipment to continuously improve the effectivity of every line in question.
Will you be exhibiting any new products at PACK/Pharma Expo? If so, tell us about them!
Romaco will be exhibiting a Siebler HM 1-230 heat-sealing machine, which packs pharmaceutical solids in air-, light-, and moisture-tight strip packaging. Configured with eight-lane product feeding, the compact, balcony-style machine processes up to 3,200 tablets or 1,800 capsules per minute.
Furthermore, Romaco will be presenting the highly flexible, hygienically-designed Kilian KTP 420X tablet press whose cool operating temperature is ideal for processing temperature-sensitive medications such as Ibuprofen or Metformin.
What are you most looking forward to at PACK/Pharma Expo this year?
To meet people and to talk to them. Experiencing the show atmosphere is always inspiring for all of us, visitors and exhibitors. Major projects, long-term partnerships, and pioneering developments have arisen from encounters at big shows like PACK/Pharma Expo in the past.
What are some of the big trends you expect to see at the show?
“Industry 4.0” is definitely a key-word of our time and I am sure it will be stressed at the show, too.
Romaco offers a new generation of service tools that can be considered as a first approach to this wide field settled in the clouds of the Internet of Things. Remote Assist enables service calls by a simple push of the button at the HMI panel of a Romaco machine. The direct data transfer saves valuable diagnostic time and the service engineer can immediately get to work. Smart glasses can bridge the physical distance virtually allowing direct interaction on a previously unknown level.