Marchesini Group has been working with Roche Italy for over 25 years, producing various types of pharmaceutical packaging lines, focusing on concepts of innovation and flexibility.

Let’s take a detailed look at the factory located in Segrate, just outside Milan, a true centre of excellence of Roche. We will also discuss the business relationship between this company and Marchesini Group.

The company of Segrate

On an ever global market, technological innovation continues to represent one of the elements that enable Roche to keep its competitive advantage at a worldwide level. For this reason, the pharmaceutical Group – one of the worldwide leaders in the area of healthcare and that currently employs approximately 80 thousand employees across the world – has dedicated the past several years to developing its production and distribution chain, investing impressively in creating new industrial sites and organising existent structures. In this context, the factory of Segrate, situated 10 Km east of Milan, in an overall area of approximately 68 thousand square meters, represents one of the top centres of Roche Group for the production and packaging of solid pharmaceuticals (granules, tablets, coated tablets and capsules) and of oral liquid pharmaceuticals (drops) for the Italian, European and American markets.

These facilities, which currently employ approximately 310 employees, are the outcome of an investment of 160 Million Euro and represent the state of the art in productive technology in the pharmaceutical industry. The plant, organised over three shifts, has a production capacity of 400 tons of granules, 400 tons of powder mixes, 200 tons of pellets, 1.9 billion tablets, 2 billion capsules, 570 million coated tablets and 270 million lacquered tablets, as wells as 400 tons of solutions. 60% of the production range is sold worldwide. The role of excellence covered by the production facilities is proof of the company’s important investment plan (14 million Euro), which in 2008, lead to the fulfilment of new plants and departments for producing small batches and for launching new products.

The high level of automation of the production and logistic processes ensures top quality products at competitive prices, offering high customer service standards. The production site of Segrate was completed in 1999. The core of each planning phase of the factory has always been technological innovation: thanks indeed to this approach, such focus is expressed not only in the production processes and in work organisation but also in the lay-out and in logistics. All this has been obtained by rationalizing and progressively integrating the company’s processes through the computerization of the management systems and automation of the operational activities. The target of Roche is that of developing new and improved solutions for the prevention, diagnosis and care of ailments and diseases, taking inspiration from values such as integrity, courage and passion, which are the mainstays of the Group’s business culture.

Collaboration with Marchesini: flexibility is the keyword

25 years of collaboration with Marchesini Group have lead the Roche factory in Segrate to fulfilling and realizing challenging packaging projects. Many are indeed the systems installed in the Italian factory of Roche Group.“The initial supplies of Marchesini – Stefano Bassanini explained, Production Maintenance Manager of the Roche factory in Milan – were cartoner models BA300 and BA400 integrated in the packaging lines of ampoules, vials and solids. We subsequently intend continuing our business with Marchesini over the years with various other supplies”. Marchesini’s technology is also used for Xenical, another top product of Roche Group worldwide: a complete blister line with blister machine model MB451, cartoner model MA355 and case packer/palletizer model MC840, packages the slimming pills for obese and overweight patients at full rate for the Italian market and not only: from the factory of Segrate, millions of packs are sent to the markets of the whole of Europe, in Brazil and in Mexico. A liquids line with production rate of 170 pieces per minute is entrusted to package the anti-anxiety drug “Valium”: from the de-packer D7 to the case packer/palletizer, the vials of Valium are filled, capped, labelled, cartoned and finally sent to the final case packer and palletiser. A second liquids line is dedicated to the anti-depressant drug “Lexotan” (D7, SL400, BA400, MCP840) while for solids in glass containers, a third complete line delivers 140 vials per minute of Madopar tablets (D7, ML621, SL400, MA350 and MCP840).
All these machines ensure an overall production of approximately 25 million pieces per year. All the end-of-line machines in the departments – 11 casepackers/palletizers – are made by Marchesini: the main machine is the horizontal model MCP840 that combines the cartoning and palletizing operations in one compact integrated unit.

“Fundamental – Mr. Bassanini explained – is the relationship of trust and maximum collaboration, which in the event of new projects for the fulfilment of the packaging lines, builds-up constantly with our personnel and the technicians of Marchesini. Marchesini pays utmost attention to after-sales customer service, remaining at our side even after the system has been delivered”. As well as the proficiency and collaboration relationship between technicians, of crucial importance is also the reliability and flexibility of the lines produced by Marchesini. “We have always appreciated Marchesini’s packaging lines – Mr. Bassanini continued – because they are flexible, reliable and feature innovative solutions to be able to satisfy all of our logistic and productive requirements”. In addition to the projects already fulfilled and those still in the workshop related to the production of new packaging lines, Marchesini has worked for years with Roche Milan for the revamping of its existent production systems. The overhauling of pharmaceutical packaging machines is an important service in which Roche firmly believes. “We periodically invest in machine revamping projects – Mr. Bassanini explained - and Marchesini has proven over the years to be a reliable partner in this area too. An overhauled machine, in some cases, involves significant advantages: it is easier to manage an overhauled machine compared to a new one, personnel training times are cut, as well as commissioning times, plus investment budgets are lower. Next to the machines and new lines, which are our priority in any case, the possibility to re-use an existent machine helps us to be more flexible and up-and-ready. Thanks above all to the high quality of the overhauling service, which in the case of Marchesini is equivalent to a truly complete revamping of the machine.”

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