Lusomedicamenta is one of Portugal’s leading pharmaceutical companies in terms of output and has been using Marchesini lines and machines to package its products for almost twenty years.
The plant of this company is based in Queluz de Baixo just a few kilometres from Lisbon. Albano Marinho, Maintenance and Engineering Manager, told us that with time the company specialised in dosing solid, semi-solid and liquid medicines, achieving excellent annual performance, closing 2005 with more than 31,000,000 units.
Last year, as emphasised by Konstantinos Saccas, the company’s Production Manager, production was up 6% in absolute terms, whilst the forecast for this year is another 4% increase. “At the moment, with the machines we currently have – explained Mr. Saccas – we can absorb another 30%. Our installed capacity is around 40 million units”. The company has worked with Marchesini Group for years. The first three packaging lines it purchased date back to 1987 and are a BA400, a B8 and a F43 from Multipack. “Over the years – said Mr. Marinho – our trust in Marchesini grew with the belief, successfully, that the best option for the company was to continue buying packaging lines with same specification in order to standardize procedures and increase flexibility”. As early as 1989 the Portuguese factory was using the first Marchesini complete blister lines, together with an MB420 combined with a BA100 and an F40 from Multipack. A liquids line was added in 1995/1996.
The value of co-operation
The purchase of three identical and perfectly functional blister lines hinged on the trust built up with Marchesini Group. This was thanks to the decisive work of sales agent Julio Fonseca. Mr. Marinho’s previous experience of Marchesini, a continuous exchange of ideas and a direct relationship between the two companies, their trust in one another at a commercial level based on a strong relationship, meant that the co-operation started in the mid-Eighties continued and has good future prospects. The decision to purchase mainly Marchesini machines brought clear advantages above all in the case of the three blister lines: the possibility of using the same personnel training and overall management of spare parts meant that the potential of the Marchesini machines, especially that linked to rapid size change-overs, became obvious.
Flexible, sturdy machines
In the production process and in organising the work carried out by Lusomedicamenta, the tendency is to have the machines operate 24 hours a day, paying close attention to safety and cleanness. Not forgetting attention to sturdiness and reliability, as well as flexibility above all in machine size change-overs. These essential features led the Portuguese company to opt for Marchesini. Lusomedicamenta operates in a market of small batches where, to meet customer requirements, continuous size change-overs are necessary and, sometimes, the three lines have to be used simultaneously for the same size. What is the company’s short-term objective? To increase the performance and production speed of its machines, so that it can cut the number of hours worked by its personnel.
From Local to Global
A strong national identity combined with the necessary presence on the global market, looking to South America and Africa, thanks to the experience of Portuguese technicians and managers with extensive knowledge of the pharmaceutical market. This is the snapshot that Antonio D. Barros Ferreira, Executive and Technical Director, provides about the company.
Mr. Barros Ferreira also emphasised appreciation of the Marchesini Group sales approach: amongst its various good points, Marchesini understood that in the ’90s, difficult years for Portugal from an economic – social viewpoint, it needed to accommodate the company, above all believing that Lusomedicamenta could become an important customer. So, after purchasing the first line, the excellent relationship between competitive costs and quality products, flexible and interchangeable, prompted the Portuguese company to return to Marchesini for the next two lines. As a result, from the first few times they worked together, a very close relationship was established between the two companies, partly thanks to the shared company vision and philosophy which always make customer needs a priority.