Madaus Spain’s choice of Marchesini Group – through the sales representative STE in Spain – as a partner in a new and very complex project was not at all easy and immediate.
In 2002 Madaus, although it already had a sachet filling line, as part of its development strategy began to search for a possible manufacturer for another line which would have one main feature: switching production from a horizontal sachet filling machine to a vertical one.
But the Spanish pharmaceutical company’s first look at the market, despite providing the manufacturers in contention for the order with detailed requirements, led its management to conclude that none of the parties approached could immediately supply what they needed. So they turned to Marchesini Group, the only company able to understand the need to share the project right from the initial contacts, immediately demonstrating – and this is indicated above all by the words of Alfons Tudela, Engineering and Maintenance Manager for Madaus machines – a more co-operative technical team. Marchesini Group, whose strong representation in Spain thanks to STE undoubtedly helped establish contact and trust between the parties, had in stock everything Madaus wanted: an MA302 cartoner, an MS235 sachet filling machine and an MC820 case packer.
Following a test in Italy at the Pianoro factory, in the presence of David Mateo from STE, Massimo Marchesini himself understood the requirements and complexity of the project, setting Norman Nanetti the task of creating the first version of a vertical sachet filling machine with screw feeder doser. A wealth of new features in a single technological solution The creation of such a unique vertical sachet filling machine involved constant tests and adjustments with close contact and consultation between the two sets of technical staff, and the ideas behind many of the technical parts which were actually put into production came from these sessions.
Each time a problem emerged the staff of the two companies worked together to find the solutions. There is another important aspect which should not be overlooked: the line was set up for simultaneous use of three different sachet filling machines. It was the first time that anyone had ever created a connection between three sachet machines and a single cartoner (at present two operate whilst the third may be switched on according to requirements). Another new feature is linked to the weight of the individual sachets (the line produces double sachets). Due to product requirements, the dosing range had to have a tolerance of approx. +/- 2.5%. The problem was setting up a weight check for pairs of sachets: therefore a system for cutting the double sachet to allow individual weighing was experimented with, allowing the feedback system to be applied to each screw feeder doser. The system automatically regulated the dose until exceptional tolerances were reached: +/- 1%. Finally, to allow the use of products of different types (granules/powders) the two dosing systems, with screw feeders and continuous rotary volumetric dosing, were installed on the same machine.
A shared attitude to work
Madaus saw its supplier as a co-operating with it to achieve a goal which would benefit both. Marchesini Group took to this role naturally and understood that the result could be a resource to be used and proposed to other customers. “A project isn’t simply a contract, a piece of paper – said Alfons Tudela – it’s much more than that. It is the willingness to share a project, through co-operation between individuals which can allow both companies involved to grow and innovate. Madaus Spain works with the supplier, it doesn’t want to compete with it and, in line with this approach, the encounter with Marchesini was immediately operative and effective”.
Madaus Spain, present in Spain since 1971, with 365 employees and total sales of around 100 million euros, is the largest branch of the pharmaceutical laboratories of the Madaus Group, based in Cologne, Germany. Within the Group the Spanish branch specialises in the production of prescription medicines, most of which it exports to the rest of the Group. In recent years, thanks to dynamism and the desire to consolidate its position in the prescription medicines sector in Spain, with a policy of launching new products, Madaus has achieved a significant growth in its presence on the Spanish market, strengthening its leadership in the marketing of fibre-based products.