Romaco Group – One-Stop Solutions Beyond Technology

Through its technologies and its customer-oriented approach, Romaco, a producer of specialised equipment for the pharmaceutical industry, is committed to delivering complete solutions for its global customers.

Romaco Group, a leading international manufacturer of processing and packaging equipment for pharmaceutical products, supplies stand-alone machines, lines and turnkey solutions for manufacturing and packing powders, granulates, liquids, tablets, capsules, blisters, vials, and other medical products.

The Group has its headquarters in Karlsruhe, Germany, and is part of the Chinese Truking Group, a global high-tech enterprise specialised in machinery for handling, filling, and packaging pharmaceutical products.

“Our core business is manufacturing and selling processing and packaging machinery for the pharma industry,” says Nicola Magriotis, Managing Director of the Romaco Italian site, summarising the core business, adding that the machines are sold to any country worldwide where the pharma industry is established.

Global Reach, Local Competence

He explains that Romaco operates from six manufacturing sites – three in Germany, one in Spain, one in China and one in Italy; overall, the Group covers most of the processing and packaging applications for the pharmaceutical industry, both solid and liquid, such as granulation and coating technologies, tablet presses, blisters, heat-sealing and rigid-tube filling machines, technologies for filling sterile and non-sterile powders and liquids, cartoners, track & trace systems, and others.

“All of the six manufacturing plants share an international sales network covering all the major markets. Romaco’s key strategic setup rests on de-centralization in terms of sales and services, in order to be as close to customers as possible, while developing technological know-how in the production sites.”

The combination of its global reach and local competence is also what sets Romaco Group apart from competitors, he says. “We have a Chinese shareholder but are headquartered in Germany using the unique technical competence of manufacturing sites in several European countries. Our strength is to merge all these very different cultures to ensure the smooth and effective operation of the whole Group. This capability makes us very agile and very flexible in dealing with and understanding international customers and plays to our advantage.”

Expansion and Growth

The Group’s organisation has been one of the factors contributing to an excellent performance over the last two difficult years. Romaco was also able to meet increased demand for new Covid-19 vaccine packaging machinery, while significantly reducing lead time.

Mr Magriotis points out that the pandemic has also changed the way the company does business – as a result of the impossibility of travelling, the focus on digitalisation increased, enabling remote FATs (factory acceptance tests) and live stream presentations of machines for customers. “So, we could still do business, still complete machines, still test them, thanks to our flexibility in adapting to the changed market environment.”

“We could also leverage our localised sales organisation, so it was possible to continue to meet customers locally without travelling out of Italy or Germany. Customer care could be undertaken by our nine local Sales & Service Centres in Europe, Asia, and America; this enabled us to stay very close to our customers. As a result, we have experienced record growth over the last two years here at our Romaco site in Bologna, Italy, with turnover increased by 40% between 2019 and 2021.”

Strong R&D Dedication

The Italian site in Bologna covers two brands – Macofar, a powder and liquid-filling specialist, and Promatic, offering customised secondary and tertiary packaging solutions. This combination provides customers with complete filling and packaging lines so that the final pharmaceutical product is ready for the market.

Innovation and new product development have always been a key part of the company’s strategy – right now, the company is investing in new solutions for sterile filling applications and the development of isolators used in aseptic and containment barrier systems, says Mr Magriotis. A robotic powder- and liquid-filling machine suitable for isolation technology – the MicroRobot 50 – is now also available.

“We are setting up a new product line of isolators to be included not only on our own filling equipment but also on the machines made by the other Group companies,” he says, explaining how some lines are built to produce high toxicity, high potency products, and the isolator forms a physical barrier between its interior and the external environment, offering thus protection for the operators and the product.

Premium Location

The Bologna site has recently achieved a major milestone – a transfer to new, modern premises in Pianoro, Bologna. The 15,000 m2 facility provides ample space for manufacturing primary and secondary packaging solutions from both Macofar and Promatic.

The spacious building was designed from beginning to end with sustainability in mind. In addition to green electricity and the construction of a solar roof, heat-reflecting blinds and an energy-efficient ventilation and filtration system are major factors in systematically improving the environmental footprint of the company. Moreover, the 15,000 m2 outdoor area with native plants and a wetland biotope ensures a climate-friendly work environment.

“The move into the new premises has set our course irrevocably for the future and has paved the way for sustainable growth. The building was designed to accommodate employees and operations space consistent with the substantial progression of the sales activities. In addition, the investment included the land next to the current building, to be used for a future expansion of 12,000 m2, providing a lot of potential for further future growth.”

Sustainability Enabler

Mr Magriotis affirms that aside from the current challenges of the skyrocketing prices of raw materials, late deliveries of components and logistics disruptions, the company is set to continue working on its ‘green’ agenda. Not only is the manufacturer seeking to enable more sustainable production by its customers, but Romaco is also keen to improve its own carbon footprint.

An example of Romaco’s approach is the PC 4201 continuous motion cartoner from Romaco Promatic which made its debut at Pharmintech 2022 exhibition in Milan. The new, compact PC 4201 machine achieves a maximum output of 200 cartons per minute.

The cartoner was built using a reduced mix of materials and components, with a housing made of 100% recycled acrylic glass, giving Romaco Promatic PC 4021 an even better environmental balance.

Speaking of the future, Mr Magriotis confirms that the company is well-placed to face market developments, as an organization focused on empowering people to grow professionally and making the most of their potential. “I would like to make Romaco Bologna the best employer in the region, especially for young talent. The aim is to be a dynamic, modern, smarter organisation.”

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