Good morning everyone,
Over the past few years we have addressed quality issues with a more concrete approach than in the past, with the aim of “de-bureaucratising” the process, making it more scientific and measurable, and trying to bring it closer to the goals of a sustainable business that is effective both in its business and in its social role.
The Group’s rapid growth, both internally and externally, and the need to adapt to the latest version of ISO 9001/2015 have given us an opportunity to review the Quality Policy, adapting it to any new risks and business opportunities. All in a strategic context that requires Group companies to integrate more and more with customers and suppliers in their various markets of reference.
Constantly striving for customer satisfaction and improvement both internally and externally, IMA has long been on a journey to implement a documented Quality System. In order to provide greater visibility of its system and to compare with international market standards, IMA’s Quality System was certified by an independent organization according to ISO9001 in 1997.
This event was not a goal for IMA, but rather a starting point, as it was used as an organizational and control tool, reducing inefficiencies and optimizing processes. The scope of the Quality System encompasses the entire product life cycle, from the definition of new products in the research and development phases and sales phases, to delivery and installation, and the post-sales support cycle. Particular attention is paid to design control, a fundamental process for the final product quality.
Thanks to its process-focused Quality System, IMA can ensure its customers maximum visibility in the execution of the various phases of projects that lead to the supply of even very complex systems within the expected time frame, while maintaining a simple and flexible organizational structure. Operating in accordance with the procedures in the various processes, this structure maintains high flexibility and at the same time guarantees the supply of fully validated systems and qualified and documented, and if necessary personalized, support for each individual project.
The level of professional training and motivation of the technicians responsible for the execution of the various phases of the project (design, production, assembly, installation, support) is of primary importance in IMA’s work, allowing it to maintain a customer-focused approach in line with the responsibilities of each individual employee.
The Quality System has constantly evolved over time, conforming to the Vision 2000 edition of the reference standard, in order to increase the emphasis on the process structure of the Quality System. Furthermore, the System has incorporated aspects of improvement arising from important internal process review projects carried out using techniques such as Business Process Reengineering, Lean Six Sigma and others.
IMA’s choice to have a corporate certification rather than separate certifications for controlled companies arises from the desire to facilitate their integration within the Group’s processes and at the same time seize the opportunity to share aspects of excellence of the individual companies and make them available to the entire Group. As a result, the extension of the Quality System is constantly increasing to keep pace with the acquisition path that characterizes IMA in recent history.
IMA is aware that in markets such as the pharmaceutical and food industries, ISO 9001 certification must be integrated and focused on sector-specific regulations. IMA has always followed these regulations to anticipate customer requests and achieve a high level of expertise in these areas.
Standards such as GMP, GAMP, and food compatibility have been integrated into the IMA Quality System to offer customers the highest degree of compliance with industry best practices.
IMA also actively participates in national and international regulatory committees and working groups, offering practical field experience to update and improve regulations.
IMA is currently present in the ISPE Italy Committee and the GAMP Italy Forum, participating in the drafting of guidelines for the life cycle of pharmaceutical machinery development and qualification. Additionally, it is an active member of the ISO Technical Committee dedicated to drafting new global regulations for the safety of packaging machinery.
The safety of its products is also a fundamental goal for IMA, and a dedicated team is responsible for monitoring and analyzing all relevant regulatory aspects, primarily the Machinery Directive (CE marking) and related regulations, to ensure that all IMA machines fully comply with legislative requirements.
IMA’s internal technical regulations do not just comply with minimum legislative requirements but extend to various areas where it is important to work following precise and international standards, starting from mechanical and electrical design to internal and external production processes, and product packaging.
In this case as well, competence and constant internal training is a fundamental goal for IMA, as the quality of human resources is the main factor in reaching high standards in products and understanding and satisfying customer needs.
For IMA, the safeguard of safety and work environment fully respects the current legislation, also through specific education and training aimed at creating a so-called “safety culture”.
Within the scope of safeguarding the health and safety of employees and collaborators, since 2014 IMA S.p.A. has implemented a Management System compliant with the UNI ISO 45001:2018 standard, in order to guarantee and seek continuous improvement of health and safety conditions in the workplace.
The President approved a policy on such subject and made it available to all workers: it defines the cornerstones related to the fulfilment of the Safety management system in the workplace.
As part of the Company’s Management System described above, IMA implements the constant engagement of workers, supporting open and free communication to enhance collective responsibility, also through a regular training on the subject, addressed to both top management figures of the safety organizational chart and to workers. In the context of worker participation, the analysis of “near misses” is of great importance, with a view to prevention.
The continuous improvement of such activities is proved by the achievement of specific objectives, which are defined yearly during the planning stage and approved by the Company Management: the main performance indicators in this area are the accident frequency and severity indices, which are calculated every six months, based on the technical regulations in force.
The risks deriving from all the processes and work activities carried out are assessed in advance, even through instrumental analysis when necessary: the accurate prevention and protection measures are defined on the basis of the assessments’ results. Among such measures, in addition to the training / information for workers, the definition of adequate safety and operating instructions is highlighted: these are intended for the development of the various activities, as well as for the choice and supply of all the Personal Protective Equipment, necessary to protect workers from residual risks that cannot be eliminated.
IMA is committed to reducing its impact deriving from the production cycle through rational consumption of energy resources, conservation of natural resources, control of greenhouse gas emissions through monitoring methods, and careful management of scraps and waste generated by production activities.
Environmental protection plays a fundamental role for the Group, it is in fact one of the driving forces behind the technological development offered to customers. For example, the IMA NOP (IMA No-Plastic Program) underlines the pledge to design machines capable of reducing plastic use in packaging, focusing on recyclable materials.
IMA S.p.A. implements an Environmental Management System compliant with the UNI EN ISO 14001:2015 through a governance that respects all current regulations and the main international standards in force. A policy on the subject was approved by the President and made available to all workers, defining the cornerstones related to the implementation of the Company’s Environmental Management System
The main impacts deriving from the production activities that IMA carries out concern: a) the production of waste, managed through a separation of materials, which are sent in the largest possible quantity to recovery and/or recycling plants, during their final disposal stage; b) emissions into the atmosphere deriving from all the processes, which are conducted in compliance with current regulations and which have all the required Authorizations: these allow the minimisation of the quantities of pollutants through the adoption of the best technologies available on the market, in terms of abatement and filtration systems; c) waste water, mainly of domestic and non-industrial nature, also managed in compliance with the regulations in force and subject to periodic monitoring; d) energy consumption.
IMA considers it a strategic corporate objective to adopt strategies that aim at the continuous improvement of energy performance and the reduction of the Company’s energy consumption: to this purpose, IMA S.p.A. installed supervisory systems at the main plants and an Energy Management System (EMS) compliant with the UNI CEI EN ISO 50001/2018 standard is being implemented.
As confirmation, the current electricity needs of IMA S.p.A.’s main production sites are covered through the purchase of energy, whose origin is certified to come from renewable sources. At the same time, the Company is investing in the installation of systems for the autonomous production of electricity at the main production sites, while supporting further energy efficiency projects.
For several years now, IMA has been reporting its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, calculating the Carbon Footprint of the entire corporate organization, therefore including all its production sites both in Italy and abroad. This reporting activity is carried out and certified in accordance with the UNI EN ISO 14064-1 standard. To confirm the commitment of the Company to policies about the fight against climate change, IMA supports different projects aimed at environmental protection.
The Group’s results and performances are also shared through the publication of a Sustainability Report, to encourage integrated and transparent communication with all stakeholders; for the same purpose, IMA voluntarily participates in “disclosure” projects regarding its environmental performances, such as EcoVadis and CDP.
The IMA Group consists of a group of companies producing high-tech processing and packaging machinery for the pharmaceutical and food industries, as well as for industrial automation. The broad business horizon in which the Group operates, both because of the diversification of highly regulated markets (such as pharma and medical, food, automotive, etc.) but also because of the breadth of the geographies involved – 53 production plants spread over 80 countries and more than 30 sales subsidiaries – has led IMA to introduce a central IT management and Information Security policy with the aim of maintaining decisive control over the information transmitted through its digital channels, avoiding the risks of geographical fragmentation as far as possible.
Within business strategies, a major role is played by the protection of information, being an element of fundamental importance to guide strategic choices and to support business operational processes. Data protection and continuity of processes, according to the Group’s philosophy and guidelines, must be managed through a process of classification, identification of critical issues, assessment of the risk of compromise of confidentiality, integrity and availability, and the definition of the security measures necessary to maintain them within acceptable limits.
This approach stems from the need to better protect the technological know-how and sensitive information produced within IMA and at the same time raise its standards to those that are best practices about the subject; the aim is to produce continuous improvement of internal and external processes and at the same time support its partners and customers in the development of their respective businesses (from small manufacturers to large multinationals from a wide range of sectors).
Not of secondary importance is the role played by the impressive subcontracting chain within IMA’s processes, a chain that the Group itself aims to support in order to generate technological innovation and raise the general level of IT security, keeping pace with the emerging needs required by IMA and the market.
With regard to the protection of the data and information of its Information System, IMA has defined an IT Security Policy in order to pursue its strategic objectives and guarantee adequate levels of security, anticipating/mitigating IT risks on the basis of the following principles:
IMA considers it essential that the measures taken to protect its Information System:
and with this in mind undertakes to: