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Simple steps for complex operations.

Holistic automation for a smart machine that helps customers.

Interview with

Marco Minardi

Automation Manager at IMA Active

create Written by: Marco Minardi
todayPublished on: 12 Feb 2021
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DOMINA automation is a step ahead of other machines by helping to maximize production and minimize errors. Allowing product quality and production efficiency to be of the highest standard and guaranteeing a quick return on the customer’s investment.

The concept behind the system is to go beyond simple control strategies and sophisticated algorithms. The design must have an holistic approach, allowing operators to handle various processes with ease and to reduce any errors.  All DOMINA’s advanced and automated control functions have been rigorously thought through, implemented and wrapped in a modern and intuitive HMI.

The DOMINA’s KORTEX HMI system offers complete control of all the machine’s functions.  

The machine guides users through the numerous operations using interactive wizards. Operators can focus on key and strategic parameters without being flooded with unwanted information. Less time is also required to train new operators, making it is easy to obtain the maximum efficiency from the machine.

Advanced algorithms constantly monitor and check the state of the machine and the production quality. For instance, the punches’ lubrication is monitored and dynamically self-regulated to guarantee the correct level and to avoid any product contamination. Self-learning algorithms control the compression rollers distance to quickly find the right setup to ensure the tablet weight is constant.

Some of the control tools, from the pure process understanding to the real machine learning principles, are the result of a multi-discipline interaction which has been embeded into the system knowledge.

In a variable production context, where many different products have to be processed, the machine is able to tailor its functionality to each specific production perfectly.


The value of production is for sure the product itself, but without proper data collection the overall efficiency can be jeopardized. Specific attention has been given to data management to ensure data integrity and completeness.

IMAGO analytic software is the perfect companion to these tools. Tabletability, compatibility, compressibility, compaction pressure, tensile strength are all easy to analyse by the tight integration of DOMINA with IMAGO analytics and their capability to highlight detailed process features.

The machines cannot be considered isolated entities, but rather an important part of modern manufacturing and digitalization process that every company is pursuing. OPC UA connection and PackML data presentation are standard. Additionally, they are compatible with the MES/ERP system as an inner and ready to use feature.

Pharma 4.0 risks becoming only a marketing slogan, if the values inspiring an holistic design are not clear. The DOMINA automation project has a clear vision for the advantages that this approach can give to customers and furthermore to patients.

The DOMINA control platform is up to date with today’s demands for control, connectivity and usability, as well as being prepared to gather all future opportunities for having a smart machine that truly helps customers.

Marco Minardi

Automation Manager at IMA Active.

He is responsible for Hardware and Software control system design for the entire portfolio of IMA Active machines.

Graduated in Electronical Engineer, he has over 25 years of experience in automation, especially in process control applications for Pharma, Life Science, Oil and Gas. He followed projects for solid dose, liquid and bio preparations with major engineering companies all over the world.

He is now focusing on automation development related to platform unification and on connectivity of machines by adopting Artificial Intelligence and reinforcement learning techniques. Another special focus is the development of Orchestration System for Continuous Manufacturing, where an holistic approach is mandatory.