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Post published on 11/03/2023

Broadening our scope in the pharmaceutical industry

At IMA BFB we have designed and manufactured end-of-line equipment since 1975 and we can count on the most comprehensive range of secondary packaging machines currently available. Flexibility, customised solutions and engineering capabilities are at our core. The strategic importance of end-of-line solutions cannot be questioned. The pharmaceutical industry is faced with the need to package and distribute the product in a similar way to any other major industry, and end-of-line solutions need to keep pace with all the other technologies that are found throughout the production and packaging process. The added value of the division lies in our ability to provide different answers, suitable for various needs. This comes from our history in different sectors, is part of our DNA and gives us the flexibility to adapt to requests with 360° answers for the market and for the customer. Today, there are several opportunities with which IMA BFB can apply its skills and expertise to areas which will spark the interest of pharmaceutical companies.


“When you reach the end of the line, where do you go from there”?

Faced with this dilemma, Luca Bonazzi, whose experience in IMA BFB spans over three decades, recognises the value of the technologies that this division has developed over the years and has begun exploiting them, along with the division’s even broader know-how, to respond to specific needs arising in the pharmaceutical industry.

“Efficiency of the entire process depends on the end-of-line equipment. This is why we attach so much importance to perfecting each detail”.

The strategic importance of end-of-line equipment

End-of-line is not only a point of arrival in the production process but constitutes an increasingly important stage of the process where everything must coincide and correspond to what has been done before.
This refers to tracking needs, to the data which is essential for storage and logistics and to data protection as well as safeguarding the content. All information must be aligned, checked and prepared correctly.

The end-of-line machines are of strategic importance and have an impact on the efficiency of the line, so the entire process, from wrapping to case packing and palletizing, must work and interact with different systems flawlessly to ensure the success of any previous processes.

Expanding the notion of manipulation technologies

When approaching a group like IMA, one immediate advantage for a customer is being able to discuss all processing and packaging requirements with one team, from start to finish.
This is also precisely what happens within IMA BFB since we transformed our end-of-line specialisation into a wider notion of manipulation technologies.

Leveraging our experience in sectors outside the pharmaceutical industry, we are now implementing product handling systems which enhance the performance of a production process at key points along the entire line.

Immediate usability

Flexibility, accuracy, efficiency, track & trace requirements; each of these issues can be addressed using our technologies. Not only does our knowledge of handling systems allow us to define the most appropriate solutions, but the fact we are using the same manipulation technologies as those of our end-of-line machines means the customer is already familiar with our technology and never needs to involve a third party for these needs.

Evolving through diversification

Diversifying is a key to our future and as the pharmaceutical industry evolves, our contribution will accelerate that evolution. We are providing answers that would have remained on the drawing board had we not decided to embrace the notion of manipulation technologies.

“As the logical, and may I say, exciting step beyond the end of the line, these new solutions are fast becoming the direction we are taking. So whether it means going back to the start of the line or irrupting mid-way through a process to deliver a technological innovation that enhances quality and efficiency, we now know how far beyond the end of the line we have come, and that we won’t stop here.”

Interview with Luca Bonazzi, IMA BFB Operations Director

Following initial experience in electrical engineering, Luca evolved as a software designer, joining BFB to fill this same role in 1991. A few years later, he became head of the electrical and software department. Leveraging his experience in software, he has successfully extended his skills to cover the development and implementation of new technologies related to end-of-line machines, focusing on partnerships with multinational companies, both in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors. In 2007 he pursued a master’s degree in Business Administration at the Alma Graduate School of Bologna and became technical director of BFB. In 2011, he became Vice President of this division, and today he continues his activities as the operations director.

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