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Medochemie & MG2: a long-lasting cooperation looking for innovation and increasing performances

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High dosage accuracy, excellent performances, and teamwork: these are the highlights of the partnership between MG2 and Medochemie. Interview to Mr. Demetris Skourlas, Project Manager & Assistant Plant Manager at Medochemie Ltd., who tells us about his experience with MG2 capsule fillers. 

Medochemie Ltd is a medium-sized generic pharmaceutical manufacturing company based in Cyprus, with more than 40 years of experience. They produce a wide range of products with 4,355 marketing authorizations and 630 different product combinations.

Their products cover 10 therapeutic categories, giving more than 300 million people the opportunity to be treated. The driving force of Medochemie is the human factor: in fact, they currently employ 1,650 people, 60% of whom are scientists.

 

The Company philosophy/mission consists in guaranteeing quality drug treatment at affordable prices to people all over the world in full respect of sustainability.

Mr. Skourlas, what is the purpose of the new PLANETA machine?

The selection of the PLANETA model is a balance among output, performance, and set-up. The competition within the pharmaceutical sector is high especially for the generic companies like us, where we are having a lot of products with medium batch sizes. PLANETA model is offering this combination.

What are the key factors that brought you to select an MG2 machine?

First, Medochemie has been an MG2 customer for 25 years with two G37/N machines, which are still showing good performance. The continuous motion of encapsulation against the intermittent motion provides the necessary sustainability on the weight variation and better control on the synchronisation of the different modules.

Mr. Demetris Skourlas

Mr. Demetris Skourlas

Project Manager & Assistant Plant Manager

Medochemie and MG2 teams during the FAT in the Pharma Zone

During FAT execution what are the factors that you most appreciated?

I am working at Medochemie since 2013, I started as an Assistant Production Manager and now I am holding the position of Project Manager. The experience with the PLANETA and MG2 people gave me the feeling of being part of a family.
What do I mean with that? All people at MG2 company are passionate with their role. It is not just a job. And I can give some examples of how I realized that through my project:

  1. Pharma Zone room availability: We had the chance to run a difficult product with its original formula and not as a placebo which does not allow to see the real performance of the machine.
  2. MG2 people and especially the Project Managers were there to answer all our concerns with very constructive conversations and end-point results/solutions.

Let’s talk about the first factor, dosage accuracy, can you give us your perspective on this?

The big challenge on all the machines is how to achieve good accuracy with the highest output. With the PLANETA machine we have achieved extremely high accuracy with maximum output. Especially the Statistical Weight Control system and the way that the software had been developed is ensuring that your product will be within the specs you have set. Thanks to the structure which foresees 3 setting parameters to control the dosing accuracy, you can reach the required per capsule.

 

You appreciated particularly the new HMI – can you explain why?

B&R HMI screen: A very friendly HMI screen very well structured according to the access level, and the flexibility is necessary to face the difficulties that can occurred during the production process.
Personally, I consider it as a state-of-Art HMI screen. At first the 3D machine layout appears and when you select a sector the respective parameters are shown.

Another aspect that you liked is the set of Reports provided by the machine. Are they in line with what is required by your QA and SOPs?

The batch reports are in line with what currently requested from the cGMP guidelines and provide all the necessary information. What I liked the most was not only the Gaussian curve of the weight variation but the information regarding the performance of a specific batch, Productivity Analysis and Statistics. The conclusion here is that the software has been developed not to satisfy the quality attributes from the documentation point of view only, but also the production needs and the metrics which are necessary for a production manager.

Detail of the HMI

What about the documentation. Did it comply with your expectations?

The documentation was so well-structured that it is like reading a story, which makes you read and learn more and more about it. The description is very clear way, and I can say that I have known how the machine is working and I have understood each parameter even before seeing the machine. A few questions only for clarification purposes have been necessary to understand with high confidence the machine operation.
The flow of the documentation and the content of each document not to be mixed with other contents is the key element to have a very well-explained documentation. In addition, for such a technological machine the functionalities are explained in a very simple way, which means that the person who wrote them and the person who developed this machine are passionate engineers with high sense of engineering.

Finally, people are a truly important ingredient to get success in a project. What did you most appreciate about MG2 people?

About the people from MG2, I can only express my appreciation to them and my respect. I would like to share some more words. They know and hope we will keep working together for many years in the future. 

PLANETA capsule filling machine with 21-inch HMI

Mr. Skourlas, as a conclusion, do you have any project for the future regarding encapsulation area?

Given all the above, we started another 3 projects in Cyprus, including the revamping of an old machine and 2 new PLANETA machines. Why have we selected MG2 for these projects again? Because I believe MG2 is one of the partners who can be our co-driver to our mission/philosophy.

PLANETA installed at Medochemie site in Vietnam

About

Medochemie Ltd.
Privately owned pharmaceutical company, it was founded in 1976 by Dr Andreas Pittas.
  –  630 products combinations
  – 107 countries
  –  21 local offices
  –  10 therapeutic categories
Today Medochemie has 9 Manufacturing Facilities in Cyprus, 1 Manufacturing Site located in the Netherlands and 4 Manufacturing Facilities in Vietnam. For more information, visit www.medochemie.com.

Medochemie HQ address:
1 – 10 Constantinoupoleos Str.
P.O. Box 51409 – Limassol 3505 – Cyprus
phone: +357 25867600

Mr. Demetris Skourlas
Eng. Chemical Engineer
Project Manager & Assistant Plant Manager


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