A word from... Sara Ceitanya Ronchi, sales manager of Officine Ronchi

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Italian design and quality with a privileged look at the world of research.

Officine Ronchi, a family-owned company in Lombardy specializing in tablet pressers for oral solids, has been producing technology for the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, chemical and food markets since 1947, exporting worldwide. We asked Sara Ceitanya Ronchi, sales manager of Officine Ronchi and part of the ownership, for a market perspective in light of the company’s excellent performance in the 2020-2021 biennium.

«The tablet pressers serve very different markets that’s why our clients range from Ferrero’s Tic Tac in food, to national brands that are key players in the nutraceutical market such as Aboca and Phoenix, to historic pharmaceutical companies such as Bracco, to pharmaceutical leaders of global caliber. Large industrial groups constitute only a part of our business horizon, which is experiencing significant growth today thanks to the world of research and development. In recent years, in fact, we have focused on R&D machines for the university world and for pharmacies, for which, in particular, we designed a single-punch machine. In fact, our machines are rotary and occupy large spaces, with production ranges between 10 and 60 stations, i.e., the number of tablets produced per revolution: oversized devices for the needs of small laboratories and research centers and in general for small production batches. We therefore sought to specifically serve a market such as laboratories, which has smaller size and production needs, going as far as meeting the need down to the single tablet. Our answer is the UNIQUE, which expresses a different concept from the classic lines for industry, to follow productions with small volumes. As for academia, we have provided our technology to the Universities of Pisa, Camerino, Naples, Federico II and Catanzaro, which has taken a rotary machine for larger productions. Supporting activities that lead to publications, product development and experimentation means boosting research in Italy and creating spaces for young generations of researchers, which is a very important issue for us».

New services and...

«The 2020-2021 biennium has been very lively, of interest, with new clients, projects and orders. So, for us, new perspectives, not only because the pharmaceutical world in the last two years has been driven by the pandemic, but also because we are seeing the benefits of a far-reaching industrial policy, such as the measures on the Industry 4.0 tax credit, which have also strengthened nutraceuticals, which have been very growing in recent years. One of the most dynamic sectors during the pandemic period, both as a health support product and as a vehicle for wellness. One of our clients, Long Life Phoenix, carried out studies dedicated to vitamin B-12 capsules, noting a significant increase in consumption precisely during the health crisis».

«Looking at markets in general, we detected great dynamism in the Italian one, while on the foreign market, although positive, the main problem was testing: a very complex issue on a technological level, due to the absence of the machine on site, with respect to which we therefore specialized in demo videos and tutorials. For example, we followed a FAT in Bangladesh, where a client purchased as many as two machines that we successfully tested amidst fluctuating network, time zones, language difficulties and the set of obvious criticalities that such a situation entails. Longer but effective trials: a successful example of Italian style. Certainly, these experiences have allowed us to put an extra support service in the catalog, dividing between remote testing and at the customer’s premises, which we now back to meeting at the fair and at headquarters».

... new products

«The recent synergy between IPACK-IMA and Pharmintech, two fairs in which we have always believed strongly, is a choice that has convinced us, enriching the business potential and the transversality of the experience, where we have proposed some important new products. As I mentioned, we are focusing on research with products that are successful even among the big guys like Chiesi and Menarini, who still use lab machines for testing, small batches and research projects. Since our competitors are focused on the production world with large and fast machines, we have focused on laboratory machines such as the FAStyle, a benchtop rotary tablet press with 8 tablets per revolution, completely revised in design and new for the 2022 edition of IPACK-IMA; the UNIQUE, a small mono-punch for pharmacies; and, finally, the FATop, an automatic rotary tablet press equipped with self-adjustment of tablet weight».

Results and prospects

«I could never have bet on a 2020 and 2021 with results similar to what we have achieved; so it is difficult today to think about the future. Also, in these two years, thanks in part to Industry 4.0, the market has become saturated, so I expect the trend of revisions to start. We also look a lot at African and Middle Eastern markets, which require much longer negotiations than in Europe. For example, in Egypt we work with the government agency that deals with industrial development, making purchases that it then places with companies. That’s why markets in developing countries are interesting but complex. As for the Italian market, I see very good prospects, with more of a push on nutraceuticals than pharmaceuticals. Certainly, Industry 4.0, which was extended in December, still represents an important flywheel because of the 40-50 percent savings, which in many cases motivated to purchase compared to a revision at practically the same figures».