In this edition of the Spotlight, Piovan Group tours us through its range of automation systems for plastic applications in the pharmaceutical and medical industries – aspiring for facility management, traceability, cleanliness, compatibility, and validation.
Respond to a wide variety of customer specifications with customised solutions, ensuring consistency, quality, automation and production tracking
In the medical industry, customer demands can be the most diverse. But there is one requirement that unites them all: quality standards must always be top notch, in terms of product, absence of contamination, and traceability. From this axiom, Piovan Group’s vision of the industry was born. The world-leading company in the development and manufacturing of production process automation systems for the storage, transport, and treatment of polymers, plastic, and food powders has been active in the medical sector for decades, and since 2018 it has enhanced its product and solution offering. Today the reference list is very long and includes major global players: from Europe (Northern Europe, Ireland, UK, Germany, France, and Poland in particular) to North America, with the USA in the lead.
Piovan Group is present wherever there is any plastic product needed in the medical field: from disposable devices (syringes, masks, bandages, gloves, gowns), to implants and prosthetics (dentistry, eyeglasses, orthopaedics), to control devices (thermoscanners, thermometers), to pharmaceutical packaging (blisters, vials, containers) and components (needles, cannulas, bags, monitors, tubes).
“In each situation, we develop with the customer custom-built solutions from a wide variety of specifications, always with one conviction: the medical sector, more so than products, needs an approach. This is what we do every day, solving customers’ problems with the most suitable and technologically advanced answers,” explains Pierino Martinato, Piovan Group business manager for the medical sector.
The 5 pillars of Piovan Group
Facility management. Traceability. Cleanliness. Compatibility. Validation. These are the five areas on which Piovan Group insists, because they correspond to the primary needs of an industry whose standards, already high in themselves, are increasingly being expanded.
”This segment requires special attention to production both in terms of consistency and quality and in product validation. So, we have to ensure traceability of what we do through control software; total cleanliness of the plant, which must always be maintained at high levels; full compatibility, meaning the plant must not alter the plastic we transport. Finally, the control of the validation process of internal procedures,” continues Pierino Martinato. To do this, Piovan Group has developed self-adaptive systems, simultaneously ensuring the lowest level of operator intervention.
This is an aspect that is even more crucial in the so-called Clean Rooms, which are those special environments that require stringent environmental controls, totally hermetic with proof of the highest ISO standards, where the air is controlled in its purity and neither dust nor any kind of contamination must never be created. ”In Clean Rooms, automation is even more important and the machinery is specially designed. A typical example is Ryng, the solution for real-time production monitoring and raw material utilisation. It is a material consumption tracking system designed specifically for working in the Clean Room. Another example is the Pureflo receiver: one of its specifications is the absence of filters, that would require cleaning, which is quite difficult in these environments.”
It is a path that begins with the management of the machinery, to ensure that the standards of the various processes are met over time. “For example, what does stability over time of the dehumidification process mean?” explains Pierino Martinato. “It means having a process that stabilises and corrects itself independently according to environmental conditions, without the need for the intervention of an operator, so that the quality of the product remains constant over time.”
Traceability, on the other hand, is provided by Winfactory 4.0, the control software that tracks the entire cycle of a batch, from consumables (plastic resins) to batches of processed products. Every step is recorded in the software, which is always available to the customer.
“To ensure the cleanliness of the process we use special filtering processes that allow us to prevent contamination from naturally occurring airborne dust. Material compatibility means that all production is done using compliant, silicone-free, and lubricant-free materials, no rubber seals, and suitable materials, such as steel and glass, for all critical parts.”
Finally, qualification and validation, an aspect on which customers are very demanding, requires a certificate of origin for every element used in production. “We are able to provide certification of all the primary components of our machines that come in contact with the product. There are thousands of parts, for which we have obtained certificates from all our suppliers – extensive documentation that very few or none of the players in the market are able to provide.”
For the medical field, Piovan Group is a leader in storage systems, with modular indoor and outdoor solutions and special silos (e.g., heated); in cooling systems, which are highly flexible and precise; in self-adaptive dehumidification systems, but also in automatic coupling systems (Easylink+) and high-precision gravimetric blenders (such as Quantum).
For any information you may need, please contact us: https://www.piovan.com/contacts/.
This content was sponsored by Piovan Group.
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