Last updateWed, 08 Jul 2020 11am

Forerunners in pharma: how Igb and BOBST take pharma packaging production to the next level

Igb (Industrie Grafiche Bressan) is one of the most renowned manufacturers of pharmaceutical folding cartons in Italy, well known for both its production quality and its innovation: in 2018, Igb was awarded the Oscar della Stampa as the Best Technology Innovator.

The company is very much a family affair and has been growing very quickly, driven by a lean manufacturing management approach. Originally founded by Dino Bressan during the 1960s, Igb is now managed by his three children. We spoke to one of them – Alessio Bressan, the CEO of Igb – about what differentiates the company and how their partnership with BOBST gives them an extra competitive advantage.

Driven by innovation
“Igb is a little bit different to most manufacturers: we innovate as well as produce packaging that responds to our clients’ specific needs,” explained Alessio. “We have a specialist R&D department, which has so far filed more than 100 new patent applications. Some of these innovations already have the potential to be truly groundbreaking. For example, we have developed Tamper Evident and Child Resistant folding boxes, which can be processed on standard packaging lines.

”On February 9, 2019, the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD - Dir. 2011/62/EU) on anticounterfeiting came into force. This means that pharmaceutical products in Europe require tamper evident cartons. Glue is not considered as an accepted anticounterfeiting solution for pharmaceutical cartons, while cases sealed with labels are complex and expensive to pack. Igb’s solution has no glue, requires no change in the packaging processes of pharmaceutical companies, is environmentally friendly, and completely fulfils the needs of the FMD. It’s a very lean and green solution, and several world-leading pharma companies have already chosen this product to ensure they are ready for the FMD.

Meanwhile, Igb has also developed and mass-produced an innovative Child Resistant folding box that looks like a regular folding box, but has a locking system with a key. Sales are growing quickly for this product both in Europe and in the US. “These innovations are representative of Igb’s approach,” said Alessio. “We look to the future to understand what challenges our customers will face, we assess the shortcomings of current approaches and we find completely innovative solutions. Igb is a problem solver and solution provider as well as a service provider, and we are always actively looking for new ways to improve the service to our customers even further.”

Igb and BOBST: a meeting of minds
Folding cartons are the core business of Igb and it is imperative that they have the most advanced folder-gluers available. This is where BOBST comes in. BOBST is one of the leading suppliers of equipment and services to packaging and label manufacturers in the folding carton, corrugated board and flexible materials industries. It has worked closely with Igb since the 1980s, when under Dino Bressan, the Italian company transformed and added cardboard processing to its printing activities. It has recently invested in its latest BOBST folder-gluer – EXPERTFOLD 110 with GYROBOX.

“After analyzing various solutions on the market, the quality of EXPERTFOLD 110 was the best,” said Alessio. “The tests carried out on the machine were very satisfactory as they allowed us to reach high production speeds. Another determining factor – which competitors cannot offer – is the in-line quality controls. With EXPERTFOLD 110 quality inspection is possible during the production phase.”
EXPERTFOLD 110 is an extremely versatile folder-gluer. Also available in 50 and 80 cm widths, the wide choice of modules available allows manufacturers to produce an impressive number of box styles – from small pharma and general food cartons, to large cartons made from litho-laminates – in a wide range of materials at speeds of up to 450 meters per minute.

EXPERTFOLD is easy to operate, and allows users to simultaneously carry out other in-line processes, such as Braille embossing with ACCUBRAILLE and quality inspection with ACCUCHECK, making it ideally suited for the pharmaceutical market.


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