STERILINE TECHNOLOGIES AND INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR A LONGSTANDING RELATIONSHIP WITH PHARMA CUSTOMERS

23.04.2019

STERILINE TECHNOLOGIES AND INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR A LONGSTANDING RELATIONSHIP WITH PHARMA CUSTOMERS An unequalled expertise in the aseptic processing and a well-known ability to answer customers’ needs made Steriline the perfect ally for pharmaceutical companies: Pierre Fabr

STERILINE TECHNOLOGIES AND INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR A LONGSTANDING RELATIONSHIP WITH PHARMA CUSTOMERS

An unequalled expertise in the aseptic processing and a well-known ability to answer customers’ needs made Steriline the perfect ally for pharmaceutical companies: Pierre Fabre case history

Como, October 2018.

This year will also be an occasion to celebrate Steriline’s two-decades of collaboration with Pierre Fabre, the 2nd French private pharmaceutical Group and the 2nd dermo-cosmetics laboratory worldwide. A strong partnership that points out Steriline’s aptitude to always satisfy clients answering to their needs with tailor-made solutions.

Pierre Fabre counts subsidiaries and offices in 47 countries and distributes its products in over 130 countries. Among industrial fields in which the Group’s skill and expertise gained global recognition, it produces drugs in the form of injectable solutions for the treatment of cancer, such as the cytotoxic and biotechnological anti-cancer products manufactured in Pau factory (South-Western France), specialized in the aseptic filling under isolators.

In this compelling context, Steriline started to work with Pierre Fabre as a partner for the design, development and provision of equipment solutions for its aseptic vial filling lines, including washing machines, depyrogenation tunnels, external decontaminating machines and isolators.  

In 2016 in particular Pierre Fabre had the necessity to process a new format in one of its aseptic filling lines. Through an open dialogue and its ongoing guidance to the client, Steriline advised Pierre Fabre about the opportunity to consider the implementation of a new rotary washing machine, building on the experience with a similar model by Steriline that Pierre Fabre had installed more recently within a different aseptic processing line. A dedicated project manager was assigned by Steriline to work close to Pierre Fabre’s team and identify the best solution, while assessing possible improvements and customizations to be reflected in the design of the new rotary washing machine that would replace the existing one.

Before an additional format introduction was needed, Steriline’s interfacing linear washing machine and sterilization tunnel shared the same switchboard and HMI control panel. Having to replace the washing machine with a new advanced model would have meant to suspend the production for several months (on average at least 3 times more than what happened in reality) in order to have time also to update the electric and HMI panels and make a complete revalidation of tunnel and software.

The solution proposed by Steriline focused on the importance to make one machine independent from the other, so as to keep the aseptic vial filling line running until the final installation of the new rotary washer. Therefore, Steriline engineers developed a new additional switchboard to autonomously supply only the washing machine (so allowing the sterilization tunnel to work on its own through the old electric panel) and embedded a dedicated software to control the new washer into the existing HMI panel. Moreover, the sterilization tunnel was modified at its entry side in order to facilitate the assembly and interaction with the novel washing machine.

«Steriline high specialization, know-how and experience in the aseptic processing market, coupled with their strong innovative attitude in project management – commented Hervé Santelli, Project Manager at Pierre Fabre – allowed us to achieve our goals in due time, with a solution that brought benefits to the efficiency of the whole vial filling line».

This kind of interventions planned and managed by Steriline allowed to maintain the existing system unmodified as much as possible, thus granting significant time saving in the development, testing and validation phases. And, most importantly, it granted a minimum production downtime for Pierre Fabre as well.

From the order of the new machine to the SAT phase Steriline was able to complete the project within an outstanding delivery time (less than 6 months), far shorter than the average.

Likewise, Steriline’s new rotary washing machine also impacted positively on the overall layout (smaller footprint) and efficiency enabling an easier, wider and faster format change.

«Through this project, once again, our team gave clear evidence of our advanced project management capabilities and inventive approach to engineering. – says Federico Fumagalli, Chief Commercial Officer at Steriline – These two features are the basis of Steriline distinctive solutions and have been nurturing our collaborative partnership with Pierre Fabre. This project is also a clear example of how a long-lasting strategic collaboration with a partner such as Pierre Fabre, can bring to excellent results even with short lead times for the development ».

At CPhI Worldwide 2018, Steriline showcased its Robotic Vial Filling and Capping Machine (RVFCM2), one of the key robotic solutions from its wide product portfolio for the aseptic processing market.

The Robotic Vial Filling and Capping Machine, equipped with anthropomorphic H2O2 compatible STÄUBLI robots, is designed for campaign production with containment technology and could involve up to 4 open vials in filling and stoppering operations at the same time. As part of Steriline’s zero reject philosophy, the RVFCM2 allows repeated operations on missing stopper or cap detection. It also requires minimum format parts and electronic adjustment of all parameters for different vial sizes.