Hanover, 15 November 2012 – The rlc | packaging group recently completed the expansion of its PHARMACENTER in Rüdersdorf near Berlin. The family-owned company invested in a new production facility and doubled machine capacity to ramp up for the growing demand for high-quality pharmaceutical packaging. Folding box production was launched in July in the new building. The production of package inserts has started there in early November. As a system provider, rlc offers a range of special services in its PHARMACENTER, including filling and packing of folding boxes, leaflets and pre-packed medications with just-in-time distribution. The expansion of the production facility has resulted in some 30 new jobs.
"The expansion of our PHARMACENTER exemplifies our ongoing focus on the special needs of the pharmaceutical industry," says Hans-Jürgen Katzer, rlc Managing Director responsible for the construction of the new facility. "We expect to see a growing demand for system-based services from a single source in the future. As a holistic system supplier, our PHARMACENTER covers the entire value chain. Our technology, organization, production and supply chain are tailored to the specific needs of the pharmaceutical industry." Walter Würfel, in charge of the rlc pharmaceutical division, adds: "We assemble and distribute folding boxes, pre-packed drugs and package leaflets at our PHARMACENTER. Our company is authorized to handle pharmaceutical packaging in accordance with Paragraph 13 of the German Medicinal Products Act."
Finishing competence and just-in-time production
In addition to efficient packaging production, three new production lines for folding boxes offer hybrid effects and other finishing solutions that are seldom used in the pharmaceutical industry. Würfel explains: "Special finishing is especially important for non-prescription, over-the-counter products. This is where we specifically implement our expertise in the beauty and confectionery sectors. Depending on the manufacturer's needs, we produce folding boxes using UV printing and hot foil stamping techniques." The company's investment in new presses, die cutters and gluing machinery avoids bottlenecks in just-in-time production operations.
The portfolio of package inserts produced at the PHARMACENTER ranges from flat and pre-folded inserts to outserts. With its new printing and folding machines, rlc already meets EU readability guidelines requiring future package inserts to be printed in a minimum nine-point font.
Lean principles and highest safety standards
Organized according to lean production principles and high-level automation, the PHARMACENTER operations enable more efficient, need-based production. This prepares rlc for the short cycles common in the industry and guarantees fast turnaround times. State-of-the-art inspection methods ensure compliance with the highest safety and hygiene standards. The slightest mistake, such as a missing decimal point in the dosing information, can have fatal consequences for the patient. This is why rlc carries out special quality control checks at each phase of production.
In addition to the expansion of the facility in Rüdersdorf, rlc has also invested in a spacious new building for its subsidiary BSC in Poland. This site offers an additional 2,500 square meters of production space for pharmaceutical packaging. Katzer explains: "This facility enables us to flexibly meet peak production demands for our customers and cover the Eastern European market under identical production conditions." Limmatdruck l Zeiler, the rlc operations in Switzerland, also offer comprehensive expertise in the production of pharmaceutical packaging. This is complemented by PAS Media, a GMP-validated project and artwork lifecycle management tool. By increasing capacities at its different plants, rlc is moving forward with its strategy of specialization and sustainable growth in target industries.