Monolab and Retinae, a partnership that makes a difference in the automation market for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical companies

20 Jun 2024

Home 9 Case history 9 Monolab and Retinae, a partnership that makes a difference in the automation market for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical companies
Monolab partnership Retinae

For several years now, Retinae from Bologna, a specialist in vision systems, and Monolab from Carpi, a manufacturer of blister machines, have forged a partnership that has resulted in dozens of installations. This combination has won market trust, thanks not only to the quality of the technologies but also to a valuable and quite rare flexibility in the packaging world. What are the strengths of this partnership? What are the upcoming events where you can see these solutions in action? We discuss this with Cristian Sironi, Business Developer at Monolab, and Luca Bertocchi, CEO of Retinae.

A common customer-centric viewpoint

“The partnership with Retinae,” explains Sironi, “stemmed from the need to match the quality of our machines with what is a real strength for us at Monolab: the support and post-sale service we provide to customers. In Retinae, we have finally found a partner who shares our viewpoint. The approach we both share isn’t just about supplying a machine; it significantly emphasizes post-sale support that is as timely and effective as possible. In the Nutraceutical and Pharmaceutical sectors, where Monolab operates, this aspect is a must—it’s a quality of service that is greatly appreciated by all our clients.”

Retinae’s strength also lies in its ability to understand and adapt to customer needs. “Monolab was founded in 1995 and is a well-regarded and well-positioned historic Italian manufacturer,” adds Bertocchi. “It is a company that values the flexibility we can provide. And this is a great added value for us.”

Market distribution of Monolab

“About 60% of our production is destined for the Italian market, with the remaining 40% exported. Our blister machines are in demand in various countries, including the United States, Latin America, China, India, Israel, and the Baltic regions. In terms of sectors, I would say a good 70% of our clients are in the nutraceutical industry, with the remaining 30% in pharmaceuticals.” Together, Retinae and Monolab also participate in trade fairs, where one can admire the blister machines designed and produced in Carpi, equipped with vision systems developed in Bologna.

Trade Shows Confirm Customer Trust

“Recently, we participated in Hispack in Barcelona and Vitafoods Europe in Geneva. The latter”, continues Cristian Sironi, “is a very important reference point for Nutraceuticals, attracting visitors from all over the world, and I must say it went very well. We have consolidated our market presence and several clients who already use our machines have reaffirmed their trust in us and ordered more blister machines. This for us is a sign of their satisfaction. At the same time, during those days at the fair, we met new and important realities with whom we are already building a relationship. Both Monolab and Retinae were founded with the goal of establishing a relationship with the customer that goes beyond a single sale and is instead aimed at building a long-term relationship. What really matters to us is not just concluding a sale at any cost but helping the customer understand that they are purchasing something durable, that will hold value today and in the future”.

Flexibility is the keyword

“The feedback we have received on the machines supplied previously, and on the after-sales service, has been really good and significant”, continues Sironi. “This confirms both the quality of our work and the fact that in Retinae we have found the right partner for our needs. It is a partnership that consolidates our reputation and allows us to serve effectively a sector that produces medium-small volumes but with very repetitive and frequent productions. In the nutraceutical sector, in fact, large product runs are rare compared to a major campaign, as occurs in the pharmaceutical sector”.

The peculiarities of the nutraceutical sector require customization

The performance of machines for companies in the Nutraceutical sector, and also many in the pharmaceutical sector, cannot be heavily penalized by a vision system which, if not operating as desired, can lead to significant inconveniences, including the stopping of packaging. “A rigid, complicated, and difficult-to-manage vision system does not ensure the efficiency and flexibility necessary for the production needs of this sector,” continues Cristian Sironi of Monolab. “With Retinae, we have resolved this aspect by providing all clients with machines equipped with a vision system aligned with the excellent performance of our blister machine, not only in terms of operation but also and especially on the side of rapid technical support, when needed. This makes us particularly competitive in a market where the presence of large structures that struggle to be flexible, precisely because of their size which involves costly processes of intake, processing, and intervention”.

Settore farmaceutico

The power of speed

Monolab and Retinae are medium-small enterprises, and this allows them not only the speed in developing solutions but also that freedom of movement which becomes decisive in the challenges of changes, customization, and after-sales interventions. “For us at Retinae,” continues Luca Bertocchi, “flexibility is a strong and distinctive value. It’s part of who we are, our history, and how we operate. It’s our added value that sets us apart and allows us to provide quick, customized responses. For example, the specific customizations requested by our clients that make a significant difference in production efficiencies. This is why we are appreciated by small and medium-sized enterprises, who are looking for special solutions tailored to their needs”.

“Exactly”, concludes Sironi, “together we make a difference because we can offer and deliver, in real time and at minimal costs, what the customer needs. Speed in response and cost sustainability are two aspects that our larger competitors find impossible to reconcile”.