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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Delivering Results

PMPS: Where does Dividella fit into the parenteral drug delivery field?

Stefan Knellwolf: For the last 30 years we have been servicing the pharmaceutical secondary packaging market. Our place within parenterals is in the production of semi- to fully automated packaging lines for the secondary packaging of syringes, vials, ampoules, cartridges, injectors and pens in mono-material, carton-based, pharma-focused packaging.

What packaging solutions are currently available to the industry?

Ecological, small volume cartons from mono-material which allow volume reduction are proving popular right now. They often mean overall savings for many sectors, including logistics, volumes, materials and, in particular, the cold chain. On top of that, of course, they provide sustainable solutions: a hugely topical issue.

Are there any new developments in the pipeline you can tell us about?

New generation toploaders with even higher flexibility and format range will be presented to the market at the end of this year. These will involve a seamless transition to our existing lines with extended and adaptable modularity, which will require no interruption to the life cycle of the product. Also available soon will be the potential not just to adapt to evervarying carton sizes, but to shifting current market demands as well… so watch this space.

Which part of your job do you most enjoy?

The pharma market is totally new to me and is both fascinating and exciting; it is an extremely promising industry. I enjoy establishing contact with each customer and learning through them what is happening right now in their sector.

What are the challenges of working with parenteral products?

Product safety is always an issue, so we push hard to ensure safety and flexibility in our feeding solutions. The products we work on are very often in a cold chain capacity, with the result that the pack volume plays an essential role. Often these drugs are valuable and highly priced, meaning that product safety plays an even more important role and demands an absolute good manufacturing practice (GMP) conforming packaging line. Our customers’ requirements for us to meet these high standards are attained without compromise from either end.

What have been your proudest moments?

I feel a sense of pride every time we leave a customer perfectly satisfied after completing a very challenging project. 18 of the top 20 pharma companies can be counted among our customers, and 8 out of every 10 biotech products are packaged on our lines. This I take to mean that we are doing our jobs right!

What keeps you awake at night?

The only thing that disturbs my sleep is when my 3-year-old son wakes up from a nightmare.

What do you think the parenteral market needs to focus on in 2013?

We are seeing strong globalisation in the direction of the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China), in addition to local production sites. We have also noticed a trend for rising volumes and declining lot sizes.

Where do you see parenteral technology and products leading over the next decade?

People are living longer; illnesses like diabetes are increasing; personalised medicine is moving forward. All of these things will demand a high level of technology in the secondary packaging sector for targeted therapies and long-lasting medication.

What is the most important lesson you have ever learnt?

Only satisfied customers return. This should be the number one lesson for any company, whatever its size, to take on board.


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Stefan Knellwolf is CEO of Dividella AG. He was previously Managing Director of the Aerospace and Power Generation Business Unit at Starrag Heckert AG; prior to this he held senior management positions in the fields of production, logistics, development and construction. Stefan is an engineering graduate from ETH, Zurich, specialising in Technical Business Administration.
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