Hapa's Web 4.0 on a new Orion line in Turku

Support all along the line

Why Orion, the leading Finnish pharmaceuticals company, thinks Hapa is the way to go

An excellent sense for innovation has made Orion Finland’s leading pharmaceuticals manufacturer. The main focuses of its research and development are in the area of oncology and pain. Success in these areas has spurred the company’s growth. Founded 105 years ago, Orion today employs 3,500 people and has a turnover of over a billion euros. Its almost 30 locations give the company a Europe-wide presence. But research and manufacture are restricted to just six production locations in Finland. “That is very important to us,” says Orion. “We simply have to have everything under control.” (1) In addition, Orion has manufacturing plants in France and Belgium for animal health medicines.

Innovation, control, and the desire to really understand things in detail: That is what Orion expects of its technology partners. This was also the focus of Orion’s search for a new inline printing solution for blister foils at its Salo location in southern Finland, where the group of companies has a packaging and logistics center. The packaging line turns out tens of millions of blister packages (and bottles) every year. (2) For inline blister foil printing, Orion wanted to move away from toner-based printing systems, which tend to be unreliable. The company first decided to retrofit two existing lines with Hapa’s highly efficient Web 4.0 drop-on-demand solution to take better advantage of digital efficiency-enhancing capabilities. It uses the Web 4.0 to print product information, batch numbers, and expiration dates. In the future, the company could also use the systems for serialization or to print other variable data. “We are very satisfied with this Hapa technology,” says Juha-Pekka Koskela, Orion’s Sourcing Manager. “Since they have been in operation, we have greatly reduced operating and maintenance costs and benefited from excellent printing system availability.” 

Hapa's Web 4.0 on an Orion line in Salo

Hapa's Web 4.0 on an Orion line in Salo

Before reaching the decision, Orion made an effort to assess the new technology comprehensively and gain an impression of it. As global technology and market leader in the field of inline and on-demand printing solutions for the pharmaceutical industry, Hapa was well-prepared for this scrutiny. It has installed almost 500 digital systems worldwide. This allowed Orion to visit several pharmaceutical companies to get a first-hand impression of the solution’s quality. In addition to the satisfaction of these users, Hapa enjoyed another advantage: “We offer not only printing technology but create entire system solutions that encompass all areas of operation,” says Hapa’s Sales Manager. “That is unique in our industry. For instance, we have the technical infrastructure and the right specialists to conduct extensive tests ourselves under realistic conditions, with the inks we have developed and on various materials. Other providers don’t have this capability.” For Orion, these were convincing arguments. 

Hapa also supported Orion a great deal in establishing and refining the workflow between the existing Systech track-and-trace system and the two Web 4.0 systems. This workflow is entirely PDF-based, ensuring especially reliable, efficient processes. For the workflow, Orion and Hapa also worked together to create an interface for the system that Orion had chosen for this purpose. “Hapa’s support and access to the necessary resources for the entire digital transformation process were very important,” says Koskela.

Hapa's Web 4.0 on a new Orion line in Turku

Hapa's Web 4.0 on a new Orion line in Turku

Given the successful collaboration in Salo, Orion decided to introduce a Web 4.0 in Turku as well, this time integrating it into an entirely new line. Covid-19 forced remote performance of design qualification and pre-FATs. “The way Hapa organized it allowed us to see very easily how all our requirements, instructions, and desires were considered and tested,” Koskela said. “We are very satisfied with Hapa’s planning of this project, which was implemented exactly according to schedule.” Is there a greater compliment from a company that appreciates not only innovations, but also complete process control?

 

(1) Source: Company brochure, p. 5, accessible at: www.orionpharma.de/orionpharma2/zahlen--fakten/
(2) Source: www.fermion.fi/who-we-are/facilities/orions-salo-site/
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