Now operating in some 40 different Countries, Modena-headquartered Valmatic was established 35 years ago when its business was based on producing and distributing special thermo-forming machines for the packaging industry in the food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and chemical industry
Valmatic was established in San Prospero (Modena, Italy) 35 years ago as a manufacturer of thermo-forming machines for the production of suppositories and vaginal ovules. Subsequently, Valmatic developed a specialized contract packing capability aimed to provide customers around the world with form/filled/sealed and empty suppositories or vaginal ovules. Valmatic utilized the engineering, manufacturing and contract packing experience it has acquired in order to develop a number of Form/Fill/Seal machines for the production of thermo-formed unit-dose containers.
How would you describe your company’s most important points of strength, mister Levratti?
Valmatic is a highly specialized designer and manufacturer of thermoforming filling lines for producing single-dose containers and suppositories. Together with its competence, I think versatility is definitely one of our most prominent peculiarities, that allows us to always fulfill any customer’s needs in a variety of different segments, ranging from the food industry to the cosmetics and pharmaceutical market, just to name a few. And, of course, our skills have evolved with time.
Could you give us a few examples of the evolution Your firm has undergone in recent times?
In 2015 Valmatic is about to celebrate its 35th anniversary: it was established in 1980, in fact, as a producer of thermoforming machines with a robust focus on suppositories and vaginal ovules. While then developing a ten years-long experience in the automatic machinery manufacturing, the firm has created its unique contract packing service. This strategy builds upon outsourced manufacturing and that translates into single-dose fillings for such liquids as dietary supplements, beauty and personal care products, creams and gels, balms and, last but not least, medical devices, which need to be carefully manipulated and handled in a completely controlled atmosphere. Thus, Valmatic is now able to display and offer what we dubbed as a full-service offer: it includes both the creation of single-dose customized containers; and the realization of the secondary packing into cards, counter displays, cases and more, providing clients with a ready-to-market finished product.
Is customization also a keyword when it comes to dealing with your customers and suppliers?
Of course it is; I think this is also one of the reasons for Valmatic’s success. As I said, the company offers its client a full-service portfolio, but on the other hand we consider every member of our supply chain as a real partner, sharing our same ideas and goals. Most of them are just as versatile and careful as Valmatic’s employees are; and they pay the same attention to quality.
Where does the most significant part of your revenues currently come from?
I would instead consider that our most significant competitive advantage comes from our ability to integrate the automatic thermoforming machines’ business with the competences we have grown in the outsourced services arena and that have ultimately built upon our technical skills. We are able to ensure our customers and their products some highly specific, dedicated productionlines for high volume productions. Valmatic is in fact investing in both fields, services and direct manufacturing, both in Italy and overseas, in order to better penetrate a number of other Countries we consider crucial for our business and in which the company foresees important chances of a further growth.
How many different Countries is the company able to serve today, and how?
The outsourced packaging services business is nearly exclusively dedicated to the Italian market, whilst on the other hand our Form-Fill-Seal machines are distributed in 40 nations approximately.
Between 2013 and 2014 you has been launching a series of new machines and technologies on the market: could you describe some of the most important ones?
At last year’s Interpack in Düsseldorf Valmatic introduced the new VAL175 thermoforming and filling machine, projected for the production of thermo-formed unit-doses in plastic material and aimed at producing single-dose containers, form-filled in laminated plastic sheets. Thanks to the the machine’s easy access, the format changeover – from one to 300 milliliters – is, in fact, really fast and convenient to clean. The VAL175 has been designed for the cosmetics, chemical, pharmaceutical and food industry and could be described as a complete all around machine, conceived for medium and large production volumes. It can manufacture unit-dose and vials with or without a flat bottom (stand-up); and its goals can range from the single-folded film to a multiple plastics films coupling. And finally, it can couple an aluminum film with a plastic one too. VAL 175, last but not least, can rely on an excellent mechanic technology, combined with a cutting-edge electronic control both for the operator interface and the internal motion management. It is equipped with a Siemens touch-screen operator panel, and with a 10 inches display, fitted for remote control.
Mr Levratti, what kind of trends are about to shape and drive the packaging industry in the near future and how you will face the forthcoming challenges?
It is my opinion that the single-use packaging market is about to experience a significant growth and this evolution is also to be driven by demographic factors. Single-use containers are designed to meet the requirements of a new customer base, made up of small families and singles living in a different social environment that pushes them to spend a more significant amount of time out, due to their job or their leisure activities. This is one of the reasons why Valmatic believes this model of packaging is rocketing despite the fact it can still be considered an innovation, under many aspects.
And, thus, what will the company’s future roadmap look like, according to your vision?
Valmatic is strongly committed to quality, innovation in packaging and products’ control and believes that innovation and growth have to be managed by an effective organization, prepared for monitoring the entire production process in order to provide clients with a top notch made in Italy solutions portfolio. The company was recently appointed with the biologic cosmetics packaging authorization and with the authorization for dietary supplements’ packaging too. Of course, we had to invest a significant budget to obtain these certifications, but this strategy will allow the firm to expand its customer base and was already appreciated by our pre-existing partners and clients.
Does innovation spring up from the collaborative relationship you have with your partners?
It does, undoubtedly, in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics arena as well as in the food and chemical industries. To give You a brief example, we recently launched a product line called Zig Zag Dopopuntura (i.e. After-bite) which is a single-dose easy to use solution designed to alleviate the annoying effects of an insect bite and can be carried in a small bag anywhere you are going. Zig Zag is entirely based on natural cosmetics ingredients and fully natural active principles. In addition to that, single-dose containers can also be used for sampling, since, thanks to their technical properties, thermoformed containers are an ideal way to provide final customers with an attractive and personalized solution. When it comes to the cosmetics and personal care industry, Valmatic can offer a large number of captivating containers, enriched with metallic, golden or silver effects.
35 YEARS IN BUSINESS
Valmatic’s contract-packing operations have full permits and facilities for one time use alcohol, medical device, disinfectant, garden products and food packing. Valmatic’s contract packaging customers develop markets for their products and then decide whether the Return on investments is enough to purchase and install the Valmatic form/fill/seal or fill/seal machinery at their own facilities. Customers have the capability of training their staff and marketing workforce about their products, before making a significant capital investment. Finally, the company can rely on a number of strategic partnerships in order to support an international customer base located, nowadays, in 40 Countries.
AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE
Company’s facilities are set at the very heart of Italy’s so-called packaging valley, in the Emilia Romagna region and precisely in the province of Modena. The area and the company’s plant as well were heavily damaged by the earthquake that hit them nearly three years ago, in May 2012. These are the facilities where Valmatic’s design, research and development and manufacturing activities take place and to restore them the thirty-years old producer had to invest a consistent budget. The management’s efforts resulted in a rapid return to full operations, in a 100% secure environment.