Posted: 08.06.2023 13:18:00

Technology dictates progress

Alсopaсk, a resident company of the Gomel-Raton free economic zone, supplies the domestic market and the flagships of the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries of 15 countries with products

Microbiological and chemical purity are special requirements

The construction of the first stage of a modern high-tech complex for the production of medical products by Alcopack is scheduled to be completed this month. The production area, with a total area of almost 10,000 square metres, is unique not only for Belarus, but for the entire EAEU market. With the commissioning of a new facility, the product portfolio of the company, which is a resident of the free economic zone Gomel-Raton, will be replenished with a number of innovative positions.

Innovation from skill sets and experience

The company is better known as a manufacturer of beverage closures. However, over a quarter of a century of work, a number of complex competencies have been mastered here — hot runner casting, metalworking, polymer extrusion. And it was decided to use the experience gained in a related industry. First, the company began to develop a cosmetic direction, then a more complex one — a medical one. Its Deputy CEO Aleksei Firer explains, “About ten types of innovative products are produced at the site for the production of medical devices, which have no analogues either within the country or on the territory of the Eurasian Economic Union: two-port caps for medical vials, capillary systems for blood sampling, nasal actuators. The company has more than 150 titles of protection and patented inventions, this process is now going through a number of products. Every year the company replenishes its range with new developments.”

Automation of production processes virtually eliminates waste

The company provides products to the domestic market and the flagships of the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries in 15 countries, including Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia.
“The first workshop for the production of medical devices was launched in 2018. The experience turned out to be successful, we decided to scale up this area, so in 2022 the company began construction of a full-fledged production building. The total area of the designed facility is 9784 square metres, with only clean rooms — 4000 square metres. It corresponds to purity classes C and D. The object is unique — none of the EAEU countries has anything like this in terms of scale or level of manufacturability. The construction will take place in several stages — in June we must commission the first stage,” Aleksei Firer recalls.
The new facility will produce high-demand and high-tech products for the medical industry, including polymer bottles for syrups, suspensions and powders, measuring syringes with a nozzle on the bottle, multi-dose blister inhalers for asthmatics.

According to world standards

Automation of literally all production processes and high manufacturability of lines practically exclude any kind of defect. That is, the equipment itself checks the quality of products: for example, there is a line for checking medical vials for tightness, visual control of geometric parameters. It’s like a spaceship — even people are dressed in spacesuit-like disposable medical coveralls.

The operation of equipment and people can only be observed through the glass
Five years ago, the company
mastered the production 
of medical products

The area of the workshop is more than 2000 square metres, almost a third belongs to the purity class D and C, that is, the air here changes at least 25 and 40 times per hour, respectively, it is practically sterile. We can observe the operation of equipment and people only through the glass.
“We are in the raw material loading room. The raw material itself is not visible, again to reduce contact with people. Its supply is carried out centrally — it is formed in storage tanks and fed to injection moulding machines through multi-channel systems. They, in turn, form blanks for medical products using the hot runner casting method. In a clean room there should be no excess air currents. There is one loader here, which inflates the vacuum, due to which the material is sucked in. That is, there is no excess air in a clean room,” process engineer Sergei Pupkov says.
Every year the assortment
is replenished with
new developments
High requirements are not only for the hygiene of employees, but also for microbiological and chemical purity. 
The company focuses
on the production 
of innovative products

Next, we oversee the production of closures for infusion solutions. Caps for vials produced by hot runner casting are poured onto the conveyor, then they enter the bunker. 
Elena Ostasheva is an accountant at the plastics processing shop, she has been working at the enterprise for almost 20 years, “Pay attention to the line for the production of bags for infusion solutions — this is not only import-substituting, but also innovative products that are supplied to two pharmaceutical enterprises in Belarus. The bags are made from a multilayer polyolefin film, to which a tube is welded and, after pouring the infusion solution, an injection port is installed on it. Packages are the newest type of product in this workshop; their production at the enterprise was mastered a year ago. Analogues are not produced in Belarus.”

By Marina Severyanova
PHOTOS BY Ivan Yarivanovich