Thomas Fricke appointed as Commercial Director of IMA Pharma

Thomas Fricke began his career with IMA in 1992 as Sales Manager at IMA Germany. He later led the same branch as Managing Director. Since 2011 he has also been acting as Sales & Marketing Director for the Pharma Packaging solutions hub, based in Italy.

After several years full of successes and achievements in this position, he has recently taken over the role of Commercial Director for the whole IMA Pharma.

For me, IMA is a kind of family and it was an easy decision when I was asked to take over the new role. Pharma has always been my main market and I aim to bring my experience and enthusiasm as I support the various sectors of Aseptic Processing and Solid Dose, along with the crucial primary and secondary packaging. The fundamental challenge is to understand the constantly changing demands of pharma and to respond proactively. For example, by manufacturing complete lines or installations as a single supplier, IMA Pharma, and integrating sustainable technology and materials. This includes the use of new digital tools for design, production, services and increased efficiency, to name just a few,” Thomas Fricke explained.

Fricke holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and two years Commercial Education in International Trading. Besides boasting extensive knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry and automatic machinery, as well as proven commercial experience, his career has often seen him working in different countries – particularly Germany and Italy – proving his ability to adapt and succeed in different cultures.

IMA Pharma is the world leader in the design and manufacture of automatic machines for the processing and packaging of pharmaceutical products thanks to its high-tech profile and the ability to offer tailor-made solutions to satisfy the most sophisticated requests in the market. IMA Pharma includes three highly specialised divisions: IMA Active (Solid Dose Solutions), IMA Life (Aseptic Processing &Freeze Drying Solutions), IMA Safe (Packaging Solutions).

For more information about IMA Pharma, visit: https://ima.it/pharma/

World Leader in Pharma Machines

Pharma Machines & Technology caught up with Thomas Fricke on becoming the Commercial Director of IMA Pharma, the world leader in the design and manufacture of automatic machines for the processing and packaging of pharmaceutical products. In this exclusive interview, he talks about the constantly changing demands of pharma industry and how IMA is responding proactively.

Q. At the outset, let’s talk about IMA turnover in the pharma sector and next forecast?

Yes, let’s start with the facts! The consolidated turnover of the IMA Group in 2020 was about 1.5 billion Euros. Half of this turnover was generated with customers from the pharma sector in particular. IMA delivered machines and lines from our specialized divisions IMA Active, IMA Life, IMA Safe, IMA BFB and also from IMA Automation. This state of affairs allows us to look forward to the end of 2021 and the years to come with optimism and we believe to improve this result, which was good already.

Q. The fast-changing pharmaceutical industry calls for newest packaging solutions. Is the packaging industry equipped?

IMA is supplying equipment to industries which are changing faster than the “conservative” pharma market. Cosmetic industry, automotive with regards to e-mobility, and other sectors in the convenience markets have taught the Group how to react fast. Nowadays pharma is also looking for new technologies with respect to sustainability, continuous
manufacturing and personalised medicine. With small working and development groups we are designing new solution and new. machines. This is the most interesting part of the business right now, to find innovative and disruptive solutions without risking the product quality at the end, because we are still producing medicines.

Q. Investing in the right technologies has become an integral part of pharma industry’s efforts to prepare for the future. How do you help the industry out?

We need to be the partner of pharma, and we are already into the development of new products and technologies. IMA has the widest portfolio in the pharma sector and there is no other supplier who can base new solutions on some many existing technologies. The major piece of work is to find something new without incorporating risks. For example, for the new sustainable material we have created our laboratory for material development and testing. We have hired material specialists and they are working together with our machine/process engineers to find a solution for the new requests of pharma packaging. We can test these new materials in our own lab and support our ustomers with scientific analysis.

Q. Covid-19 pandemic has hit us very hard. How do we take on this unprecedented challenge as an industry?

We were from Day 1 under enormous pressure to keep existing sterile lines running, to build new filling lines as fast as possible and to produce also simultaneously the relevant packaging equipment for it. The environment for this was not easy at all. First we needed to have a Pandemic Committee who keeps with new rules for the whole factory continuously running, and protecting our employees and our customers. Secondly, we needed to apply the digital tools we luckily developed before Covid, which helped us a lot for remote machine testings, remote installations and Smart-Working. These challenges were on the one hand stressing, but on the other hand also a proof of our oncepts, which will last longer than Covid, hopefully, will.

“Pharma is looking for new technologies with respect to sustainability, continuous manufacturing and personalised medicine. With small working and development groups we are designing new solution and new machines. This is the most interesting part of the business right now, to find innovative and disruptive solutions without risking the product quality at the end.”

IMA Exclusive

An exhaustive coverage of the world leader in the design and manufacture of automatic machines for the processing and packaging of pharmaceutical products. Wide portfolio of machines and the ability to offer tailor-made solutions to satisfy the most sophisticated requests in the market are the biggest strengths of IMA.

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