GEMCO Client Sample

Case Study: A pharmaceutical industry GEMCO® client based in Puerto Rico needed a machine capable of meeting their charging/discharging needs for a new production line.

This GEMCO client operated in an industry with tight deadlines and stringent regulations. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is one of the toughest regulatory bodies when it comes to pharmaceutical compliance, requiring ample paperwork and step-by-step pre and post-material handling process documentation to ensure a consumer-safe end product. For those manufacturing pharmaceuticals and processing the needed materials, it can feel like as much work to ensure proper pre-validation as is necessary to produce, compliance-report, and validate the end result.

The Problem

As many do, our client confided in GEMCO and came to us with a new project on the horizon, a need for a new production line to be based in Puerto Rico. They were on a strict timeline, and requested a custom-built tumble machine from GEMCO. Unfortunately, the post-COVID supply chain debacles caused turnaround time for a custom build to exceed their preferred GEMCO machine production timeline. Instead of a brand new machine, to speed the pace of go-to-market, the client opted to purchase a used GEMCO machine, that needed to be retrofitted to accommodate their unique loading and unloading requirements. And they needed it in six weeks.

The Solution

Since they were on a tight timeline, the client’s purchase of a used machine not only saved them time, it saved them on total cost of ownership. The average GEMCO lasts some forty years from purchase thus they are often bought and sold… this particular machine was purchased in Pennsylvania, USA, and GEMCO was able to retrofit the unit to production-ready for them in a much shorter time than producing a brand new unit from scratch. We were able to accomplish this quicker for a few reasons: Over the course of its life, the machine had three different configurations, and GEMCO had the visibility of it all.

Thankfully, GEMCO has most all engineering and machine production records going back many decades so GEMCO was able to easily ID the machine they purchased, displaying it originally had GEMCOMATIC® drum loader–the retrofit and upgrade the client needed. Through investigation, we all learned this GEMCO tumbler was built in the 1990s and had two previous owners, the second of which had retrofitted the machine to equip it with a retractable sleeve. Additionally, since initial production of the machine, a special drum loader had been removed, so it was a simple retrofit for GEMCO engineering and machinists to swap the drum loader back in.

Due to the need for a quick turnaround, we performed a virtual FAT for the client to ensure everything was running smoothly and fully operational ready, including all updates and retrofits to the machine before it was shipped to Puerto Rico.

The Results

Although the client didn’t end up with a custom machine, they received the right equipment for the right price at the right time for their new production line to launch. In addition to the value of the retrofitted GEMCOMATIC drum loader, the machine had additional non-standard add-ons that increased the machine’s functionality and overall value for the pharmaceutical client. Instead of having the machine shipped direct from PA to Puerto Rico, they were able to save even more time and money by having GEMCO do the retrofits before shipping it to them. We also thoroughly cleaned the unit so that it arrived on site in as new condition.

This job was a testament to more than our record-keeping, but to our equipment’s longevity (average GEMCO lasts at least 40 years), engineering durability and flexibility. Despite the machine being more than 30 years old, the end result was the right piece of equipment for the job, featuring a ‘brand-new’ look with extra add-ons–all at a great price for the client. You really can’t kill a GEMCO!

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    GEMCO has always been a family owned business, with family values, and so we don’t like to brag about ourselves. We’ll let the fact that we have an installed base of thousands of powder blending and drying units in 37 countries around the world speak for itself. We’ve built our company’s culture around innovation.