A conversation with Paweł Pietroń

founder of ZIGLER POLSKA SP. Z O.O.

Aerosol Europe: Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us about your company?

Paweł Pietroń: With pleasure! My name is Paweł Pietroń. My adventure with the aerosol industry began in 1987 when I started the first private company dealing in aerosol filling in Poland. It was a coincidence, because previously I worked in a state-owned chemical plant (then one of the largest in Poland) where I dealt with the production of aerosols on a large scale. There was a large automatic aerosol filling line manufactured by Pamasol and I was involved in its maintenance and servicing. I have always been passionate about mechanics and high precision, and the mentioned aerosol production line with a capacity of 300 containers per minute fascinated me at that time.

This is how it all began. However, for starters, I would like to point out that we are not an authorized service and we do not have any agreement in this respect with Pamasol.

In those years, I started aerosol filling as a service based on the used equipment- then still using CO2 as a propellant. For several years, my company Aerosol Poland provided aerosol filling services, but, as a mechanic, I was always more interested in machine design, filling technology, etc. So at some point I decided to sell the filling company and to start making machines. A factor to consider was also that in those years the aerosol filling industry began developing strongly in Poland and I decided to use this momentum and my background of machine design and construction.

It was in this way that in 1993 I started the business of aerosol filling machine manufacturing, largely based on my experience from the operation of my own production line. As this is an extremely difficult and demanding industry that would not tolerate any errors, and today, after almost 30 years, it fascinates me as much as in the past when it was almost completely unknown in Poland. And because I always choose the toughest challenges, I chose to stay in the aerosol industry - and today I am so proud of that decision! With time, as per customer inquiries, devices for dispensing liquid and semi-liquid substances for the chemical, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries were added to the portfolio.

The ZIGLER POLAND brand I created is known all over the world and the machines are operated reliably in 41 countries. In recent years, there has been a particularly strong growth in the cosmetics, medical and pharmaceutical sectors. This year, we launched, among others, highly specialized pharmaceutical production lines compliant with GMP [good manufacturing practice] standards for our clients in Europe. Every year we are present at many international fairs where you can see our equipment. Every year we meet our customers at international fairs, this year we even managed to do it online over the Internet.

Aerosol Europe: In recent years, ZIGLER has focused notably on technologies supporting the pharmaceutical industry, you mentioned this to us in previous interviews. Please tell us more about it.

Paweł Pietroń: Yes, right, we have decided, with regard to high standard of our machines, skilful implementation of the best practices in terms of design, quality assurance and applied technologies, which is possible thanks to a team of people with many years of experience in the production of equipment for the pharmaceutical industry, to develop production in this area. As the whole world is affected by the pandemic, equipment for medical and pharmaceutical products and dietary supplements is in high demand at the moment. So to cut the long story short, our team keeps developing new equipment for safe and high-quality products. An integral part of the production process is to fully control the production process, which is confirmed by appropriate documentation, starting from the Risk Assessment to qualification and acceptance documents and to the final installation acceptance protocol. All components and materials used by us carry appropriate certificates depending on whether they come in direct contact with the product.

Aerosol Europe: How do you rate the BOV or Bag-on-Valve technology and is it applicable to the pharmaceutical industry?

Paweł Pietroń: This is one of our best-sellers of recent years! When back in 2015 we hived off the company laboratory ZIGLER-LAB of  the parent company, it turned out that BOV technology attracted greatest interest in the products being developed. In recent years, we have performed the most trials and tests for products based on this technology. It has many advantages as it is greener than conventionally used propellant gases. Nitrogen or air is used instead of a gas propellant so that the product is contained in a tightly sealed bag preventing contact with light and other external factors. The BOV technology finds a phenomenal application for products with various active ingredients where we want to keep the product clean throughout the entire life in use, and it protects against air, and thus oxygen penetration. It allows the product to be dispensed in any position, also by holding the packaging in an upside down position (with the spray head facing down), which is very important in some applications, e.g. in the case of preparations such as nasal spray, throat spray or skin application.

This system allows even companies that struggle with the problem of a lack of production space to develop their products in a laboratory on a small area with all the necessary equipment in one place and, most importantly, made in a way that ensures work safety and high quality products.

Aerosol Europe: Record filling figures for the aerosol industry were reported last year. Do you think this trend will continue and what challenges may the industry face in the next few years?

Paweł Pietroń: Personally, I believe that this trend will continue and even gain in importance. Currently, we can see a continuous increase in sales of new products that appear on the market in the form of aerosol products. We at ZIGLER also observe it from the inside since our regular and new customers report to us with new ideas and inquiries for help in the development of the formulations and the selection of the appropriate machine fleet. So, yes, I am convinced that the industry is to experience further dynamic growth.

As for the challenges, they are due to grow bigger and bigger. From the point of view of ZIGLER as a manufacturer of aerosol filling machines and other dosing devices, we can see a continuous increase in technological and quality requirements. More and more pharmaceutical companies, which are our customers, match their products with the growing legal requirements by regulators and market requirements, which translates into higher requirements for machine suppliers. Of course, this involves the need to expand our design, documentation and validation capabilities, etc.

On the other hand, I consider this to be the right direction, when you want to defend yourself against products of inferior quality or ones manufactured in an uncontrollable manner which, unfortunately, also appear in the machinery industry coming from non-European markets.

Coming back to my passion which I mentioned at the beginning, I personally enjoy such challenges because they help to constantly improve the quality of ZIGLER products and services. I still personally supervise each stage, from design to production and assembly, and each ZIGLER device iss delivered to the customer and tested in accordance with the adopted procedures. I consider the quality assurance system as the key development in building the ZIGLER brand all over the world!

Aerosol Europe: How does ZIGLER apply sustainable practices to its processes and manufacturing?

Paweł Pietroń: Sustainable development is of increasing importance in all industries.

The development of our equipment goes hand in hand with the needs and challenges that arise in our business environment. Our natural environment is priceless and therefore, when designing our devices, we remember to reduce energy consumption, the machines have a very long service life, they are in service for years, so that they do not become scrap themselves, and the products made on them are not rubbish going to the landfill. Low-quality production lines produced by pseudo-professional companies lead to shocking amounts of production waste. Moreover, the BOV technology we promote does not generate any greenhouse gases. And that is why we can proudly say that we help reduce such double losses - both for our custmers' wallets and, most importantly, for our Earth.

Aerosol Europe: What other services do you offer for the aerosol industry?

Paweł Pietroń: Working over 30 years in the industry have taught me that we should be not just a machine supplier, but a partner for our customers. Many years of experience and cooperation with our customer base have allowed us to develop a whole range of additional services that we can offer apart from the machines themselves.

As I mentioned before, we have been cooperating for years with experienced specialists in the pharmaceutical industry, not only in the field of product technology but also in the broadly understood aerosol technology, specific requirements of the pharmaceutical and medical industries, both regarding the machines themselves, their design and production processes, and supervision over all stages of production. We are fully aware that pharmaceutical products rely not only on good machines, but also on the reliability of the entire process, so we can equip our lines with integrated supervision systems that enable cooperation with the company's SCADA systems.

I would also like to point out that we enjoy a good cooperation with companies that are market leaders in the field of aerosol raw materials and components (containers, valves, spray heads, gas, etc.) All this proves that we operate comprehensively.

Our latest lines can be adapted to the requirements of Industry 4.0 and Pharma 4.0 for the pharmaceuticals.

Furthermore, we also provide technological consulting services related to the optimization of aerosol production processes in companies that have been operating in the industry for years. It turns out that even companies with a long tradition of filling can be helped to improve, advise and optimize a lot.

We also support our customers in designing the environment and determining the working conditions for our production lines.

I am proud that the ZIGLER brand is now identifiable and recognizable in many countries around the world with such a wide range of industrial support.

Aerosol Europe: Is ZIGLER currently working on innovations or new products that you can tell our readers about?

Paweł Pietroń: All the time! Probably every industry requires continuous development, innovation and the roll-out of new products. I can't imagine otherwise.

At ZIGLER, we are also constantly working to ensure that our machines are better and better, cutting-edge, more effective, reliable and meeting increasingly rigorous legal requirements and, above all, to make handling them nice and simple.

We constantly cooperate and take actions, and design contemporary systems with the leaders of the component industry, which are used in our lines, e.g. with FESTO, SIEMENS etc.

Currently, we place the greatest emphasis on the pharmaceutical industry. We are constantly expanding our offer, we also devote a lot of efforts and resources to cooperation of our machines with other devices and overriding systems, which I have already mentioned. We offer state=of-the-art production facilities for products such as MDI, NASAL SPRAY, BOV, skin preparations, but we also provide filling devices for the pharmaceutical industry for screw-on (syrups, drops), snap-on, crimp-on, roll-roll packaging for systems offered by APTAR and others, they can work in Clean room class D and class C and A. All devices, at the user's request, can be equipped with RABS enclosures type C or O.

We generally design and build our lines for individual orders. Very often, customers come to us with a specific packaging, and then our project team goes to work and creates a design and then a production line to meet the customer expectations.

At the moment, we are implementing such a project with a Russian patron for a filling line which allows the packaging to be closed in a compact monoblock.

Aerosol Europe: Taking under consideration current world’s situation - what is the future of the aerosol filling technology?

Paweł Pietroń: We are convinced that the industry will thrive because aerosol packaging is the perfect solution for an increasing number of products. Because everyone cares about environmental protection, technologies are being developed to eliminate the use of non-renewable raw materials as well as to eliminate the use of substances that are hazardous or non-recyclable and harmful to the environment. The ease of use and various applications of aerosols will allow us to grow this market.

You are cordially invited to visit us at our headquarters in the south of Poland, to meet us at one of the many trade fairs we are present at, or to contact us online with our specialists who are at your disposal and speak German, Russian, Italian and English. We are very happy to be present in this industry and for years we have been building a strong brand supporting the development of our customers and their successes.

We plan further development in the field of equipment and technology for pharmacy and eco-friendly technologies such as BOV.

There are many challenges ahead of us, so we look forward to everyone to cooperate with us.

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