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FARE INSIEME - Ep. 60 - MG2, the innovative idea that revolutionised the world

«The product is what makes the difference, but our international vision led us everywhere»


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A rejection of his ideal led him to start up his own business in 1966. In very little time, the company has become a global leader for the quality and precision of its automatic dosing and packaging machines for the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. But, for MG2, everything started from a small garage in Bologna and reached the whole world. For FARE Insieme, Giampaolo Colletti interviewed Ernesto Gamberini, founder of MG2
di Giampaolo Colletti

Photocredit: Giacomo Maestri e Francesca Aufiero.

The world is small for those with a great ambition. It definitelywas for Italian starter-upper and pioneer Ernesto Gamberini. For this designerand innovator from Bologna, everything started with a rejection at work andwith his perseverance to keep going against everything and everyone. Afterobtaining his diploma from a technical school, Gamberini worked for twelveyears since he was 17 as an employee for a Bologna company and becamehead-designer: that was where he started designing capsule-filling machines. Weare talking about traditional alternate-movement machines with a maximum speedof 25thousand capsules an hour. At the time, the fastest machines could barelyprocess 15-20thousand capsules an hour. «Ibelieved we could do more and better, but my idea was rejected. So I started towork on my dream by myself.” It was a recklessgamble, but it was an inescapable destiny in the years of the economic boom.There, a dream that felt like redemption. Everything started in the spring of1966 for this young man under 30 and his innovative idea. From a garage of justa few square metres that could, however, host a revolution. We find ourselvesin the Bologna suburbs: the Mazzini district located along via Emilia Levantethat heads north as far as the Two Towers. From there, Gamberini reached thewhole world. “When I set up my own business,the first objective was to set everything up quickly. In the beginning, Iworked during the day and assembled during the night. The garage also had abathroom and a camp bed, because I slept there. But soon enough, I understoodit could be something revolutionary,” recallsGamberini.

Ideas to patent. Yes, the revolution: apply to capsulefillers the continuous rotation movement instead of the alternate one for thefirst time in the world. This is the principle linked to the mythical G36 Modelcapable of producing 36,000 capsules/hour. A patented technology that hascompletely changed the way these machines are designed and built, turning MG2into a global leader. “The gamble paid off andwe subtracted a share of the market from potential competitors. Even from myold employers, who never believed in my idea but who had to reconsider,” says Gamberini. In the beginning, this youngdesigner involved a colleague and an aunt as backers. We are very far fromtoday’s business angels and investors. After the garage, the first facility: asmall warehouse in the Bologna suburbs where Gamberini started to design andproduce automatic machines for the pharmaceutical industry. In 1967, MG2processed the first order for a capsule filler suitable to dose pharmaceuticalproducts into hard capsules: this machine was so successful that it became thecompany’s core business. Innovation, reliability, productivity, precision: thisis the winning recipe.

Globetrotters by vocation.
Today, the headquarters are located in Pianoro, in the Bologna heart of theItalian packaging valley. The company boasts 175 employees with a turnover of€24 million and a global export of 95%, mainly on the European and Americanmarkets. The main objective remains the international market. The presence ofMG2 abroad is strengthened by the US branch in New Jersey - MG America. Todaythe company, which has reached its second generation (with the third one on itsway) produces machines that can process up to 200thousand capsules an hourwhile monitoring the quality and net weight of each single capsule with extraordinaryunimaginable performance compared with the past. And the machines last a longtime. “We overhaul machines that can be thirty years old. Innovation has alwaysguided us and products is what make the difference. But it is the global marketvision that has helped us climb to the top. We aimed at the world and not justItaly right from the start. Right from 1966, the year we were born. Just thinkthat we were already at our first fair in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1967. Our DNAis international,” concludes Gamberini. After all, this is the secret: thinkbig and always believe in what you are doing.

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