Powder handling systems are integral components in industries where the processing, transportation, and manipulation of powdered materials are central to manufacturing processes. These systems are designed to efficiently manage the flow of powders, ensuring precision, cleanliness, and safety throughout various stages of production. From pharmaceuticals and food processing to chemical and metallurgical industries, powder handling systems play a pivotal role in maintaining product quality, preventing contamination, and optimizing operational efficiency.
For over 35 years, Dec (Dietrich Engineering Consultants) Group has established itself as the foremost global supplier of enclosed powder handling systems. Renowned for its expertise in process containment technologies, Dec Group has been serving the pharmaceutical, chemical, food, and cosmetic sectors.
We had the opportunity to interview Frederic Dietrich, the CEO, in order to gain insights into the company.
What motivated the creation of the company? What was your mission when you first started?
The purpose was to come up with fresh approaches to manufacturing that could boost safety, containment, and productivity, as the current technologies were not up to par in tackling these demands.
Can you provide an overview of Dec Group’s history and its role in the powder handling and process containment systems industry?
The company was established 35 years ago by three individuals: Mr. F. F. Dietrich, a visionary and innovative thinker, his son Yves Dietrich, who possessed a strong background in commerce and administration along with a deep understanding of the market, and his younger son Frederic Dietrich, who contributed his technical expertise, youthful energy, and unwavering passion for achieving excellence.
The initial breakthrough technology developed by the company was the revolutionary PTS technology (Powder Transfer System), also known as the powder pump. This groundbreaking technology allowed for the safe charging of powder into chemical reactors containing flammable solvents, eliminating the need for manual charging which had previously resulted in numerous accidents and even fatalities.
Recognizing the importance of protecting individuals from exposure to hazardous chemicals, the company embarked on developing additional innovative solutions. Notably, they created the DCS® Drum Containment System, a unique technology aimed at safeguarding people from such chemical exposure. In 2008, the company strategically acquired Jetpharma’s equipment division, which greatly enhanced its expertise in fine milling (jet milling) and high–process containment (Isolator technologies).
Furthermore, over the past 15 years, the company has expanded its global presence by establishing multiple offices worldwide and acquiring companies in various sectors, including filling, continuous process, aseptic process, and nuclear. This remarkable growth has allowed the company to fulfill its vision of providing comprehensive end–to–end solutions, encompassing everything from molecules to final dosage forms. With a dedicated team of over 800 highly skilled professionals, Dec Group is proud to offer its customers a wide range of services, including consulting, engineering, and equipment supply.
Our knowledge and ability to develop innovative new technologies makes us an invaluable partner for both multinationals and specialist organizations.
What are the solutions provided by the company? Could you provide a brief explanation of each of them?
Dec Group’s solutions are divided into 5 divisions and are available for aseptic processing:
– Powder Handling Technologies: Conveying, Blending, Sampling, Dosing/Dispensing, Bulk Handling.
– Particle Size Technologies: Milling with mechanical and fluid jet mills.
– Filling Solution Technologies: Aseptic fill–finish inside. isolators.
– Containment Solution Technologies: Isolator technology, downflow booths, mobile clean rooms, and nuclear containment.
– Continuous Process Technologies: End–to–end solutions from the raw material handling to continuous reaction, crystallization, and filter–drying and to the final dosage form.
Could you share the unique approaches you take in order to effectively carry out projects on a global scale?
We go beyond just supplying equipment based on User Requirement Specifications. Dec offers a wide array of services to support the customer throughout the entire process. From conducting an initial frontend study to designing the process, we provide a complete engineering solution. Our projects incorporate cutting–edge technologies developed by Dec or in partnership with our trusted allies. We also offer all the necessary services and support to ensure the success of each project.
What measures does your company take to incorporate technological advancements for optimal delivery of results?
To successfully achieve our objective, we are actively establishing collaborations with diverse companies that possess cutting–edge intellectual property. Our approach. to end–to–end operations necessitates the utilization of advanced automation and process analytics (PAT) to ensure smooth and consistent performance throughout the entire process.
What distinguishes your company from others in the industry? How do you sustain your competitive edge?
Our competitive advantage lies in our comprehensive approach that takes into account not only individual equipment but also but also upstream and downstream components. This, combined with our robust engineering expertise, allows us to offer a complete and integrated solution.
What are your predictions for the future of the industry? How do you intend to position your company to succeed in the future?
The industry is currently confronted with numerous challenges. Globalization has revealed its constraints, but it is not a simple task to reverse this trend. For instance, if operations were to be brought back to Europe, the traditional methods of constructing facilities would no longer suffice. To address these issues, it is crucial to embrace new and innovative manufacturing concepts that prioritize a Quality–by–Design approach. These concepts go beyond the conventional choice between continuous or single–use operations. At Dec Group, we are actively assisting the market in navigating this transition.
Frederic Dietrich, Managing Director
“With this comprehensive range of offerings, our vision to be able to provide true end–to–end solutions, starting from the raw material input all the way to the final dosage form has been successfully transformed into reality.”