Stevanato, , which manufactures containers derived from glass tubing for the pharmaceutical industry, as well as designing, building and supplying machinery for the production and control of these containers, has acquired 100 per cent of Optrel, which manufactures inspection systems for the drug industry. The acquisition price was not disclosed. With turnover of €2.5 million, Optrel will account for 3.3 per cent of Stevanato's overall sales, 97 per cent of which are in the pharmaceutical sector and particularly the supply of primary packaging. The deal is part of a strategy to extend Stevanato's product line to systems for the automated control of "dimensional and cosmetic aspects of glass containers used by the pharmaceutical industry," noted CEO Sergio Stevanato. The acquired systems, which can be applied both to empty and filled containers, will be offered to pharmaceutical companies and glass container producers. The new addition to the group's Engineering Division, which already makes glass converter and related machinery through its SPAMI subsidiary, follows the consolidation of Stevanato's Glass Division (the group's packaging arm) through the acquisition of the Italian Alfamatic in 1993 and the Slovak Medical Glass in 2005. At the heart of the Glass Division sits Nuova Ompi, based in Padova, which generates 71 per cent of group turnover and manufactures products ranging from syringes to screw-neck and tamper-proof containers, pill vials, pen cartridges and ampoules. Together with Alfamatic and Medical Glass, Nuova Ompi produces more than 1.6 billion glass containers for pharmaceutical applications each year. The expansion strategy is continuing with the construction of a new manufacturing facility for glass containers at a 50,000 sq. m. site near Monterrey in Mexico. Stevanato expects to begin production at the Mexican site, which will be geared entirely to the pharmaceutical industry, in mid-2008. The project will kick off with a 6,500 sq. m. facility which, starting in 2011, will be expanded to 11,500 sq. m. at a total cost of €37m. Stevanato is aiming at a total output of 370 million cartridges and 160 million vials sourced from 26 production lines. Founded in 1982, Optrel makes a variety of machines for semi-automatic inspection of ampoules, vials, bottles and other pharmaceutical containers for injectable liquids, powders or freeze-dried products. These range from simple bench-top inspection devices to fully automatic inspection machines, together with transport systems such as turntables, conveyors and bi-flow accumulating/distributing tables. Machines for applications such as particle detection and identification of cosmetic defects (cracks, deformations, etc) in containers are produced in accordance with US Food and Drug Administration validation procedures.