Case History

Via F. Perotti, 10
25125 - Brescia

Tel: 030 2687211

Copan Italia Spa

Chemical, Pharmaceutical & Medical

COPAN is a family-owned company with headquarters in Brescia, Italy and subsidiaries in the U.S. and CHINA. Copan Group's total sales for 2014 were around 80 million euros. The company has grown over time from a handful of employees back in 1979 to a workforce of more than 350 people today. Copan is a 'fully integrated company. All the typical activities of a production chain-from product design to its manufacture and possible customization-are carried out in-house (no outsourcing). Copan's mission is to improve the pre-analytical phase, from collection to storage of the microbiological sample. Over time, Copan has established itself as a leader in the invention and production of sampling devices for microbiological investigations of infectious diseases and crime scene biological trace detection.

The high-tech laboratories and departments integrate scientific expertise in clinical and forensic microbiology with robotics and advanced information technology.

The company operates 24/7, producing about 300 million traditional swabs, 400 million pipettes and 250 million loops annually, with an 80 percent market share.

Watch the video

Interview with Stefano Bonazzi, IT Manager Copan Group.

Copan Italia Spa

Copan Group's numbers


In the market for more than 40 years, Copan Italia is a company that gradually over the years has specialized in pre-diagnostics. In particular, it is a leader in the design and production of standard sample collection and storage systems for bacteriology, virology, molecular biology, forensic and environmental sampling. COPAN channels all its medical, scientific, and engineering expertise into an area specifically focused on customized business-to-business solutions for diagnostic companies in the clinical, pharmaceutical, industrial, and forensic fields.




The COPAN Group is composed of the following seven companies:

  • COPAN Italia,
  • COPAN NewLab,
  • COPAN Wasp,
  • COPAN Diagnostics Inc.,
  • COPAN Innovation Shanghai Limited,
  • COPAN Japan and
  • COPAN Industries Inc.

Copan today has 6 plants in Brescia, 6 plants with a total area of about 80,000 square meters. It employs 1,150 people, with a "boom" in hiring in 2020 in which it increased from 700 to the current 1150.

2 production sites, 2 plants are located in California, near San Diego, and in one of them, in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, in collaboration with Apple Computer, investments were made for ad hoc production of anti-Covid products, that is, specifically to diagnose Covid-19.

A plant in Puerto Rico of over 18 thousand square meters has also been opened, operating 7/7 days, h24, with a line dedicated exclusively to Covid products for the U.S. market. A production facility is located in Shanghai and is aimed at the Chinese market. Another plant is opened in Southeast Asia in 2021.

There are then sales offices in Australia, Japan and East-Cost America.

Producing pads for diagnostics, the company faced an exponential increase in demand in 2020, which resulted in numerous problems to be solved, starting with production that extended shifts to 7/7 days - h24 on certain molding and blow molding departments, with an increase in staff, and numerous logistical problems.


In 2015 Copan had a system based on AS 400 that was highly customized and could not be implemented further. As it was increasingly entering international markets, it needed to find a management system that was state-of-the-art and could also manage its foreign locations.

The main goals of the project were:

  • labeling of all semi-finished products and products;
  • traceability of all products;
  • integration of management software with production and logistics automation systems; and
  • flexibility of a system that would allow for growth over time and space.

The factory is a 360-degree cycle: it starts from the polymer, which comes with a raw material, all the way to packaging, and by the way, one of the stages is also sterilization. Products are sterilized with different sterilization procedures, up to gamma rays, and this affects about 60-70 percent of the products.


After careful software selection, Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP and partner Replica Sistemi was chosen because it also guaranteed integration with the StockSystem WMS, which was useful for ensuring traceability of all flows.

The criteria used in selecting the solution to be adopted were based on the system's ability to meet the following requirements:

  • high parameterization of the system;
  • produce over 1200 different label templates for each individual component, which is labeled;
  • detailed traceability: each package is serialized, on each label there is a lot of information ranging obviously from batch to item, to other features that allow tracking and tracing every single movement starting from the raw material.
    That means having every step under control at all times, starting from the polymer to the semi-finished product to the finished product to the shipment to the distributor.

One important thing: Copan does not work with the end customer, it works with the distributors, so it guarantees the traceability and retraceability of every single component, all the way down to the workpiece, which is the smallest window in which of each product we get to determine the range of box labels for which a recall can be made.

In 2020, the company went from 1.5 million box labels normally produced, to nearly 3 million boxes: each box inside contains an average of ten small boxes, all labeled to track and trace each of our products and their components.

  • WMS: StockSystem
  • BW: Dogana

  • Add On WMS Analytics
  • ERP  Microsoft Dynamics 365 BC

The goal was to find a management system that was state-of-the-art and that would allow us, above all, to manage foreign locations as well, and so with that in mind we started to do market research and found Navision. I knew Replica Sistemi from a management point of view and for its flagship product StockSystem and during this software selection we pleasantly found a flexible system: Dynamics that integrated with a very powerful logistics system, which was then one of the problems that plagued the company, consequently I put one and one together and it gave me three because I found the right products and the partner too!

Stefano Bonazzi

IT Manager Copan Italia

Achieved results:

  • Traceability and Trackability of all components starting from the raw material, to semi-processed and up to the finished product. Since we are dealing with bio-medical products, traceability is an intrensic component of the product and is required by law.
  • Ability to manage production from an Industry 4.0 perspective with management software that dialogues directly with production and logistics software.

  • Production and distribution internationalization.
  • Standardization of procedures on platforms.
  • High flexibility with possibility of opening new plants in a relatively short time.
Information request

For any questions or information about our products or services, please do not hesitate to contact us.