Interphex on Tap

The 2011 show presents ideas for package designs and equipment options for packaging lines.
Mar 02, 2011
Volume 35, Issue 3

Hallie Forcinio
Visiting Interphex allows pharmaceutical manufacturers to compare and contrast pharmaceutical packaging designs, as well as packaging materials, equipment, and services. The 2011 edition of the annual pharmaceutical industry show will be held Mar. 29–31, 2011, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. The show will feature the latest packaging equipment, track-and-trace technology, outsert preparation and application innovations, single-use systems, barrier materials, and quality-control devices.

The filling line

At least two suppliers plan to discuss the advantages of blow-fill-seal technology for advanced aseptic liquids. The fully automated process produces large- and small-volume parenteral products. The advantages of forming, filling, and sealing containers under controlled conditions on a single piece of equipment are encouraing pharmaceutical companies worldwide to switch from glass to plastic ampuls, vials, and bottles (Asep-Tech systems, Weiler Engineering, and Bottlepack systems, rommelag).

We'll be seeing more ...
A maker of filling equipment plans to set up an interactive touch screen at its exhibit to allow visitors to compare their projects to similar applications. The firm also will demonstrate its semiautomatic benchtop filler that can be equipped with a piston, peristaltic, gear, or lobe pump. The multiple pump options make it possible for the unit to handle a fill range from milliliters to gallons and viscosities from aqueous to viscous. Other features of the servo-driven filler include a touch screen operator interface, a recipe database, and a data-transfer capability (AdaptaFil benchtop filler, Filamatic).

Inserts and outserts

The PharmaMarker 450 Track and Trace System conveys, applies a unique code to, and verifies 450 cartons/min to comply with track-and-trace regulations. (IMAGE COURTESY OF EISAI USA)
A modular outsert system folds information sheets with as many as 210 panels. The resulting outserts make up a document that's as much as 23% larger, yet an average of 15% thinner than outserts made on previous models. Thinner outserts handle better manually and mechanically, require less storage and shipping space, and eliminate the need to increase packaging dimensions to accommodate a bigger insert. A single-knife system folds as many as 110 panels measuring as small as 1.125 in.2. However, if more panels are needed, second and third knives can be added. The double-knife system produces inserts with as many as 170 1.125-in.2 panels. The triple-knife system folds 210 panels measuring as small as 1.25 in.2 (MV-11 Outsert System, Vijuk Equipment).

The primary folder operates at speeds as high as 14,000 cycles per hour, sets up easily, and needs no make-ready plates. Quick caliper-set rollers, a double-sheet ejection system, feeder setup recall, and intelligent jam detection maximize production efficiency (G&K FA 53 folder, Vijuk).

Blow-fill-seal machines produce various container sizes and shapes. (IMAGE COURTESY OF WEILER ENGINEERING)
Folded outserts can be applied to the sides of round, square, or rectangular containers with hot melt adhesive. One machine handles a wide range of outsert sizes, including the thick, heavy documents sometimes needed to comply with content, type, and formatting requirements. A vacuum cup-equipped arm moves in and out to pick an insert and rotates to deliver it to the container. Dual servo motors control the linear and rotating motions, and the vacuum cup holds the insert securely.

An outsert applicator from NJM/CLI handles a wide range of outsert sizes as well as round, square, and rectangular containers. (IMAGE COURTESY OF NJM/CLI)
Thin outserts can be handled with the vacuum cup alone, but thick outserts require a combination of pushing and picking. For operations that handle a wide range of outsert thicknesses, the end of the vacuum arm may be a change part, which can be removed and replaced without tools. Integrated with a primary labeler or retrofit, the applicator handles outserts as small as 0.875 × 1.125 × 1.5 in. (22 × 29 × 38 mm) and as large as 2.5 × 4 × 1.5 in. (63 × 100 × 38 mm) at speeds as great as 220 bottles/min (Model 277 Auto-Sert Outsert Applicator, NJM/CLI). A feeder expands the infeed storage capacity to enable run times as long as 1 h without replenishment (Model 276 Carousel Outsert Feeder, NJM/CLI).

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