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News from Europe's pharmaceutical manufacturing industry coupled with upcoming events, and exclusive articles and interviews from industry experts.
Previewing Packaging Innovations
On a single-rotary tablet press from Fette, the design of the compression stations, drive, turret, and tablet discharge cuts changeover time and improves productivity. For example, turret removal requires no tools and takes only 15 minutes. In addition, upper and lower compression rollers and pressure and position settings adjust automatically by means of commands from the operator interface; operators do not need to make manual adjustments after a turret change. The turret also features a coded tablet scraper and coded filling-cam detection as well as a central, multifunction connector for oil, air, and electricity. Equipped with up to 51 stations, the system produces up to 367,000 tablets per hour. The rotor design also supports quick changeover, maximizes yields, and minimizes product loss. The machine is clad in easily detached, FDA-certified, high-performance polymer panels and offers 360-degree access.
Geometrically optimized surfaces and an integral vacuum system expedite cleaning. User-friendly operator interface provides swift access to the machine’s most important functions via 12 pictogram buttons (FE35 Tablet Press, Fette Compacting America).
A high-performance liquid-filling machine from Cozzoli Machine combines a small footprint with peristaltic pump and single-use technologies. Single-use elements eliminate cleaning, cut costs, hasten setup, and reduce waste. Designed for Class 100 cleanrooms, the fillers rely on existing overhead laminar air flow and may be specified with two, four, six, or eight heads (VR2PP Series liquid fillers, Cozzoli Machine).
A single-use filling system from Filamatic equips a benchtop filler, compatible with a piston, peristaltic, gear, or lobe pump, with a peristaltic pump. In this configuration, fluid flows in a flexible tube fitted inside a circular pump casing. Since the pumped fluid contacts only the inside surface of the disposable tubing, cleanup is quick and easy. The peristaltic pump works best with moderate to large (50 mL to >1100 mL) fill volumes and achieves +/- 1% accuracy (AdaptaFil semiautomatic benchtop filler, Filamatic).
Romaco’s family of liquid filling machines includes six models that handle vials and bottles ranging from 2–500 mL at speeds of up to 200 containers per minute. Features include multiple dosing system and volumetric pump options, adjustable positive container transport for fast changeover, multiple closure stations and cap feeding systems, and programmable setup and recall of product recipes and production parameters. The systems integrate seamlessly with labelers and cartoners (Romaco Macofar LF-200 Series liquid filling machines, MG America, subsidiary of MG2).
A high-speed line from Marchesini Group, capable of filling parenteral products at 400 vials per minute, consists of a rotary washing machine, depyrogenation tunnel, and filling/stoppering machine. The eight-station rotary washer cleans ampules, vials, and other round containers and features quick size-changeover. A modular design accommodates the addition of an ultrasonic prewasher, silicone applicator, heat exchangers, filters, automatic valves, automatic drainers, pressure transmitters, and unloaders to tunnel or tray. The continuous-motion depyrogenation tunnel relies on modular design as well as hot-air flow. A pressurization system independently controls conditions in different sections of the tunnel. Proprietary cooling-zone sterilization cuts cycle time in half. The continuous-motion, in-line filler/capper features an ultra-clean balcony design and is compatible with restricted access barrier systems and isolators, as well as clean- and sterilize-in-place configurations. Other features include contact-free vial handling, camera inspection, and checkweighing. Pump options include peristaltic, time-pressure, and volumetric (WR24 washing machine, Depyr601 tunnel and Stery LC filling/stoppering machine, Marchesini Group).
Anticounterfeiting and tamper evidence
Another anticounterfeiting tool, a proprietary, two-dimensional barcode from Complete Inspection Systems, matches and verifies GS1 codes printed during packaging operations. The data-intensive barcode can provide information about the location of covert codes used for product authentication (HD P.A.S.S. Barcode Solution, Complete Inspection Systems).
Quality control technology