This year's INTERPHEX show presented a wide range of packaging innovations. Many machines offered enhanced flexibility, modular
design, and compatibility with single-use product paths.
Modular design enables a high-speed aseptic filling and stoppering machine to operate in intermittent or continuous motion
and to accommodate various filling methods, including powder filling. It's also easy to add as many as 12 filling stations
or quality-control points, such as checkweighing. Fill volumes range from 0.25 to 100 mL. The servo-controlled machine operates
at 400 vials/min with 100% checkweighing, and 600 vials/min if only a sampling of containers is checkweighed (Xtrema F2000
filling and stoppering machine, IMA Life).
Another highly flexible line can be aseptic or nonaseptic, handles glass or plastic bottles or vials, and can accommodate
different filling systems with as many as eight filling heads. Three closing stations can be set up to handle various fittings,
stoppers, and cap styles. The system also can incorporate pre- and postfilling gas flushing, empty- and full-container checkweighing
with feedback loop, 100% torque measurement, inspection cameras, and labeling. On its maximum fill of 1100 mL, output can
reach 120 bottles/min. Changeover takes 15 min (Kugler Linoline, Optima Group).
The Xtrema F2000 high-speed filling and stoppering machine from IMA Life has automatic feedback that adjusts the dose if fill
volumes drift out of specifications.
A blow-fill-seal machine designed for parenteral products eliminates hydraulics and the potential for oil leaks, related particulate
generation, and cleanup issues. The 21 CFR Part 11-compliant equipment fills volumes from 0.2 to 500 mL and may be built with an isolator system. Container molds include
from six to 30 cavities for outputs as high as 150 containers/min. Resin choices include low-density polyethylene, high-density
polyethylene, and polypropylene. An optional ultrasonic cutoff system also helps minimize particulate generation (628 Asep-Tech
blow-fill-seal packaging system, Weiler Engineering).
The touch-panel interface on Colanar's benchtop filler stores as many as 50 recipes in its memory.
Ionized hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) sterilizes cleanrooms and isolator interiors 50% faster than traditional spray systems. With a concentration of 7.5% versus
the traditional 35%, the ionized H2O2 quickly fogs the interior of the room or enclosure; can be removed faster; and kills bacteria, viruses, mold, fungi, and
spores on contact, thus achieving a six-log reduction in microorganisms. It's also less corrosive and doesn't rely on humidity
to work. In operation, the H2O2 is aerosolized with house air or a compressor system and passes through a 17,000-volt electric arc to quickly fog spaces
as large as 1500 ft3 (iHP 100 Mini Pod System, SixLog).