Interphex Showcases Packaging Innovations - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Interphex Showcases Packaging Innovations
Exhibitors' products prevent counterfeiting, provide child resistance, protect product quality, and improve packaging-line efficiency.

Pharmaceutical Technology

Coding equipment at INTERPHEX followed the themes of flexibility, cleanability, and quick changeover. A dual-nozzle inkjet coder combines speeds as high as 916 ft/min with as many as eight lines of information that can include text, logos, and bar codes. An updated electronics package includes a "what you see is what you get" display, logo creation, and memory cards that simplify setup, backup, cloning, and upgrading to multiple units. Compatibility with various inks, including ones that are invisible unless exposed to ultraviolet light, makes it possible to code virtually any substrate ("Excel DN" inkjet printer, Videojet Technologies Inc., Wood Dale, IL).

A laser coder with a 16 13-in. print area applies permanent codes and other information, including two-dimensional data-matrix codes, to multiple lanes of product. In a demonstration, the unit generated four lines of information. An air-cooled, high-capacity laser provides maintenance-free operation for approximately 30,000 h and eliminates the cost of conventional consumables such as ink or ribbons ("Videojet 3320" laser coder, Videojet Technologies).

A family of form–fill–seal blister packaging machines with a maximum speed of 500 blisters/min also exhibit flexibility, cleanability, and quick changeover. Capable of 15-mm draw depths, these machines handle film and foil webs as wide as 270 mm. Options include cold or thermoforming and platen or rotary sealing. Blister machines can be integrated with a servo-driven cartoner ("BMP" blister machines, "CMP-100" cartoner, Heino Ilsemann GmbH, Bremen, Germany and Ilsemann Corp., Sharon Hill, PA).

An extremely compact vial filler for clinical products and other low-volume requirements fits through a 36-in. doorway. The system fills, stoppers, and caps 30 vials/min. It relies on the same motion and dosing systems as higher-volume systems, thus allowing seamless scale-up. The filler accepts 2–100-mL volumes with minimal change parts and can be equipped with an isolator enclosure and overgassing ("FLT1020," Bosch Packaging Technology, Minneapolis, MN).

For high-speed requirements, an 8 20-ft system arranges vial washing, depyrogenating, filling, checkweighing, stoppering, and capping in 80% less space than a traditional line. The space savings translates into material savings and cuts the cost of the machine roughly in half. Rated at 100 vials/min, the system actually matches the output of 350-vial/min lines because it changes over quickly. Minimal size and change parts and streamlined cleanup and decontamination shorten changeover time. Fill volumes range from 2 to 100 cm3 . The system's modular design includes separate air handling for accumulator, filling–stoppering, and capping areas, as well as various outfeed and filling options ("MAC" modular aseptic compact vial filler, IMA Libra srl, Bologna, Italy).

A servo-driven, in-line liquid filler that handles flexible and rigid containers relies on easy-to-clean magnetic flow meters to precisely calculate fill volumes from a few cubic centimetres to 1 gal with 0.25% accuracy. Capable of top- or bottom-up filling, the system also runs as a time-pressure filler. Its walking-beam design permits speeds as high as 300 containers/min because as many as 12 heads and nozzles are in continuous motion and follow the movement of the containers. Clean-in-place design and one change part (the feed screw) cuts changeover time to a few minutes ("Purefil 1000 Walking Beam Flow Meter Filler," HealthStar Inc., Braintree, MA).

A servo-driven filling system not only delivers precision fills, but also makes different pump styles interchangeable. As a result, drug packagers can switch between positive piston and peristaltic fluid handling. Capable of dispensing 1-nL–500-mL fills, the system integrates into existing filling lines or performs in a standalone mode ("SP&S OnePump," AWS Bio-Pharma Technologies, LLC, Tijeras, NM).


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