Even Packaging Can Multitask - Pharmaceutical Technology

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PharmTech Europe

Even Packaging Can Multitask
Interphex attendees found packaging machines and containers with increased functionality. This article contains online bonus material.


Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 6, Issue 34, pp. 34-36

Modular monoblocs


The servo-driven Filamatic Monobloc fill–finish packaging system handles round or square containers ranging in size from 10 to 1000 mL. (PHOTO IS COURTESY OF FILAMATIC.)
A high degree of flexibility is built into a modular monobloc for filling and finishing rigid containers. Capable of handling round or square containers ranging in size from 10 to 1000 mL, the servo-driven system can be equipped with either a peristaltic or piston pump. An optional high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration system provides positive-pressure airflow in the filling area (Monobloc fill–finish packaging system, Filamatic, Baltimore, MD).

Another highly flexible monobloc fills and closes microtubes or bottles and can change from one to the other in 30 min. Capable of filling volumes as great as 250 mL, the system's maximum speed is 45 containers/min. The microtube setup consists of a vibratory bowl to orient tubes, a linear filling line, and screw capping. Bottles rely on rotary turntables at the infeed and outfeed and crimp capping. Hygienic design, HEPA filtration, and compatibility with barrier systems or isolators make the system suitable for sterile products (P1520-BT monobloc, M&O Perry Industries, Corona, CA).

Yet another monobloc fits the needs of laboratoriess, pilot plants, and clinical-trial packaging. It can fill from 1 to 100 mL at speeds as high as 45 containers/min. Capable of filling, stoppering, and crimping aluminum caps, the system enables tool-free changeover to be completed in less than 10 min. The single-operator machine is designed for cleanroom environments (Model FSAS—2205 Tabletop, Chase-Logeman, Greensboro, NC).


The MHI vial-filling and -closing machine from Bosch is targeted toward low-volume applications and suited for clinical-trial packaging. (PHOTO IS COURTESY OF BOSCH.)
Clinical trials and low-volume applications also are addressed by a highly flexible vial filler equipped with two robots. The first robot transfers a vial from the infeed and sets it on a weigh cell for filling. After the accuracy of the fill is verified, the other robot moves the vial to the stoppering station. Interchangeable filling options include piston, peristaltic, and rolling-diaphragm pumps. Personal-computer-based control ensures precise fills and minimal product waste. The unit handles as many as 60 glass or plastic containers per minute. Servo control automates changeover, which involves a minimum of change parts. A small footprint and isolator-ready construction enhance functionality (MHI vial-filling and -closing machine, Bosch Packaging Technology, Waiblingen, Germany).

A syringe-assembly machine inserts the plunger rod into 1-, 2- or 5-mL syringe bodies and applies labels. The compact machine also incorporates a printer to print a lot number and expiration date on the label and a vision system to verify the information and label placement. Three models handle speeds of 100, 200, and 400 syringes/min. An inclined exit raises the syringes to the level of the thermoformer. Options include assembly of back stops and safety devices (Hasta plunger-rod inserting machine, MG America, Fairfield, NJ). The plunger-rod inserting machine can be integrated with a complete line, including a syringe denester, thermoformer, cartoner, and case packer.


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