INTERPHEX Innovations - Pharmaceutical Technology

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PharmTech Europe

INTERPHEX Innovations
Visitors found new container options, child-resistant concepts, and serialization solutions. This article contains bonus online material.


Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 35, Issue 5, pp. 38-43


With a built-in vacuum pump, Cozzoli's PF2TT powder filler needs only an air connection and 115-volt power supply.
A washer for parenteral products cleans vial exteriors from the shoulder down to remove toxic product residue or improve label adhesion. The system replaces traditional vial-handling starwheels with parallel belts. Silicone cups along the bottom edge of the belts grip the vials by the cap and create a watertight seal that accommodates a high-pressure spray of water or detergent. Changeover between 13- and 20-mm vials requires no change parts. The washer contains only two moving parts and handles glass or plastic vials with volumes from 1 to 100 cm3 at 200 vials/min (EVW-100 External Vial Washer, PennTech Machinery).

At the other end of the line, an aluminum capping machine has been redesigned to reduce particulate generation with direct-drive motors located in the base of the unit. The machine caps vial sizes from 1 to 100 cm3 , operates at 200 vials/min, and changes over in less than 10 min (AC-6 Capping Machine, PennTech Machinery).

A modular system helps optimize packaging operations for syringes, vials, cartridges, and eye-drop or nasal-spray bottles. Once the process is fine tuned at speeds as high as 10 units/min, it transfers seamlessly to higher-volume equipment. The choice of modules begins with filling options, including single-use, and may include checkweighing, stopper or dropper insertion, needle-shield assembly, sealing, crimping, and capping (DPS Development and Production System, Groninger USA).

Another product-development-oriented system applies silicone to the inside of syringe bodies to determine how much is needed to ensure that the plunger moves smoothly. The semiautomatic unit can be loaded with 35 syringes and treats as many as 10 containers/min. Since the benchtop system is based on the same technology as the production-scale machine, the transition from laboratory or pilot line to full-scale production is seamless (SVS 9061 Silicone Spraying Unit, Bausch and Stroebel Machine).

Another benchtop system, a microprocessor-controlled powder filler with two heads, fills doses ranging from 50 mg to 75 g with 1% accuracy. The filling process eliminates scraper blades and features a dual-level supply hopper and agitator. In operation, vacuum draws the powder into the dosing chamber. When it is full, the vacuum cuts off, and a pinch valve opens to create a pathway to the filling head. Positive pressure moves the powder through the dosing head into the container. After the fill is complete, a high-pressure pulse cleans residue from the chamber and filter, and deposits it into the container, thus eliminating waste (PF2TT Powder Filler, Cozzoli Machine).

A servo-driven benchtop filler fills liquids semiautomatically or automatically. Four rotary piston pump sizes handle fill ranges of 50 L to 1.5 mL, 1–10 mL, 5–30 mL, or 10–100 mL. Models include single-, dual-, and five-head configurations. Systems can be cart-based, integrated with an X–Y table, or mounted on a vial or syringe filling machine (FSR 1000 single-head, FSR 1002 dual-head, FSR 1005 five-head benchtop filler, Colanar).

For solid dosage forms, a high-speed tablet counter fills 100-count bottles at as many as 120 bottles/min. The electronic system includes 20 central processing units (one per channel), can be set up quickly, needs no tools for changeover, and tracks downtime. A prehopper removes broken or damaged tablets. Good product moves into the pressure-free main hopper, where it is accelerated so that it drops single file into the bottle. With an optional communications package, the machine can send alerts through email or Smartphone (Street Fighter 100 tablet counter, Capmatic).


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