Because of growing interest, several exhibitors showcased single-use systems. A 50-cm3 peristaltic pump for single-use dosing systems has joined a 6-cm3 option. Tubing can be removed and replaced with one hand. Offset rollers minimize pulsation and improve fill accuracy to
±0.5 mL (PreVAS Single-use Dosing System, Bosch Packaging Technology).
At least four other firms offer peristaltic pumps for single-use systems (Bausch and Stroebel, Watson-Marlow, Flexicon Liquid
Filling, and Colanar). But, peristaltic pumps are not the only style available for single-use systems. A single-use rolling-diaphragm
pump built of polycarbonate with a platinum-cured silicone diaphragm is assembled in a cleanroom, 100% integrity tested, and
delivered with custom tubing sets. The prevalidated, presterilized, and preassembled system offers accuracy of ±10 mg on fills
equal to or less than 2 mL and ±0.5% on fills greater than 2 mL (PreVAS Dosing System).
A disposable turning valve pump also is supplied as part of a preassembled, presterilized system, which includes tubing and
filling needles. Targeted for vials, eye-drop bottles, syringes, and cartridges, it offers high accuracy on fills from 0.1
to 3 mL and handles virtually any liquid, including highly viscous or shear-sensitive ones (Disposable Filling System, Groninger).
New inkjet coders
For coding needs, a 35 character/s continuous inkjet (CIJ) printer is reportedly 20% faster than competing systems. The IP65-rated
unit is washdown compatible and recirculates solvent so that it consumes only 2 mL/h, compared with 4–7 mL for other systems.
With only six moving parts and a simplified ink system, maintenance requirements are minimal. The printer also features a
removable operator interface and uses volatile organic compound-free inks (alphaJET evo continuous inkjet printer, Oncode).
Another CIJ printer needs no preventative maintenance at all—just routine replacement of consumables, which are color-coded
for easy identification. A modular design eliminates the traditional ink reservoir and separates ink and filters from pump
and associated electronics so that ink disposal doesn't scrap viable mechanical and electrical components. Other features
include a simplified operator interface and range of input–output options to simplify integration with other equipment (A320i
printer, Domino North America).
As FDA requires more information in medication guides and patient information, the size of package leaflets and outserts is
increasing. One of the biggest measures 630 in.2 , but folds into a 1.25 × 1.25-in. square with 210 panels, which is substantially more than the previous maximum of 170 panels
(leaflet–outsert, Mini Graphics). Printed materials also may include 3-D graphics that rely on the same software used for
3-D imagery in video games and 3-D movies to create accurate color, texture, and size (3D Label Graphics, Mini Graphics).
It's possible to fold an insert to a size even smaller than 1.25 × 1.25 in. At 1.125-in.2 , the insert can be applied automatically and consist of approximately 200 panels (Glued Capsert, Arthur Press).
If one sheet isn't big enough, two or more inserts can be stacked together. One piggybacked concept compatible with automatic
application features two 1.25-in.2 inserts with as many as 170 panels each (multiserts, Cortegra and Chesapeake Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Packaging; multipack
bundles, The Challenge Printing).
Hallie Forcinio is Pharmaceutical Technology's Packaging Forum editor, 4708 Morningside Drive, Cleveland, OH 44109, tel. 216.351.5824, fax 216.351.5684, firstname.lastname@example.org