Scoping out INTERPHEX - Pharmaceutical Technology

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PharmTech Europe

Scoping out INTERPHEX
Visitors will see many packaging innovations at the annual industry exhibition.


Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 36, Issue 4, pp. 42-48

New machines

Making its North American debut, an all-electric version of a standard blow-fill-seal machine minimizes carbon footprint and reduces particulate generation. Ideal for parenteral products, the all-electric machine has the flexibility to produce sterile, liquid filled, tamper-evident containers, ranging from 0.5–500 mL, in full-scale production quantities. An integral product buffer tank meets tight fill tolerances (Model 628 All-Electric Machine, Weiler Engineering).


Groninger & Co.’s aseptic filling technology provides a disposable fluid pathway. (PHOTO IS COURTESY OF GRONINGER & CO.)
A laboratory-sized capsule filler that simulates all production parameters is the first of such designs produced for the United States. Designed to process small batches for research and development or clinical purposes, the unit delivers higher powder yields for small product batches ranging from 100–300 mL. A "slide-gate" option increases batch yields and the ability to fill free-flowing granulates or pellets via the powder station (GKF 702 capsule filler with Mini-Bowl filling station, Bosch Packaging).

Another new capsule filler, an intermittent-motion machine, handles 105,000 capsules/h and can be upgraded to 150,000 or 180,000 capsules/h. The flexible machine has a tamping disk for powder filling and also fills pellets, tablets, and liquids, alone or in combination. Other features include statistical weight control, fast changeover, and easy cleaning (AlterNova Capsule Filler, MG America, subsidiary of MG2).

An upgraded, small-batch, vial filler with rotating, crimp-roller capping reduces changeover time because vial diameter changes involve only three guide parts. The machine fills volumes from 2–100 mL at rates of up to 30 vials/min and can be equipped with a 100% checkweighing option. Peristaltic or rolling diaphragm pumps handle fills using reusable or single-use parts. Because the machine enables automated production on a smaller scale, it reduces risks and smooths scale-up to full-scale production (FLT small batch vial filler, Bosch Packaging).


NJM Packaging Model 277 Autosert Outsert Applicator handles outserts up to 1.5 inches thick. (PHOTO IS COURTESY OF NJM PACKAGING.)
An aseptic filling system with a disposable product contact path has been developed and validated for a U.S. user. The final, "ready-to-use", disposable system provides a cost-effective alternative to standard clean/steam-in-place regimens (aseptic filling technology, Groninger & Co. GmbH; disposable fluid pathway, Millipore).

A semiautomatic, servo-driven, benchtop filler with touch screen interface has the ability to accommodate four pumps (i.e. piston, peristaltic, gear, and lobe) on one base so pumps can be changed as needed. Fill volumes range from milliliters to gallons with viscosities from aqueous to viscous. Other features include memory for recipes and the ability to up- and download data. A unit on display has a peristaltic pump suitable for clean/sterile fills ranging from 50–1100 mL. Since the peristaltic pump holds fluid within a flexible tube fitted inside a circular pump casing, product only contacts the inside surface of the tubing. As a result, disposal of the fluid pathway minimizes cleanup (AdaptaFil filler, Filamatic).


Pharma-Cushion labels from Schreiner MediPharm can be applied by existing equipment. (PHOTO IS COURTESY OF SCHREINER MEDIPHARM.)
An outsert applicator handles today's thicker documents with a vacuum extraction system and hot-melt glue sealing. Two servomotors control the movement of a vacuum-cup-equipped arm. The arm moves in and out to remove an outsert from the hopper. Once the outsert is captured, the arm rotates to position the outsert on the bottle. Designed to be integrated with a primary labeler, the applicator handles outserts measuring 0.875 x 1.125 in. (22 x 29 mm) to 2.5 x 4 in. (63 x 100 mm). Outserts may be up to 1.5 in (38 mm) thick (Model 277 Autosert Outsert Applicator, NJM Packaging). An outsert feeder expands storage capacity to enable run times of up to one hour without reloading (Model 276 Carousel Outsert Feeder, NJM Packaging).


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