New Packaging Technologies Displayed at INTERPHEX - Pharmaceutical Technology

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PharmTech Europe

New Packaging Technologies Displayed at INTERPHEX
Highlights included the latest in pharmaceutical packaging equipment, containers, and labels and new capabilities among contract service providers.


Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 36, Issue 6, pp. 32-35

Other equipment

A versatile, servo-driven blister packager thermoforms or cold-forms blisters up to 40 mm deep and features tool-less changeover. An integrated print station prints on the top or bottom of the lidstock depending on how the material is threaded. An autolift mechanism protects heat-sensitive products by raising the seal station if the machine stops (BP540 blister machine, Pentapack NA).

Bowl feeders for stoppers and other small parts change over without tools, thus reducing downtime from 10–30 min to less than 1 min. Patent-pending units simply lift off, clean easily, and are retrofittable (QS Systems bowl feeders, Service Engineering).

Dots of an instant-bonding, pressure-sensitive adhesive are dispensed from a paper carrier web to provide a competitively priced alternative to hot melt for sealing folding cartons or attaching inserts/outserts to packaging. Eliminating hot melt reduces waste, clean-up tasks, warm-up time, and burn hazards. Once adhered, the FDA-compliant pressure-sensitive adhesive peels cleanly with no fiber tear or residual staining, thus making it well-suited for use with inserts or other materials where print must remain undamaged. A video trial program allows prospective purchasers to see how the automated applicator works for their application before they buy a system (SD-900 applicator for Glue Dots brand adhesive, Glue Dots International).

A lab-scale unit punches and seals lidstock to unit-dose containers. The tabletop, servo-driven machine monitors force, time, and temperature and handles either peelable or non-peelable lidstock (RD 06 punching and sealing machine, Rychiger US).

Packagers who need containment or an aseptic filling environment can retrofit a flexible isolator with clear polyurethane or PVC walls that allow operators more freedom of movement than rigid counterparts. Systems are compatible with negative air pressure or nitrogen atmospheres. Single-use systems eliminate much of the cleaning and validation required with conventional rigid isolators (Ace flexible wall isolators, Telstar North America).

An inkjet printer handles print widths from 108 to 540 mm (4.26 to 21.26 in.) at speeds of up to 100 m (328 ft) per min. Ultraviolet ink dries instantly and doesn't absorb or bleed to produce crisp alphanumeric characters as small as 4-point. Designed for mounting on horizontal form-fill-seal, blister, and flow pack machines, the digital coder also reproduces serialized numbers, one- and two-dimensional barcodes, and graphics at a resolution of 600 dpi (InteliJet HD inkjet printer, Bell-Mark Corp.).

INTERPHEX returns to New York's Javits Center April 23–25, 2013. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical manufacturers will have an opportunity to research more packaging technologies at PACK EXPO, Oct. 28–31, 2012, at McCormick Place in Chicago. The biennial packaging show has added a 70,000-ft2 Pharmaceutical Pavilion. The sold-out Pavilion includes the Rx Lounge, a dedicated networking space where attendees can relax and seek advice from pharmaceutical packaging professionals in an Ask-the-Expert area. More formal presentations on packaging technology are included in the pharmaceutical track of the conference at PACK EXPO and the schedule for the Innovation Stage.

Hallie Forcinio is Pharmaceutical Technology's Packaging Forum editor, 4708 Morningside Drive, Cleveland, OH 44109, tel. 216.351.5824, fax 216.351.5684,
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