Groninger Presents Machine Range for Large and Small Factories at Achema 2018

Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

Pharmaceutical machine concepts for large and small factories of the future need to be readily available, flexible when it comes to processing variation, and modular in design.

Groninger is presenting its machine range at Achema 2018 at Hall 3.1, Booth G72. The machines are readily available, flexible when it comes to processing variation, and modular in design. Groninger uses a “ready-engineered” concept across its product portfolio to offer customers flexibility in their manufacturing operations, while maintaining quality and safety. Groninger believes this concept generates cost benefits and enables shorter lead times, and thus faster time to market for pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Vial processing

A cross-company joint development project by Groninger and Skan produced a unique line concept for vial processing. The machine solution, known as Integra, is making its debut at Achema 2018 as a unique concept that integrates both an isolator and filling machine. 

Integra was developed with a focus on processing toxic products. Features include optimum ease of cleaning and shorter decontamination cycles. Thanks to the integration of the filling machine into the isolator and the integration of the innovative SkanFog decontamination system, the entire line can be optimally cleaned and decontaminated in approximately 30 minutes with optimum accessibility for the operating personnel. Increased security and support for format changes is made possible by the use of QR codes, which give operators a better overview of position, installation order and recipe assignment.

Different line configurations in the Integra range are available with either standardized RABS or isolator modules and are capable of a maximum production output of 400 vials per minute.

Processing pharmaceutical primary packaging material 

In response to the trend towards smaller volumes for biotech products, Groninger has developed the FlexPro 50 “ready-engineered” machine concept for nested and pre-sterilized ready-to-use syringes, cartridges, and vials. 

The option of automatic eye drop processing was recently introduced on the modular platform. Applying robot technology, FlexPro 50 can now also process all objects with 100% in-process control for nested vials while achieving maximum output. 

By changing just a few size parts, nested syringes, cartridges, and vials can be processed via FlexPro 50 in a line configuration. Movable interchangeable machine trolleys permit additional line configurations through to an integrated nest/bulk process line achieving outputs of up to 4500 objects per hour. 

As part of the FlexPro 50 solution, Groninger cooperates with isolator manufacturer, Franz Ziel GmbH and Martin Christ Gefriertrocknungsanlagen GmbH for freeze-dryers to offer pharmaceutical manufacturers a one-stop shop or turnkey production solution. 

Small-scale fill/finish start-ups in pharmaceutical production

The compact FlexFill 10 is stand-alone filling and closing machine for presterilized nested syringes for laboratories, trial series, and small batches. There is a clear separation between the manual handling and fully automatic production sections. At Achema, both the filling process and vacuum-based stopper insertion will be shown in live demonstrations.

This machine concept can be combined with the FlexCon 10 for inserting plunger rods in the filled syringes, labelling, and inserting in safety devices. Product safety takes first priority in all three process stages on this machine. Transporting of the individual syringes has been optimized to achieve maximum care, and can be optionally performed without any contact at all. Insertion of the plunger rods is electronically controlled. Labels are precisely applied and syringes reliably inserted in their end position in the safety devices in a continuous controlled insertion movement. Diverse types of safety devices can be processed in the same machine at a rate of up to 60 syringes per minute, thus affording pharmaceutical laboratories a high degree of packaging flexibility.

Ready engineered in the consumer healthcare over-the-counter market 

Groninger’s Consumer Healthcare Business Unit is presenting the FlexCare 100 ready-engineered machine concept, which achieves production outputs of 60 to 120 containers per minute, depending on the container diameter. 

Three stopper types can be processed at the same time with a variety of possible formats. Optional 100 % in-process control (IPC) verification ensures precision of the filling systems for every bottle. Flexibility and availability also ensures fast size changes of the few parts with no need for tools. 

Service support is provided through Groninger’s Smart Service App in combination with data glasses. The operator of the system is guided and visually supported by a Groninger specialist in the remote maintenance.

Source: Groninger, Hall 3.1, Booth G72