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Equipment and Processing Report
Innovations include multimedia packaging and improved filling systems.
A carton with a video screen, filling and closing equipment for parenteral products, and a flexible desiccant inserter represent just a few of the innovations that will be on display at Interphex (April 21-23, 2015, at the Javits Convention Center in New York City).
To maximize interaction with consumers or caregivers, Rondo-Pak equips cartons with a thin, lightweight HD video screen-complete with sound. Multimedia cartons help introduce products, educate patients, train physicians, and support clinical trials and sales demonstrations. Acting as an engaging high-tech insert, the screen can present instructions for use, information on complementary therapies, customer support options, and answers to frequently asked questions. Alternate languages are another possibility. The carton also can include a digital watermark that can be scanned by a smartphone to deliver additional product information or special offers at point of purchase or use (1).
New filling/closing systems for parenteral products will be on display. Optima pharma will feature the Optima H4 filling and closing system, with a modular design that combines simple operation, accessibility, and reliability with a compact footprint. The flexible system handles nested vials, syringes, or cartridges and can be equipped with rotary piston, peristaltic or time-pressure pumps and a variety of isolator options. A robot in the filling area also can open tubs and remove Tyvek papers, if required. Semiautomatic systems integrate easily, and retrofits boost output from 400 to 600 units per minute and upgrade in-process controls for vacuum filling and vacuum-stopper insertion (2).
PennTech plans to introduce its FSC-1R vial filling/stoppering/capping machine. The compact rotary unit handles vials sizes from 2 to 100cc at up to 50 vials per minute. Peristaltic pump filling technology relies on driven rollers with statistical or net-weigh in-process control options (3).
PennTech also intends to exhibit EVW-Series exterior vial washers. These in-line decontamination systems neutralize and wash vials while protecting the caps from moisture. The wash process minimizes rejects during subsequent inspection and eliminates drug residue that could pose a hazard to operators or consumers. The EVW-60 model handles vials ranging from 2 to 100 mL at rates up to 200 vials/min and can be integrated into the filling line or serve as a standalone unit. The faster EVW-100 model accommodates a broader range of vial sizes (2 to 500 mL) and cleans up to 450 vials/min. No change parts are needed to switch between 13-mm and 20-mm caps. Container size changes require a five-minute, tool-less swap of infeed and outfeed timing screws (3).
The Type 529 semiautomatic filling and closing machine from Bausch Advanced Technology Group handles a range of intravenous bag sizes. Image courtesy of Bausch Advanced Technology Group.
For aseptic packaging of infusions, parenteral drugs, and other pharmaceutical and biotech fluids, the second generation Type 529 semiautomatic IV [intravenous] bag filling and closing machine from Bausch Advanced Technology Group handles bags made of any material and volumes from 10 mL to 10 L at up to 26 bags/min. Higher speeds can be achieved by adding semiautomatic filling/closing stations. The basic machine accommodates up to four filling/closing stations without altering its footprint, electronics, in-process control, or operator interface. The updated design offers a clear laminar air-flow path to the open bag and is well-suited for isolators or restricted access barrier systems. The flexible unit also is compatible with a variety of filling technologies including mass flow, peristaltic pump, servo-operated pinched valve, and rotary piston pump. The automated closing system can be adapted to many closure types (for hard ports or flexible tubing) and sealing technologies (e.g., high-frequency, ultrasonic, heat). For highly sensitive products, the Type 529 machine can be equipped with an air evacuating and pre- and/or post-gassing system. Other options include an integrated clean- or sterilize-in-place system. Type 529 machines can be combined with semiautomatic IV bag inspection machines as well as checkweighers and leak testers (4).
For solid dosage forms, BellatRx is displaying its Rx-Desiccant Plus automatic desiccant inserting machine. Capable of handling either precut pouches or canisters, the unit reaches speeds up to 140 containers/min (5).
Other intriguing innovations expected to be on display at Interphex include Schreiner MediPharm’s tamper-evident Flexi-Cap. The label/cap combination clearly indicates if a container has been opened, discouraging illegal reuse (6).