BLISTERS: Shellpak Line for Pharmacies

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International Labs (St. Petersburg, FL) packages private-label drugs for retail pharmacy-branded and generic drug programs, including Wal-Mart’s, in MeadWestvaco Corp.’s (MWV) Shellpak on new lines.

The lines feature the Shellpak Loader, designed and manufactured by MWV, for inserting blister cards into the compliance-enhancing format.

“International Labs required a full-line solution that would produce the packaging at speed, while fitting their budget and space constraints,” says Lee Miller, director, machinery and automation, MWV.

Two Shellpak lines have been installed since the first quarter. MWV supplies the Shellpaks with labels and a dispenser pack carton designed in collaboration with end-user customers and International Labs. Supporting easy dispensing at the pharmacy, the dispenser pack holds 12 Shellpaks, with a tear-off window allowing the pharmacist to see the inventory.

In lines producing about 250 packs per minute, blisters are loaded by the Shellpak loader into the Shellpak package. Filled packs are discharged and conveyed to a Quadrel labeler, then to an MGS Machine Corp. Eclipse cartoner for packing in the dispenser pack. Vision systems verify the orientation and positioning of blisters and Shellpaks during the loading process, and bar codes, and lot and expiration dates.

Miller says the lines are designed for easy change over for different-sized Shellpaks. International Labs produces the Shellpak 140 size for 30 count in several tablet sizes. MWV and Bilcare Ltd. jointly acquired International Labs last month in an effort to support supply-chain streamlining and turnkey services for compliance packaging.


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