Bottled Up, But Not for Long
You’ve got lot after lot of drug product bottled and labeled and ready for case packing—and now you hear there’s been a labeling change. Do you scrap it all, or shuffle your staff to open each bottle to remove product?
A third option has emerged—employ a content-recovery machine. BellatRx Inc. (Pointe-Claire, QC, Canada) showed such a unit at Pack Expo Las Vegas—the Bottle Recoverx. The system automatically cuts off bottle ends to recover product with little human intervention.
“Most companies pull people off production lines to handle rework,” says Alan Shuhaibar of BellatRx. “But manual labor is not reliable, and it takes away from other production.” In addition, he says, the repetitive motion involved in opening lots of bottles with child-resistant, tamper-evident closures poses injury risks to personnel.
After cutting the ends off, the Bottle Recoverx unit divides all components, keeping recovered product in a separate bin. Sensors report full bins, and an extraction port minimizes dust. Round, rectangular, square, and oblong bottles measuring 1 to 4 in. diam can be opened at speeds up to 40 bottles/minute.
Shuhaibar reports that the company is also working on a recovery system for pouched product, as well as a system to eliminate the need to stack blisters in magazines during deblistering. BellatRx also offers training programs for improving packaging—or unpackaging—line efficiency.