Clondalkin Invests in Technology For Cartons, Labels, Literature

Vision systems are among the upgrades for right-the-first-time production in an expanded global network for secondary packaging.
Clondalkin Pharma and Healthcare ( has made a series of recent technology investments to stay at the forefront of market trends in secondary printed packaging for the pharmaceutical and healthcare markets.
Since its acquisition last year, the Catalent Pharma Solutions’s Printed Components Business has been integrated with Clondalkin’s global network now spanning 17 manufacturing sites in the United States and Europe.
“With the integration of Catalent’s business complete, best practices for quality systems and vision technology have been internationally linked to ensure customer key performance indicators are achieved and brands are globally consistent,” says David Brown, vice president, technical services, Clondalkin Pharma and Healthcare North America, Greensboro, NC.
New printing presses and folding equipment address increasing demand for large format printing. For high-speed, four-color offset printing of outserts, Muller Martini ( web presses have been installed at the Greensboro and Indianapolis plants.
The Muller Martini Alprinta 74 unit in Greensboro is customized to print a web of 30 in. × 40 in. supporting more economical printing. A VITS (www. cut-off sheeter is the first available in North America for making sheet sizes of 44 in. Clondalkin has beta tested and validated a new 100% vision system from EyeC America (, with software custom designed for the press.
“Our customers continually request tools to ensure print quality as the printed literature increases in size. Our new vision system is the ideal technology for our quality assurance department to inspect the press sheets prior to finishing the component,” Brown says.
Two new G&K Vijuk Inc. ( MV-2011 large-
format folders have been added at the Greensboro and Indianapolis plants. The folders feature pressing units that combined with water scoring can reduce the overall thickness of a folded outsert by as much as 30%.
Many customers are converting to single larger-folded outserts to replace “piggy-back” style multipacks, as the bundled literature formats reduce packaging line productivity. Lines have to be slowed down to enable pick-and-place of the multiple components. Using single sheet inserts, lines can run at full production speeds, Brown says.
In converting and vision inspection of cartons, a custom-built vision inspection system with 100% post fold-and-glue inspection capabilities has been installed in the Evansville, IN, plant. The custom-built design features a Kohmann ( customized transport system with an ISRA Vision-made vision inspection system (
The Kohmann-built platform for the ISRA system features a vacuum belt transfer system for holding the carton stable in the inspection process.
“We want to inspect the carton after it is completely converted and before it goes into the package for the customer. The software is customized to take a picture of a folded carton that is not lying perfectly flat on the belt. We believe this is the first 100% post folder/gluer carton vision inspection system in operation in North America,” Brown says.
The solution was built to anticipate support for track-and-trace print and verification through variable-data printing such as random serialized 2-D codes.
“We had the belt custom-extended so down the road we can add a labeler or ink-jet station for variable-code printing. Many pharma companies are looking to us for coding the package in meeting track-and-trace requirements. Smaller firms in particular feel they don’t have the resources to imprint the coding on their lines,” Brown adds.
“This custom-built equipment was designed to meet customers’ high-
quality print verification—100% right-the-first-time. We are seeing heightened quality standards in the Asian market such as in Japan,” he adds.
For label print and inspection, a new Mark Andy ( P5 flexographic label press features state-of-the-art vision inspection with systems from Label Vision Systems Inc. (
On-the-fly print process adjustments are enabled by the LVS 7000 In-line Print Quality Inspection System that detects and records print errors as the press runs at full speed.
Mounted on the rewinder, LVS’s Roll Inspection Mapping System (RIMS) automates label roll finishing, with visual reports of all defects detected. The LVS 7000 prints a bar code to identify the inspected roll. The code is scanned to populate a local data base. Rewinding runs at top speed until the RIMS brings the reel to a stop at the defective label. The operator references visuals of the defect with a golden image to identify error type and location.
“RIMS supports our inspection for defects during printing to minimize waste. The new defect report has become an integral part of daily SOPs and batch records providing a higher level of confidence and traceability,” Brown says.
Clondalkin Pharma and Health is monitoring regulations and customer requirements that will drive future technology investments. The company is working with multiple technology companies to develop a 100% vision inspection system for the Xeikon ( digital label press. LVS is beta testing a LVS 7000 RIMS machine with completely different software for digital press inspection.
“One of the main advantages of digital printing is eliminating the set up. As you run multiple labels of the same size, same stock, same varnish, and same varnish pattern, a vision system has to change on the fly from for one label job to the next without having to stop the press. The system will support not only a high level of confidence in the print quality but also scan and grade all types of bar code symbologies in supporting track and trace integrity,” Brown says. 
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