Innovations on Display at Pack Expo International 2012
PMMI, the organization that produces Pack Expo International 2012, anticipates the event could be one for the record books. The group is expecting to welcome 46,000 attendees from all aspects of the packaging industry, stretched out across 1.1 million net sq ft of convention center space. The event will feature state-of-the-art solutions from 1,800 exhibitors; the floor space sold out months before the event, a possible sign that the packaging industry could be enjoying growth in months to come.
The show is organized into pavilions, specialized areas featuring equipment and technology targeted to a specific sector of the packaging industry. See below for demonstrations targeting pharma and medical device packaging. And be sure to check out the Pharma Packaging Pavilion. Whether you’re seeking tamper-proof packaging, anti-counterfeiting features, dosage dispensers or other technology, you’ll find what you’re looking for in this pavilion. Hear creative, cost-effective approaches to the myriad challenges a pharma packer faces each day.
In addition to the technology exhibits, Pack Expo offers an intense conference program—sponsored by DuPont—with the theme of “Educate. Innovate. Advance.” PMMI has partnered with leading industry groups to develop various sessions, which run concurrently with the show. Organizations providing content include: Alliance for Innovation & Operational Excellence, Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility, Great Lakes/Midwest chapters of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering, CPP (Converting & Package Printing) Expo, Institute of Packaging Professionals, International Society of Beverage Technologists, PMMI U, Reusable Packaging Association and The Packaging Association-PAC.
To get a bigger picture of the equipment and events happening during the show or to register, visit www.packexpo.com or contact PMMI’s show department at 703/243-8555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A company offers a range of sensor systems for the packaging industry. The X-Mark tri-color vertical and horizontal optics sensor is a high-speed unit that reportedly can select the correct color for maximum contrast and resolution, average out imperfections, simplify sensor lineup easy and increase edge-of-mark accuracy; it is suited for flexographic printing, converting, and registration-mark sensing for high-speed webs. The Label-Eye high-speed gap sensor is said to be accurate, adjustable, easy to use, and simple to setup and maintain; it is intended for label rewinders, label applicator accuracy, registration-mark detection, and splice detection. Tri-Tronics Co. Inc.; 800/237-0946; www.ttco.com.
The DRT Robotic Toploader automatically collates and loads primary wraps into a choice of two secondary packages: film multipack, or rigid chipboard retail carton. The system can be configured in a number of ways, including with the company’s FT120 multipack flow wrapper and a carton management system, with the option to switch to either method of loading. According to the company, its equipment provides operations with flexibility, fast performance, small foot print, and cost savings. Bradman Lake; 704/588-3301; www.bradmanlake.com.
Horizontal Flow Wrapper
The Pioneer horizontal flow wrapper (designed for use with medical devices and general packaging applications) features a sanitary modular design with cantilevered components. According to the manufacturer, its cutting head, film, and infeed servo motors with timing belt drives provide reliable, maintenance-free operation. The Allen-Bradley ControlLogix 5000 Series PLC provides control of machine functions. User-friendly touchscreen operator interface includes product information, alarms, warning messages, and production data. The machine reportedly can be quickly adjusted for product and/or wrapping material changeover. Up to 40 product records can be stored for retrieval through the PanelView Plus 700 touchscreen operator interface. Campbell Wrapper Corp., 920/983-7100; www.campbellwrapper.com.
The Romaco Promatic cartoner model PC4250 is a continuous-motion, high-speed machine that handles all major movements via servomotors. Changeover reportedly can be conducted in a matter of minutes. The cartoner has a “balcony” configuration, which creates a total separation between the mechanical area and the product handling area; this is said to make the machine readily accessible to operators and mechanics for changeover, cleaning, or maintenance. All production steps can be visually monitored thanks to frame-free guards and digital position indicators. The ergonomic balcony design with its high-capacity carton magazine reportedly allows easy and fast access to all machine components. MG America; 973/808-8185; www.mgamerica.com.
Syringe Picker Line
A company offers a picker line for ready-fill syringes. The system features the company’s “transmodules”—intelligent, servomotor-driven vehicles that carry out a range of transport-related tasks—as its transport elements. According to the manufacturer, the transmodules help make the machine more streamlined, simpler and straightforward, which leads to greater efficiency and flexibility. Schubert Packaging System LLC; 972/233-6665; www.schubertpackaging.com.
The monoblock Integrated Bottling Center 120 (or IBC-120) is suitable for all solid-dose products. With no micro-stops, no ramp-up time, and the ability to quickly complete tool-less changeovers, the IBC-120 is said to reliably package small- to medium-size batches at up to 150 bottles (24,000 tablets/capsules) per minute. The complete process includes canister desiccant insertion, tablet filling, cotton insertion, servo controlled capper with torque readout, and ability to inspect the bottom of the bottle, while never letting go of the bottle. The system processes round, rectangular, and oval bottles from 45 mm to 200 mm nigh, and 25 mm to 125 mm in diameter. By including a VisioTec BottleChrom tablet inspection system (which is capable of inspecting for broken tablets, tablet geometry, and tablet color), the end result is a machine said to be 20% more efficient than lines composed of separate components. Uhlmann Packaging Systems; 973/402-8855; www.uhlmann-usa.com.
Blister Lidding Foil
Easy-PIESY is a paper-free, child-resistant blister lidding foil with push/pull functionalities. The product is said to be easy and efficient for packaging professionals to incorporate. Said to offer a smooth, robust peel, the new lid product is an aluminum/PET/aluminum lamination; because it uses no paper, it reportedly requires less heat during the sealing processes than traditional paper-back foil structures. It is easy to adopt, requires no modifications to existing heat-seal lacquer, and does not need additional tooling, according to the company. Further, reduced sealing temperatures (resulting form favorable heat transmission through the laminate) is said to lead to higher productivity and less stress on products. Constantia Flexibles; 847/961-6700; www.constantia-flexibles.com.
A new sanitary SureClean Conveyor is designed specifically for the needs of the pharmaceutical industry. It reduces the lengthy cleaning times associated with most conveyors and accelerates batch and product change overs. Most conveyors need to be thoroughly disassembled for cleaning to ensure all stray product is removed. With the SureClean Conveyor, product has nowhere to accumulate. Service Industries; 847/392-1652; http://serviceindustries.biz.
A company will demonstrate how pseudo-empirical, real-time stability modeling is a better predictor for long-term stability than ICH accelerated testing. Oxygen permeability of a bottle increases over time, so 6 months of accelerated testing may not be equivalent to 2 years of real-time testing, the company says. Its SimulOx uses a precise mathematical model incorporating properties of the packaging, drug, and sorbent to provide an accurate prediction of drug stability. It is used to optimize sorbent selection and can assist in bottle selection. The firm’s Drop-In, Fit-In, and Built-In sorbent solutions are designed to meet the needs of the healthcare industry. Multisorb Technologies, 716/824-8900; www.multisorb.com.
Inline Filling System
An integrated inline filling system includes a Palace unscrambler, the V Series inline filler, Quadrel labeler, and a UAC packaging belt wheel capper. The company also offers semi-automatic AdaptaFil Benchtop with a peristaltic pump. The machine’s technology features four easy-changeover metering systems, electronic networking capabilities, and user-friendly controls in a stainless-steel package. Filamatic; 410/951-2067; www.filamatic.com.
The Model 426 Autocolt labeler is an inline pressure sensitive labeler ideal for solid-dose pharmaceuticals. It labels square, rectangular, and round bottles at speeds up to 300 containers per minute, applying wraparound or three panel labels and optional side- and/or top-serts. The labeler accommodates RFID tagging. NJM Packaging; 603/448-0300; www.njmpackaging.com.
Tandem packages are available for use with two substances that must be blended immediately prior to use, The packages are available as tandem droppers, tandem swabs, and a tandem with various foam applicators in rectangular shapes, round shapes, or flat or angle cuts. They can be labeled directly or provided with a printed cardboard sleeve over the tube. According to the company, its glass ampoule tandems are popular because they present no compatibility issues. The product is hermetically sealed. James Alexander Corp., 908/362-9266; www.james-alexander.com.
The In-Sight 7010 has been developed specifically for inspection tasks where vision sensors are too limited and a standard vision system may not be cost effective. The vision library on the In-Sight 7010 has been simplified to focus on the tools most frequently used in vision applications. Cognex Corp.; 508/650-4141; www.cognex.com.
Bar Code Verifiers
Bar code verifiers can be used to evaluate the print quality of bar codes, including 2-D matrix codes. A company offers a range of bar code and 2-D code verifiers for different applications. The portable models are battery (rechargeable) powered to achieve a cable-free operation at the printer. The REA Check ER is a compact 3-in. scan width verifier. The REA ScanCheck 3 is a 5.5-in. scan width verifier with a clear visible scan position due to laser technology. Results are provided clearly on a large color display. The stationary REA model REA PC-Scan/LD3 provides a full automated calibration before each scan. It provides a constant angle for illumination and sensor of the complete scan width of either 6 in. or 10 in. And the stationary model REA MLV-2D is designed to verify 2-D matrix codes and bar codes. REA Elektronik GmbH, www.rea-verifier.com/en/index.html.
Desiccants and Masterbatches
A company will showcase specialized pharmaceutical desiccant technologies as well as color masterbatches for packaging materials. Offered are the Integrated Desiccant Closure, a pharmaceutical cap with a built-in desiccant; Advanced Desiccant Polymer for integrating adsorbent capabilities directly into thermoplastics; Container Dri II line of container desiccants; and its new Desi-Sheet flat desiccants designed to optimize package space. Also on display are new liquid color masterbatches for polyolefin blow molding. Clariant Performance Packaging, www.clariant.com.
A full line of web offset presses, including the new generation VSOP press, has been developed for printing labels, flexible packaging, and folding carton products,. The VSOP web offset printing press features include new ergonomic construction, modular design, an external roller setting that reportedly reduces the initial and operational roller setting time by half, and electronic control technology that uses fewer components for better machine reliability. Muller Martini Corp.; 631/582-4343; www.mullermartiniusa.com.
Unlike three-frequency metal detectors that use one frequency at a time, the CEIA MS21 multi-spectrum detectors simultaneously use a broad range of frequencies preventing false detection signals without reducing metal detection sensitivity. CEIA’s auto-learn feature selects the optimal sensitivity settings for up to 500 products. Heat and Control Inc.; 800/227-5980;
The IDT Model 252 label printer applicator has a modular design and robust construction, according to the manufacturer. It has a proprietary process that identifies and catalogues all possible points of adjustment in a machine and eliminates as many as possible. The machine features a touch screen interface, a redesigned rewind motor that is hot swappable, a plasma-coated air assist tube that eliminates label sticking, and an optional service position tamp module. ID Technology; 888/438-3242; www.idtechnology.com.
Autoprint X4JET and X4JET Plus thermal inkjet (TIJ) systems are suitable for printing text, dates with automatic offsets, all conventional linear and 2D barcode, logos, symbols and graphics on a variety of substrates. The QWERTY keyboard simplifies operator entry of variable fields. This product offers greater throw distance than previous TIJ offerings. The print heads can print up to a 2 in. total message height. AT Information Products; 201-529-0202; www.atip-usa.com.
PS Label Systems
Model 4300 Pro-Apply systems feature a fully integrated on-demand, thermal / thermal-transfer print engine to produce 203, 300 or 600 dpi text, bar codes and graphic images at speeds up to 400mm/sec. Labels up to 150 mm wide and 150 mm long are printed in a next-out mode and then instantly applied to cartons or products on the production or packaging line. Weber Packaging Solutions; +44 1875 611 111. www.weber.co.uk