The Latest in Blister Machinery
Late-stage Blister Printer
A machine prints market-specific data on blister lidding foil for late-stage customization of blister-packed drugs. The machine automatically unloads the blisters from rectangular cardboard-tube cartridges, identifies a preprinted batch number, prints variable data specific to the batch, inspects the print, and reloads the blisters into the transport cartridges. It can process up to 240 pieces per minute, printing at a resolution above 300 dpi with an accuracy of +/- 1 mm. The blisters are lifted from the cartridge to a datum picking location while secondary lifters incorporate a buffer zone that enables buffer stock to be processed during cartridge changeover without a decrease in operating speed. G-Mat Ltd., Coventry, United Kingdom; +44 2476 621444; www.g-mat.co.uk.
Blister Card Folder
A high-speed blister card folder and wallet packaging system produces pharmaceutical wallet cards and provides assembly and folding of heat-sealed cards. It can process up to 300 packages per minute. The technology emphasizes modular stations for flexibility and quick product changeover with toolless adjustments. It configures for either on-line with a blister thermoformer or off-line in batch mode. MGS Machine Corp., Maple Grove, MN; 763/425-8808; www.mgsmachine.com.
A blister machine with a large format area and forming depth of up to 40 mm uses different modes of operation to package solid and liquid products. The UPS 5 packages liquid-filled devices such as syringes, ampoules, patches, tropical blisters, and all-aluminum blisters; it also packages solids and processes plastics. The device features a touch screen with 3-D visualization, no-tool changeovers, and servo-driven indexes and blister transfer. Its components are compatible with the predecessor UPS 4. Uhlmann Packaging Systems LP, Towaco, NJ; 973/402-8855; www.uhlmann-usa.com.
Small-Footprint Blister Machine
A machine capable of producing 100 blisters per minute with a useable forming area of 80 × 130 mm measures 3581 mm long (including its 1000-mm feed area) by 897 mm wide by 1815 mm high. The TF1’s standard features include adjustable station travel, variable draw depth from HMI, and a one-piece bedtrack; options include feeder and vision systems. The unit operates with Allen Bradley controls. Micron PharmaWorks Inc., Odessa, FL; 727/232-8200; www.pharmaworks.com.
UV Flexographic Printing Press
A newly redesigned UV flexographic printing press produces in-line printing of text, bar codes, and graphics, registered or random, on web stocks employed in the blister packaging of tablets, capsules, and liquids. TruFlex UV uses rotary flexo-printing to provide coverage of both large solid areas and small details, including RSS/ composite bar code symbology. Solvent–free UV inks cure instantaneously when exposed to its integrated energy-saving UV lamp. The UV inks also minimize cleaning downtime with simple setup and shutdown procedures. TruFlex UV can be integrated with continuous and intermittent-motion blister packaging lines. The unit also features toolless exchange of print cylinders and a format-adjustment feature that matches print length to the index required. An optional registration control feature adds variable information to preprinted materials. Griffin-Rutgers Company, Inc., Ronkonkoma, NY; 631/981-4141; www.griffin-rutgers.com.