More Than Machinery
Published: June 29th, 2011
A major generic drug maker had been relying on contract support for numerous products across a wide range of therapeutic areas, including niche, high-barrier-to-entry products that have limited competition and long life cycles. Given the number of different product lines, the company decided about five years ago that it was time to bring packaging in-house.
In addition to efficient machinery, the company needed U.S.-based support providing OEM tooling capabilities, services, technicians, training personnel, and more. The goal was to operate the in-house lines accurately and affordably, while meeting all production timelines. It was a challenge, given the fact that the company that had not previously operated and maintained its own packaging lines.
The company purchased blister packaging equipment and cartoners from Uhlmann Packaging Systems. The generics maker purchased the B1240 Blister Machine and the C2155 Cartoner, combined into one custom solution.
“They needed a lot of our support, including engineering expertise for blister tooling,” explains Gregory Kosoy, regional sales manager. “And since we are located close to the plant, our technicians frequently visited on-site, in addition to providing ongoing phone support.”
The Uhlmann B1240, one of the larger blister machines producing 250 blisters/min., was selected because it was developed to be easy to operate, even by semiskilled personnel. Tools are small and lightweight and designed to accommodate quick and easy format changeovers.
The Uhlmann C2155 is an intermittent-motion cartoner designed to package bottles, vials, wallets, and small containers as well as ampoule and syringe blisters, inhalers, pillow packs, and medical devices. It can handle small- and medium-sized batches with an output of 150 cartons/min.
The machines have since helped the generics maker effectively expedite drug packaging. “Since the original installation five years ago, we have upgraded the lines with vision inspection,” says Kosoy. “We continue to provide precision-manufactured tooling sets, replacement parts, and machine service.”—Daphne Allen