Product Update: Efficient Blister Packing Machines
Companies offer advanced blister machinery that features easy operation and more flexibility.
Micro Blister Line
A company has introduced a new blister machine capable of reaching production speeds of up to 350 blisters per minute and 175 cartons per minute. The Giant1, which can handle either large or small batches, has been designed for simple operation and cleaning and contains advanced sealing technology. This integrated monobloc micro blister line has been designed for maximum efficiency, according to the company, and can provide seven days of uninterrupted production. IMA North America Inc., Bristol, PA; 215/826-8500; www.ima.it.
Blister Packaging Machine
A company offers a series of blister packaging machines that includes easier operation and advanced technology. The BP series features a balcony-style design that separates the mechanics of the machines and eliminates product clogs caused by particulate generation and dust. The BP machines are driven by independent servos that enable the adjustment of individual processes without affecting the rest of the stations. In addition, a positive transfer system ensures that blisters are guided through the machine in a continuous, controlled fashion to eliminate jamming potential. The machines can package up to 600 blisters per minute and are available in either intermittent or continuous-motion models. IWKA PacSystems, Fairfield, NJ; 973/227-5575; www.iwkapacsystems.com.
High-Speed Blister Card Machine
A high-speed blister card packaging system features a modular design and more flexibility for size changeover. The system’s blister card module transfers cards from the last station of an existing blister card heat sealer and arranges the cards for in-line processing. A card-folding module automatically folds the cards at speeds of up to 300 cards per minute. In addition, Windows-based touch screens can be supplied with all modules. The company offers CGMP- and CFR Part 11– compliant components and modules and offers validation assistance to make installation easier. MGS Machine Corp., Maple Grove, MN; 763/ 425-8808; www.mgsmachine.com.
Blister Packing Station
A blister packing station offers manufacturers the opportunity to more efficiently package product samples. The station transports blisters via a modular conveyor through a gap transporter to a manual packing station, where a preset number of blisters is automatically counted into waiting display trays. Once that step is completed, operators can close the display trays, place them on an exit conveyor for case packing, and set up a new display tray. The station can also be customized to incorporate multiple manual packing stations to meet individual production needs. A stainless-steel construction facilitates cleaning and sanitizing; ensures resistance to corrosion, oxidation, or rusting; and enhances aesthetics in production facilities. AutoPak Engineering Corp., San Juan, Puerto Rico; 787/723-8036; www.autopak.com.
Blister Pack Feeding System
A company offers a new product feeding system for blister lines. The Variofill is capable of handling products with a complex geometry at high speeds while ensuring complete blister filling. Using a thermoformed belt, the Variofill can feed tablets with a large tolerance into blister cups. The machine can also package different shapes of products in blisters of the same size and cup shape. In addition, it enables changeover in very short timeframes. For the blister pack line, including the banderoling machine, multipacker, and palletizer, a complete format changeover can be accomplished in less than 50 minutes and a partial changeover in less than 30 minutes. The Variofill has the capability to reach a maximum output of 1200 blisters per minute. In addition, the product infeed, blister transfer, and leaflet functions have all been improved by the company. Bosch Packaging Technology, Minneapolis; 763/424-4700; www.boschpackaging.com.
High-Speed Blister Line
A company offers a range of high-speed blister machines that are designed to handle regular and shaped coated and noncoated tablets, capsules, and caplets. The line’s change parts are manufactured with high-quality lightweight materials, according to the company. New control logic features include a number of safety devices and a new forming station with pitch self-adjustment without operator assistance. Spare reels are enclosed in the rear of the machinery, making it ready for a fast and efficient reel change when required. In addition to being GMP compliant, the line features separation materials, forming, and product-feeding capabilities. The machines can also be connected to automatic cartoners if desired. Marchesini Packaging, West Caldwell, NJ; 973/575-7445; www.marchesini.com.
Blister Express Center
A fully-integrated packaging system combines elements of the company’s UPS 1010 thermoformer, C 2065 cartoner, and E 3006 banding machine in modular form. The Blister Express Center was specifically designed to provide seamless, fast production for either small pharmaceutical or nutritional companies, or as an ancillary line for a larger company’s smaller production lots. It includes a thermoformer, cartoner, and stretch-banding machine and is designed for small batch processes with 5 or more batches per shift. In addition, it offers the speed and economy of operation that allow continual stop-and-go operations for both small- and large-scale production. Uhlmann Packaging Systems Inc., Towaco, NJ; 973/402-8855; www.uhlmannpackaging.com.
A company offers a new blister packaging thermoformer with features designed to improve the packaging process. Some of the features of the TF2 include: base and lidding splice detectors; servo indexing after forming; a sealing station; contact cooling after sealing; a perforation station; a die-punch station; a format reject conveyor; toolless changeover and an open feed area; an air surge tank; stainless-steel covers; and a balcony hybrid design. In addition to the ablve features, the machine can be updated to include options such as pinhole detection, vision inspection, cold forming, waste shredding, printer integration, and cooling flow and temperature monitoring. The TF2 also features an Allen Bradley PLC system, powered material unwind, and a GMP design. Additional options include a flood feeder, slitter package, adapters for existing tooling, and a CFR 21 Part 11 package. Micron PharmaWorks, Tampa, FL; 813/925-8810;
A manufacturer of thermoforming and plastic packaging machinery systems offers a bench-top blister sealer that is designed for low-volume production where space and size are a consideration. The Z Pack 812 is a single-sided, shuttle-type system that utilizes low cost, quick-change seal tools, and is typically used for standard carded blister applications. The company also offers pressure/vacuum formers, skin packers, form/fill/seal machines, die cutters, and custom-engineered systems. Its heat sealers are typically designed for sealing pharmaceutical packages, Tyvek-lidded trays, foils, and child-resistant packages. According to the company, all machines are designed to reduce overall tooling cost. Zed Industries Inc., Vandalia, OH; 937/667-8407; www.zedindustries.com.