Blister packer cuts validation work

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Control theory

IWKA PacSystems of the UK has introduced a new blister packing
machine that can dramatically reduce the time it takes to carry out
validation and get into production compared to rival systems.

Customers who purchase a rival system have to carry out lengthy validation experiments, calibrating their machine for a range of parameters - such as sealing time, temperature, pressure and speed - to ensure that it always provides a good seal. This process can take between three and six months, but using the new machine can be cut to around a quarter of that time, according to Mike Nicol, sales and marketing director at IWKA PacSystems​.

But in addition to shortening start-up times, the Blisterpac BP20, developed by Germany's IWK​, can also cut out the need to interrupt production and re-validate if the flow of tablets into the machine alters and the packer needs to be slowed down.

Nicol told In-Pharmatechnologist.com​ that changes in tablet flow routinely occur in the production process, as there are often variations in the behaviour of tablets at the mixing, blending and pressing stages.

"If the feed characteristics of the tablets should change, either during the batch or from batch to batch, then the output of the blister packer can be raised or lowered without losing validation,"​ commented Nicol.

The system's flexibility lies in its software control system, which can adjust the speed and dwell times for each stage of the blister packaging operation to compensate for changes in flow, ensuring that sealing parameters - and the integrity of the seal - remain constant.

The Blisterpac BP20 is the first machine in the new range and can operate at speeds of up to 600 packs per minute. IWK is planning to roll out a series of others that will have different output rates but all offer the same intelligent control system and validation advantages, said Nicol.

A machine operating at up to 300 packs per minute will be launched by the end of this year, and this will be joined by an even lower-speed model (150 packs/min) and a high-end machine (up to 120 packs/min) over the next two to three years.

Nicol would not be drawn on the specifics of pricing for the new range, but said that it is aimed at a discount to products from competitors, such as Uhlmann, IMA, Marchesini and Bosch.

Related topics: Drug Delivery, Processing equipment

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