Engineering Pharma

'Americanizing' a Japanese blister machine

By Melissa Fassbender

- Last updated on GMT

Image: The Eagle Blister Machine from MHI
Image: The Eagle Blister Machine from MHI

Related tags North america

The Eagle is MHI’s Americanized version of its PF-D1S – a compact, servo-driven blister machine, and the company’s first entrance into the North American marketplace.

MHI (Maruho Hatsujyo Innovations), the US subsidiary of Kyoto-based Maruho Hatsujyo Kogyo (MHK), Japan’s second largest pharmaceutical packaging machinery manufacturer, will introduce the new machine at Pharma Expo this year, November 6-9 in Chicago, IL.

The Eagle is able to produce up to 100 blisters per minute at a maximum index length of 90mm and a maximum index width of 130mm. It also features tool-free changeover in less than 10 minutes and both platen forming and rotary sealing.

In order to Americanize the machine, Gregory Zaic, President and CEO of MHI, told us that “first and foremost​” the format area needed to be modified to accommodate larger blister sizes and the wider variety of dose forms used in the US.

We also had to adapt the sealing and perforation positions to easily handle the various child-resistant features used in North America​,” explained Zaic. 

The most pressing challenge was what Zaic called the “precision versus versatility​” issue, as he said blister packaging is "far less uniform​" in the US than in Japan.

We strove to achieve a ‘best of both worlds’ machine that reflected its meticulously made Japanese cousin, while maintaining a view toward the wider range of function required for US applications​,” he said.

While the Eagle is the company’s first foray into the US market, Zaic said the company is currently looking at expanding.

MHI already is looking at existing higher output machines and additional packaging solutions from the Japanese parent company’s high quality range of machinery​,” he said. “If necessary, these will be adapted for U.S. manufacturing and consumer needs as well​.”

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