Efficiency, reliability and flexibility are the keys to a successful pharmaceutical production. To provide customers with best possible quality, drug manufacturers must continuously invest in modern production capacities and ensure compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). But most of all, they require up-to-date machinery for all their production facilities. These goals are best achieved through a trustful and long-term partnership with a reliable machine manufacturer and the use of high-end equipment – for instance primary and secondary packaging machines from Bosch Packaging Technology.
Pharmaceutical producers naturally want to utilize their machine capacities to the fullest in day-to-day business. The key words read efficiency, reliability and flexibility – all in line with the highest safety and cGMP standards. Modern and flexible equipment plays a major role in achieving maximum uptime and high quality in all packaging processes. “We always bear in mind our customer’s demands when developing new equipment or designing tailor-made line concepts. This is why all our machines and components are based on a modular concept,” Ralph Pfister, area sales manager at Bosch Packaging Technology, underlines. “This enables our clients to continuously adapt singular machines or entire packaging lines to the latest production requirements.”
Combining new and existing machinery
A good example of how a customer has benefitted from this modular concept is a recent implementation project at a large pharmaceutical manufacturer’s site in the Bosporus region. Having relied on machinery and support from Bosch Packaging Technology for more than 15 years, the company assigned Bosch to accompany the expansion of a production site with technological and project management expertise. “This project not only consisted in delivering the required machines on time,” says Pfister. “It also included planning the organizational structure with already existing and new machines, as well as unifying production processes. It perfectly underlines our approach of offering all required technologies and services from a single source.”
Next to several washing machines, sterilization tunnels and filling machines for vials and ampoules, the drug manufacturer uses a multitude of packaging equipment from Bosch for its solid pharmaceuticals, such as the TLT 1400 thermoforming machine and different horizontal cartoning machines of the CUT, CUK and CTK series. One important addition to this portfolio included a CUK 3040 cartoning machine that was installed in line with an existing filling machine for vials and ampoules, as well as a new TLT 1400 thermoforming machine that now operates in line with a CTK 2060 cartoner. Further components included an automatic blister feeder PUG-Z and a CTK 2060 cartoning machine, all of them implemented with existing primary and secondary packaging equipment.
One central point of contact
“Running complete packaging processes on machines from the same manufacturer brings several advantages,” says Ralph Pfister. “Our long-term customers know exactly what to expect from their new machines. They know from experience that all cartoning machines can be easily integrated into existing line concepts, and that their modular design makes them adaptable to all specific production requirements.” For instance, the continuous motion cartoning machines achieve outputs of up to 200 or 300 cartons per minute. They can be operated in line with a blister machine, or be equipped with different infeed systems for vials, bottles and other products. The cGMP-compliant balcony design ensures a strict separation of the packaging and the drive section. During the packaging process each individual component, insert and carton is checked as early as possible. Faulty components are rejected individually, leading to reliable output and high quality.
An example of successful line integration is the PUG-Z automatic feeder for blister packaging, which can be combined with an existing TLT 1400 thermoforming machine and an existing CUT 120 cartoner. The TLT 1400 packs the tablets into their blister packaging before they are conveyed to the PUG-Z, where they are counted, recounted and stacked. The blisters are then loaded into the product buckets of the intermittent motion cartoning machine CUT 120 and gently packed into folding cartons. “This customer has now shifted his primary packaging for blisters and secondary packaging operations to Bosch machines only,” says Ralph Pfister. By relying on one single supplier, the customer also has the possibility of building a good technical knowledge in-house. Moreover, the company can refer to a central point of contact who deals with all requests.
After-sales services to support success
“Apart from its flexibility and quality, the Bosch equipment is cost-effective in the long run, because the machines do not need much maintenance. If required, spare parts are at hand quickly,” Pfister adds. As a complete solution provider, Bosch not only delivers the required machines to its customers. The packaging and processing specialist also supports them in building up entirely new floor layouts, and consolidating processes. The main challenge here consists in adapting the lines to the available space and to implement the new equipment organization within a short time frame. Detailed project management and consulting, at both Bosch’s and the customer’s site, as well as constant on-site support are crucial for the success of such a project. Once all lines are up and running, Bosch offers training sessions for the machine operators so that production runs smoothly right from the start.