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High-performance tube filling
Date Published：7/4/2013 06:07:55 PM
IN GERMANY, it would be hard to find a neighbourhood pharmacy which does not sell the proven wound and skin treatment products by the Iserlohn-based pharmaceuticals enterprise Medice. Whether for scrapes, insect stings, allergic reactions or minor burns — the applications for ‘Soventol’ are numerous. The manufacturer’s quality criteria for its products are high, leading to a decision last year as part of its strategic realignment, to put an end to the contract packaging of its Soventol? HC Creme and Soventol? Gel products and bring it in-house. The old facility was only capable of handling around three million tubes per year, however, so it was not nearly big enough. The search began for a new, more powerful tube filling system.
For Medice, the answer was found in the “FP 18-1” by OYSTAR IWK, which can fill metal, plastic and laminate tubes from 10 to 60 mm in diameter and 60 to 250 mm long. This equates to a fill volume of 1.5 to 400 ml of product. Up to 120 tubes per minute can be filled and sealed, making the FP 18-1 the fastest single head tube filler currently available on the market. The system meets all of the manufacturer’s requirements to a T, with state-of-the-art technology, a GMP-compliant design and access from all sides for thorough cleaning. In addition, the FP 18-1 is easy to use and needs few operators.
Intuitive menu navigation
The operators especially appreciate the intuitive menu navigation and ergonomics of the ‘TEOS’ HMI touch panel developed by Oystar.
“Each individual process step is clearly displayed on the 15.4-inch widescreen display,” explained Reiner P?stges, head of the Production and Technology business unit at Medice. “In addition, it is a simple thing to manage the format data and the quick access to batch protocols and recipes are of great help to us in process validation.”
Switching product is a snap because most format parts can be changed without tools and the transporter rises or lowers automatically.
“It only takes three tubes for the system to set the exact fill weight for a new format,” reported Torsten Ebel, a fitter at Medice. “In order to find the precise fill weight so rapidly, the tube filler software automatically calibrates the servomotor-driven piston stroke.”
Four products in nine formats
Altogether, the FP 18-1 at Medice is packaging four different creams and gels in nine different tube formats ranging from 15 to 100 grams. The system fills aluminium tubes with threefold seams at a rate of up to 100 tubes per minute and then automatically packages them into collapsible boxes using the OYSTAR IWK SC 5 cartoning machine.
A production campaign consists of up to four tons of bulk goods. These are filled into so-called “inliner” in batches of 1,000 kilograms each. Inliners are multi-layered plastic bags which are stored in an intermediate bulk container (IBC) and placed next to the tube filling machine during filling. A fee