In the compact TF1pro blister machine, the vacuum arm lifts the “good” blisters and lowers them precisely onto the transfer actuator. Another important safety measure is that the upper sealing plate retracts when the web stops moving to prevent unnecessary heat exposure.
Pharmaworks, a part of ProMach Pharma Solutions, launched TF1pro on PACK EXPO Connects, which is the next generation system of the TF1 series of compact blister machines.
The system is particularly suitable for small and medium-sized batch production and clinical trials of pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers and contract packers that require frequent replacement. The fully servo-driven blister machine can run up to 100 indexes (200 blisters) per minute.
Although smaller systems do not always have the advantages of high-volume machines, Pharmaworks has added many features to maximize product safety and cleanliness, while also achieving rapid conversion, accuracy, and versatility.
Ben Brower, Sales and Marketing Director of Pharmaworks, said: “Two years ago, a large pharmaceutical company contacted us and asked us to develop a compact blister machine with the most advanced cGMP functions. With their design investment, we developed the TF1pro. , This is the only blister machine on the market that can provide such a high level of product safety and hygiene in a small footprint.”
The system can hold tablets, capsules, soft capsules, vials, syringes, liquids, etc. The intermittent motion TF1pro supports thermoforming and cold forming applications and runs a variety of substrates. The standard roll diameter is 500 mm, which is twice the production capacity of the TF1E blister machine. The usable forming area is 120 x 165 mm and the depth is 25 mm. Provide optional product visual inspection and printing visual inspection, and complete serialization when needed.
The process and parameters (including temperature, pressure and time of each step) are controlled by PLC and programmed as a unique recipe in the TF1pro large HMI. TF1pro provides Rockwell Automation or Beckoff control system.
When the base roll is unwinding, an optional function can monitor the roll diameter and warn the operator when new material is added to the splicing table when needed. The power roller forms a ring in the material, and the sensor ensures that the material ring is in the correct area. This non-contact function helps prevent excessive drag on the material, thereby reducing stretching, and allows the use of a smaller width base roll, thereby saving costs.
Next, a splice detector will notify the operator when there is a splice in the web, allowing the machine to track the splice and automatically reject the material.
The company reports that the automatic adjustment of heating plates, forming tools and other replacement parts can reduce conversion time by 30% compared to other TF series machines. It has ergonomic components that slide in and lock, including guide rails on the paper feed table. When not in use, the heating zone will automatically retract to ensure the safety and convenience of the operator for conversion and maintenance.
The inclined surface of the entire system eliminates the chance of cross-contamination caused by residual products or debris, which also speeds up the conversion speed by simplifying machine cleaning.
In the heating station, the upper and lower plates apply contact heating to the substrate. When the machine is stopped, the heating station is fully opened to remove heat from the material. An optional burn-out detector can determine if all heating elements are working properly-if a problem is detected, they will stop the machine.
Then the heated material is indexed to the forming station, where the upper and lower tools will produce blisters of predetermined shape, size and depth. These are replaceable parts, which can be replaced without tools according to the required blister size.
The lower tool is driven by a servo motor and moves upward during the forming process, and this stroke can be changed and stored on the HMI to achieve the most effective movement under a given blister size. The blister cavity can be formed only by air or with the aid of an air filling plug (for cavities up to 25 mm deep).
TF1pro offers multiple options, including selective molding, so that specific cavities can be opened and closed in the same tool. Pinhole detection of lid material and/or substrate can be used for cold forming. Other options include lid material splicing table, separator, servo plug assisted cold forming and helium and nitrogen flushing.
The finished blister cavity is indexed to the feeding area, which is a separate module on the TF1pro, which can be customized to almost any length required, up to 2500 mm. The combination of the open channels from the front and the rear with the length of the feeding area allows the automatic feeding system to flexibly dock and undock as needed, or allow the operator to manually fill the blister cavity.
Pharmaworks offers multiple feeding systems for its blister packaging machine. The machine on display uses the FA1 paper feeder with servo drive technology (FF1 and FT320 are also common) to pick up the products and put them into the blister cavity. The next-generation FA1 feeder has been enhanced to achieve a more reliable picking action, and has the functions of speeding up cleaning and installation without tools.
In the feeding stage, the product will be transported through the vibrating screen pan, where dust and debris are removed. The product is aligned in the feed rail. The product fills every groove in the inclined track so that gravity can pull the product off the track. The end of each groove is pre-designed to match the direction of the blister cavity on the web. (When feeding paper manually, the operator can operate from any side of the machine.)
Before the blisters reach the sealing station, TF1pro’s advanced vision system checks the shape and color of the product, and checks whether the product is damaged or missing. The vision system records information about good and bad blisters into the Blister Tracking Register (BTR). The location of the bad blisters on the Internet is determined, and these products will be rejected in the future.
The cover can be printed in advance or online with the batch number and date code required. Several third-party printers are compatible with the system, and the Scanware printing vision system checks and records the print quality.
To ensure consistent and accurate seal integrity, load cells provide real-time information about seal pressure. The auxiliary high-speed sensing system will detect any foreign matter between the upper and lower sealing plates. If an object is detected, the sealing cycle will stop immediately and move the printing plate in the reverse direction. Another protective measure of TF1pro is to retract the sealing plate-if the web movement stops, the upper sealing plate will retract backwards so that the web will not be exposed to unnecessary heat.
Then the blister is punched and cut through the die punch. The waste/transfer station uses a vacuum arm to lift the “good” blisters onto the discharge conveyor, while the “bad” blisters simply fall into the waste bin to ensure consistent and accurate ejection. Positioning the die cutter in this way also provides space for the ends of the webs to be directly connected to the cartoning machine. The blisters can also be packed manually.
This week, PACK EXPO Connects continued to integrate the entire industry in record numbers. As of Wednesday, the number of participants had exceeded 17,000. Even after the closing of the PACK EXPO Show, a wealth of Jumpstart meetings, Innovation Stage demonstrations and exhibitors’ live demonstrations will be provided on demand until March 2021. Be sure to register now to make sure you don’t miss it!
Post time: Dec-11-2020