The compatibility of three blister lines currently in action at German C.P.M ContractPharma speeds up product changeovers and makes the lines more efficient. A cartoner, which switches from continuous to intermittent operation, has been integrated for the first time.
C.P.M. ContractPharma, a Bavarian contract packaging company belonging to the Temmler Group, trusts in Romaco Noack technology for the production of blister packaging. At its two facilities in Feldkirchen-Westerham and Bruckmühl, Germany, C.P.M specializes in the manufacture and processing of solid, semi-solid and liquid pharmaceutical dosage forms. Three Noack N 921 blister lines are currently in action at the Bruckmühl site. Around 15 million blisters a year are produced on each of these lines, equivalent to between 40 and 50 different orders a month. In view of the fact that frequent product and batch changeovers are essential, the company has opted for a standardized line concept based on identical machines.
Seamless compatibility from one machine to the next has the advantage that the various formats and tools required can be flexibly integrated into each of the Noack lines. This gives the company extra latitude when it comes to planning and utilizing production capacities efficiently. Machine operators can work on all three Romaco lines without any additional training. The blister lines are optimally harmonized, both mechanically and from the software point of view. All process parameters are transferable, which also makes it easier to document the technical data.
This in-plant standardization enables processes to be set up and validated much faster than in the past. The short retooling times have resulted in a significant increase in general system availability and improved the efficiency of the line concept. “Our goal was to configure all three Romaco systems with the same format parameters”, says Hermann Brandstetter, responsible for project management tasks and technical coordination at C.P.M./Temmler. “The ergonomic machine design also supports quick and easy format changeovers.”
For the first time, a Promatic PC 4200 horizontal motion cartoner, which can switch between continuous and intermittent operation, has been integrated in one of the Noack blister lines. This option was specifically designed by Romaco for use with the technology at C.P.M./Temmler. The ability to switch from continuous to intermittent mode is particularly recommended if blister stacks with ten or more strips need to be processed. Intermittent destacking entails placing the blisters in the cartoner's bucket chain in two steps. The stacks are therefore dropped from a lower height, which means the blisters are far easier to align and center. This alternation between two modes guarantees stable and efficient processes.
“The switchable cartoner mode is the outcome of our extremely constructive collaboration with Romaco”, Hermann Brandstetter reports. “Together we came up with a way of making our packaging processes more reliable.” C.P.M./Temmler switches between continuous and intermittent cartoning four or five times a week on average. Low stacks are packed in continuous mode, while intermittent operation is preferred for high stacks. A maximum output of 230 folding cartons per minute is achieved when the Romaco system is operated continuously or a maximum of 60 packs if it works intermittently.