The line uniquely decouples the ‘online’ thermoforming machine from the filling and cartoning process.
The wide range of formats that can be used is quite remarkable.
Schubert-Pharma was commissioned to develop a more efficient packaging process that provides the manufacturer with faster format changeovers and lower material costs.
The renowned filler of ampoules and vials, Takeda, wanted to thermoform plastic trays straight from the roll. The benefits speak for themselves: the company saves money in material costs and logistics, and achieves greater efficiency in the packaging process.
The previous laborious format part changeover had meant Takeda had to place preformed plastic trays into a magazine and unstack them for the packaging process. Using prefabricated trays meant it was necessary for Takeda to accept the increased material consumption and logistics costs. Schubert-Pharma was brought in to address this issue.
The line designed by Schubert-Pharma for Takeda separates the thermoforming machine from the filling and cartoning process. The packaging line is able to pack both vials (standing in trays) and ampoules (lying flat in clamping trays). The wide range of formats that can be used is quite remarkable. The line packs small packs, e.g. five vials or ampoules, into a blister/carton, and processes ten blisters with five products each per carton.
With this machine, Schubert-Pharma provided the filler with a system that will continue to provide further rationalisation in packaging over many years to come.
- Optimised material consumption thanks to integrated tray forming directly for rollstock
- Packing of vials and ampoules
- A range of formats for small packs: e.g. five vials or ampoules packed into a blister/carton, up to ten blisters with five products each processed per carton
- Quick format changeovers
In the thermoforming unit, the blisters are shaped and punched out. A shaped plug is used as part of the thermoforming process. The 400 mm wide film sheet runs continuously at a speed of up to 9 metres per minute. Punching out is done by ultrasound; a process that allows any desired punching contours and guarantees low-cost tools with quick format changeover. The thermoforming and punching units automatically adapt to the speed of the film. The entire machine is programmed by entering parameters on the operator interface panel.
Filling and cartoning process
The blisters are then prepared for loading. At the same time, the products (vials or ampoules) are fed into the machine and pre-grouped. The loaded blisters are placed in a pre-erected top-load box and closed once the package information leaflet has been added. After the individual boxes have been marked with inkjet printers, they are passed downstream to transport logistics.
- Thermoforming machine decoupled from the filling and cartoning process
- Range of formats for small packs: e.g. five vials or ampoules packed into a blister/carton, up to ten blisters with five products each processed per carton
- Online thermoforming significantly lowers material consumption
- Packaging can also be rationalised in the future