Pharma

Turnkey solution for combi kits

Diagnostics product: Contrast agent for ultrasound examinations

A pick-and-place robot takes the syringe pistons from the star wheel. The robot places the piston rod into the tray after tilting them horizontally.

An F4 robot loads the separated vials into the clamshell tray. Before this, it placed the vials on a turning station in front of a camera, which detects and verifies the variable data on the transparent label.

A requirement when loading syringes into the clamshell tray is the orientation of the finger flange, which must be positioned parallel to the base and top of the tray (on the right in the photograph).

A full syringe is only placed in the tray once the variable data on the label has been successfully validated.

An F2 robot groups the incoming labelled clamshell trays, then transports them to the loading station. After insertion into the cartons, a label with variable data printed on it is applied and the carton is sealed.

The individual components of the combi kits are securely locked in the clamshell trays.

If the clamshell trays are placed in the carton, then they are given a label.

All components necessary for delivering the contrast agent are securely packed in a tray.

 

Requirements

Focusing on efficiency and product safety

Checking individual components and assembling combi kits

An Italian pharmaceutical company has fully automated its packaging processes which were previously carried out manually with the aid of a turnkey solution and packaging line from Schubert-Pharma.

The line packs combination kits consisting of several individual components along with a contrast agent for ultrasound examinations. Over and above precise separation and accurate component orientation, the task also requires the integration of a
high-level communication system for serialisation of the products.

With the turnkey solution provided by Schubert-Pharma, the company was given a complete line from a single source. This has increased the pharmaceutical company’s capacity, enabling it to reduce wage costs while safeguarding its validated processes.

Solution

How does the solution meet the requirement?

An efficient complete line from a single source

The fully automated packing process consists of three high-level processes: tray loading, labelling and cartoning into multiboxes. Gentle product handling is guaranteed by the individual robotic tools which precisely position the components in the trays and hold them in place.

The integrated high-level communication system ensures traceability and avoids batches being mixed up. Barcode scanners and cameras check that the data on the different product labels is correct before loading them into clamshell trays.
Schubert-Pharma has also efficiently integrated the infeed of individual components into the machine design as part of the turnkey solution.

At a glance

  • A complete line from a single source
  • Efficient supply and loading of various individual components
  • Precise separation and accurate orientation of components
  • Labelling

Quote

“I was excited about the machine from the start. We are anticipating rising production figures in the future. I’m already looking forward to seeing how our machine, which we refer to as the Mustang, will grow our production outputs,”

Technical Details

Flexible automation solution ensures efficiency

Initially, the clamshell trays are taken from the magazine, removed from the stack, then positioned onto the Transmodul. Leaflets are then taken from the same magazine and placed into the trays; this combined magazine functionality saves considerable space in the overall machine layout. In the next step, a pick-and-place robot places the first component of the combi kit – a syringe piston rod – into the tray. The second component is then presented to a camera system by an F4 robot to check the data applied is correct. If the data on the label corresponds with specifications, it is then placed into the clamshell tray.

In the next module, a rotary table feeds the vials containing the freeze-dried contrast agent into the line. An F4 robot places the vials on a turning station in front of a camera, which detects and verifies the variable data on the label. If the data matches the current production batch, the robot adds the vial to the tray. The next component – a full syringe – is also only placed into the tray once the variable data on the label has been successfully read.

When the clamshell tray has been loaded and closed, a standalone labelling unit applies up to three labels. The cartoning process then begins as a flat is taken from a magazine and erected into a carton. An F2 robot groups the incoming labelled clamshell trays, then transports them to the loading station. A label is applied, and the carton is closed once the clamshells have been inserted.

Overall performance
  • Turnkey solution: loading, labelling and cartoning clamshell trays
  • Transmodul in use
  • Cartoning: 5 or 10 combi kits per carton
  • Up to 50 combi kits per minute

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