Uhlmann Pac-Systeme is expanding its portfolio

The new PTC 200 parenteral tray center is designed to process sustainable carton packaging and enables exceptionally high flexibility in terms of packaging material and product formats. In the new SyPro 2.0 syringe feeding system, a UDI code reader can be integrated for medical device tracking. This makes it possible to digitally record the individual syringes earlier than with almost any other provider and then track them along the entire packaging line up to their arrival at the pharmacy. The BLU 200 blister machine is now also available as a solution for using PP mono blisters. Mono PP packaging can be recycled easily and is significantly easier on the climate than other types of plastic packaging. With the Pexcite platform, tracking codes and process-relevant machine data are relayed across the entire packaging line and can be easily monitored and evaluated.

Parenteral products raise particular challenges

The share of parenteral products in the pharmaceutical market is growing dynamically, even beyond vaccines. Parenterals impose high demands on the packaging, especially with regards to process safety: The active ingredients are often extremely sensitive to vibration and temperature. In addition, their primary packaging of syringes, bottles, vials, or ampoules is usually made of glass and fragile. Even the slightest lapse of attention or inaccuracies in the process lead to machine stoppages or defects in the packaged products. Added to this are regulatory requirements for device tracking and counterfeit-proof products, as well as increasingly strict specifications on the sustainability of the packaging solutions used.

Werner Blersch, Strategic Product Manager Parenteral Packaging at Uhlmann Pac-Systeme states: "The goal of product development at Uhlmann is to design our packaging solutions for high flexibility so that our customers can process different types and sizes of parenteral products as well as different packaging materials and types with safe processes and efficiency. Parenterals, in particular, most often involve packaging small to medium batch sizes of different kinds of products. During a product’s life cycle, the number of products in the folding box, the shape of the primary packaging, or the extra contents of the package, such as booklet and adapters, often change as well. The BLU 200 blister line and PTC 200 parenteral tray center make it easy to implement such changes – with a high level of automation and digitization."

PTC 200: Packaging parenterals in cartons safely

In the past, parenterals were first placed in secondary packaging of blisters or cardboard trays and then in folding boxes. From the perspective of sustainability, blisters are sometimes not ideal, it is a challenge that becomes even more urgent as more pharmaceutical products are being made as parenterals. Therefore, pharmaceutical manufacturers are intensifying their search for alternative packaging solutions made of cardboard. Packaging made from a mono-material such as cardboard is not only environmentally friendly, but also versatile and can be configured quickly. With the PTC 200 parenteral tray center, Uhlmann now offers a highly flexible solution for switching to cardboard trays and cartons.

The PTC 200 processes all popular product formats, from ampoules to pens, as well as a variety of package shapes such as combo trays and folding cartons with side loading or top opening. The unique feature of the PTC 200 is that it can still be used to package blister packs in cartons. All processes on the machine are digitally recorded and monitored. The machine can implement all the regulatory requirements for protection against counterfeiting as well as track & trace the individual product all the way to repackaging it in the folding box. For further packaging all the way to pallets, Uhlmann Pac-Systeme also offers end-of-line packaging machines that continue the track & trace process seamlessly. With the Pexcite software platform, the process status can be recorded at any time, including all main quality parameters (energy consumption, defective products, empty packaging, cold chain tracking, medical device tracking, etc.), and everything can be logged and tracked in compliance with legal requirements.

SyPro 2.0: Optimal syringe feed-in and detection

The new SyPro 2.0 is an ideal syringe feeding system for the PTC 200 and also for blister machines such as the BLU 200. The solution can quickly be adapted to different syringe formats with a simple format change. This minimizes mechanical stress on the syringes and prevents product jams or empty runs. Sensors detect faults quickly and reliably. A code reader integrated into the feeder captures the UDI codes of each syringe at the very start of the packaging process. These codes are automatically transferred digitally to the next process steps, so that track and trace requirements are met automatically. Test runs have shown that SyPro 2.0 reduces interruptions in production runs and the reject rate by approximately 30 percent while increasing the feed rate by up to 40 percent. 

BLU 200 for PP mono blisters: The blister machine packs small and medium batches of parenterals with high efficiency and process safety – now also in PP mono blisters.
The BLU 200 blister line, now also available for processing PP mono blisters, specializes in packaging syringes, vials, and ampoules in a combination blister, together with various formats of information in a folding carton.

Plastic blisters for sustainable packaging: BLU 200 for PP mono blisters

On the market for just under three years, the BLU 200 blister machine has already become an established solution for packaging small and medium batches of parenterals. It provides high flexibility for packaging ampoules, vials, cartridges, bottles, syringes, and pens. The line offers a wide variety of configuration options to meet all requirements for both the blister and cartoning modules. This makes the BLU 200 particularly attractive as the basis for complete parenteral lines. The gentle handling during the entire packaging process protects the products from damage, using features such as integrated position control in the press-in station, very gentle blister removal, and an exceptionally flexible transfer of sealed and unsealed blisters to the cartoner. The BLU 200 is now also available in a version for processing PP mono blisters.

Polypropylene has a relatively small carbon footprint and causes less air pollution than other packaging solutions. Working with this material is not a trivial issue, especially in a packaging line for parenterals, because polypropylene only tolerates small process windows for forming and sealing blisters. Due to the high degree of shrinkage during cooling, the process of starting and stopping the machine is very demanding. In the BLU 200, the entire process is closely monitored with digital technology to ensure that the production parameters are maintained. This minimizes the number of machine stoppages. The PP waste, an inevitable by-product of production, is in high demand as a mono-material on the recycling market. When combined with SyPro 2.0, the BLU 200 digitally records the UDI codes of the individual products as early as possible, as well as all other process-relevant machine data, such as the energy consumption, defective products, compressed air, and temperatures. The data can be easily evaluated and recorded with the Pexcite software platform.