Syringe and Vial Line for Influenza Vaccines
At the beginning of 2020, we delivered a line consisting of ten machines to a well-known English Big Pharma specialised in influenza vaccines. The line processes both syringes and vials, from assembly through to palletising, at speeds of up to an impressive 600 pieces per minute.
This is one of the most extraordinary solutions that we have accomplished over recent years and it can process at least five different sizes:
- Single syringes at speeds of up to 280 pieces per minute;
- Syringes with needle in flowpacks, up to 120 pieces per minute;
- Syringes in trays of five with needle pack, up to 600 pieces per minute;
- Vials in trays of five, up to 300 vials per minute;
- Naked vials in carton, up to 250 vials per minute.
When set to package vaccines in syringes, the flow of the line starts with two Nextra N10 machines that feed all sizes of syringes starting from tubs and two Combi 1/2PL machines that assemble the plungers and label the product.
The heart of the machine are the robots, namely six Pick & Place arms created in-house to feed and handle delicate and fragile products at high speed. In particular, for single syringes with additional needle, two Robovision units handle the flowpacks with the needles next to the actual syringes, while a Robomaster subsequently moves the syringe plus flowpack from the buffer to the thermoforming unit.
The plastic tray for the syringes (individual or in groups of 5) or for the vials is formed by the automatic deep-draw thermoformer FBZ 420: a rugged, reliable, flexible and user-friendly machine. Size changeovers are incredibly simple and speedy. This machine can be installed within pharmaceutical industries requiring medium to high production speeds.
Once the syringes have been assembled and stacked in the tray, they are ready to be packed by the MA300 cartoner, whose renowned versatility means it can handle any kind of product size, including naked vials and those in 5-pack trays, stacked one on top of the other.
The BL-A420 CW machine labels and serializes all the cartons with an Optel vision system and also weighs them thanks to its built-in weighing unit.
Once labelled and serialized, the cartons are handled by the MCP 840 TT case packer and palletizer with Optel system, which can put all the different sizes of product into cases and onto pallets, grouping them together for Track and Trace purposes.
When set to process vaccines in vials, the line starts its flow on a turntable that feeds the product to the high-speed labelling unit RL-F300 with “Fail Safe” operating logic: only “good” vials are sent to the machine downstream whereas the others are identified and rejected. It also has self teach-in and saving systems for the label data.
For vials in trays, the flow continues with the thermoformer FBZ 420; for naked vials, the product goes directly to the cartoner. In both cases, the end-of-line is the same as that of syringes.