Effective collaboration, successful solutions: Chiesi Farmaceutici is one of the Marchesini Group’s long-standing clients. It is an international group based in Parma that develops, produces and markets innovative therapeutic solutions.

The fruitful collaboration between the two companies, both located in the Emilia region, began in 1984 with the purchase of a BA100 carton packer for packaging multi-dose liquids for aerosols. From there, over the years, the relationship has grown into an important parnership. “We are grateful to Marchesini for its quality, professionalism e competence – declared Doctor Paolo Cernuschi, the Chiesi Farmaceutici production manager – without forgetting that the group is particularly well-known for its ability to research and design new applications to meet specific requests. These are the qualities that over the years have made the group a preferential partner.”

In 2001 the Pianoro-based Marchesini group was faced with another new challenge: it was asked to present a proposal to solve the complex problem of optimizing the bottlepack packaging line of a sterile mono-dose, liquid drug for inhalers. Marchesini’s response was quick and effective.

Traybuffer30: the solution to the problem

The brief the group was given asked it to find a way of avoiding stopping the two dosers operating every time a downstream machine shutdown occurred. The Marchesini experts solved the problem by adding a buffer capable of sustaining the production speed of the two fillers (140 pieces per minute) thus avoiding line interruptions lasting, in theory, as long as 30 minutes.

This is how Marchesini developed the Traybuffer30, a dynamic build-back system operating with pick and place trays and capable of handling 150 bottlepacks per minute.

The queued bottlepacks are picked up from the conveyor belt by a robotized head and deposited in the “tray” buckets. If the downstream bagger is working the trays are emptied immediately by a second pick and place robotized head that deposits the contents on the belt that feeds the bagger. If, on the other hand, the bagger stops, the trays are queued on the accumulator belt that acts as a temporary collection zone. The area is then gradually emptied when the machine starts up again. When the trays are freed they are deposited by a robot on the recycle belt that takes them back to the filling zone. A personalized line Traybuffer30 is the crowning achievement of a line designed and built by theMarchesini Group. It includes a MS235 bagger, a Neri SL400V labeller, a Robocombi, a MA320 carton packer and a MCP840 case palletizer.

The MS235 is a vertical bagging machine that is normally used for packaging powders and liquids, but in this case has been specially modified for use with bottlepacks inserted in 4-side, heat sealed aluminium sachets. The standard MS235 set up has here been replaced by a feed unit specially designed and built to suit the characteristics of the product to be packaged. The bottlepacks are carried to the feed unit on a cell bucket conveyor belt and inserted into the preformed sachets. A special pusher ensures that the bottlepacks are positioned correctly. The perfectly sealed, individual bags are deposited in the outfeed buckets and taken to the MA320 continuous carton packer, designed to package single o multiple bottlepacks (more than one sachet per bottlepack). The machine operates at a speed of 150 sachets per minute and is fed by a Robocombi, an innovative three axis connection system that picks up bags and stacks them in the buckets on the product conveyor. The cartons that are fed out of the MA320 are labelled on the top by a SL400V labeller, fitted with a horizontal conveyor belt with adjustable guides for producing cartons of different sizes and a spacer. This machine can be completed by an optic round label inspection system and a reject mechanism to eject any incorrectly labelled cartons.

The line end featuring a MCP840 case palletizer is also highly innovative. This machine combines the functions and attributes of the MC820 case packer and the MP830 palletizer. The main features of the MCP840 are its ergonomic design (the system facilitates the loading, checking and pick up of the end packaged product), and its size change simplicity (thanks to the machine’s special servomotors and digital indicators, adjustments can be made quickly, easily and without any tools whatsoever).