Haupt Pharma, New Packaging Line, Germany
Haupt Pharma is one of the world's largest contract manufacturers of pharmaceuticals. With nine production sites across Germany, France, Italy and Japan, the company employs over 2,000 workers and has contracts with over 200 pharmaceutical companies. The company offers a range of services including commercial manufacturing of all the common dosage forms, clinical trial scale production, packaging, logistics, regulatory/testing services and pharmaceutical development.
Haupt Pharma can also work with a range of products that require specialist facilities and handling such as cytotoxics, thyroid hormones, narcotics, sex hormones and beta-lactams. Each of the Haupt Pharma sites has its own speciality and at the Brackenheim site this is blister packaging.
Haupt Pharma Brackenheim GmbH has a yearly production capacity of just over 200 million blisters in finished coded secondary packaging to GMP standard. There are around 300 different deep-draw blister formats available for the packaging of different products.
Towards the end of 2007 the Brackenheim site had achieved great success, particularly at packaging and distributing smaller product run clinical trial supplies, and orders had risen by 14%. A second managing director was then appointed to specialise in the production of clinical trial supplies and the packing of over-the-counter (OTC) products. The Brackenheim site now employs 80 personnel.
New packaging line
In May 2009 a new packaging line was commissioned at Haupt Pharma Brackenheim as part of the company's continued investment in state-of-the-art technology, which offered increased efficiency, accuracy and high performance.
The installation was an ultra-modern packaging line provided by Uhlmann. The line consists of a high-performance blister packaging machine B1660, which is able to work a single, two or even three lanes, with a central operating system.
All types of sealing film, including PVC/ALU, ALU/ALU and PVDC/ALU, can be easily processed by the B1660 at a rate of 700 blisters per minute.
The next part of the line is the C2504 cartoner, which is claimed to be the fastest in its class and is characterised by a performance of up to 500 folding cartons per minute, combined with a minimal changeover time for new product runs.
Additionally, the cartoner has helped to bring a new degree of flexibility to the blister packing operation, crucial in any pharmaceutical contract manufacturing being able to meet the requirements of the customer.
Following the new line being signed off and validated, all of the Haupt Pharma employees concerned were provided with a comprehensive training course from Uhlmann experts. The first batches of blisters were packed in January 2009.
B1660 blister packaging machine
The B1660 from Uhlmann has some key advantages for contract packaging that save time and resources. One major technology advance is the way blister packs are transferred to the cartoning unit. The blisters are punched in an upward direction and suction arms carefully remove the blisters from the punch and place them on the vacuum conveyor.
The blisters are then moved to an intermediate deposit and the blister lanes are centred before the blisters are lowered and loaded into the product chain. Because of this new form of blister transfer, it is not necessary to have an additional product chain in the cartoner.
The B1660 blister machine installed at Haupt Pharma forms a perfectly coordinated packaging line in combination with the C2504 cartoner. Other advantages of the line include the tool quick-change system, compatibility with all common types of forming material, compatibility with all forms of solid products including tablets, capsules and coated tablets, touch-screen controls with a 3D visualisation display, whisper (quiet running) mode for operator comfort, controlled discharge of waste air and heat guaranteeing a clean room atmosphere, production data acquisition system allowing fast process analysis.
The B1660 is available in two versions; one is the MTK continuous motion rotary sealing version and the other the MTI intermittent motion platen sealing version. The rotary sealing B1660 MTK when combined with a vibratory feeder is suitable for the production of standard blisters containing symmetrical products such as round tablets and capsules.
The production of calendar and sample packs, blisters with large pockets, large blisters with stiffening ribs and all-aluminium blisters can use the intermittent motion platen sealing system more effectively.