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This content was submitted directly to this Web site by the supplier.Article | April 30, 2005
PFM's new pharma-configured flow packer
PFM introduces a pharmaceutical flow packing with robotic infeed and vision capabilities
PFM flow wrapper delivers pharma performance standards and modularity
PFM Packaging Machinery has introduced its new Scirocco Flow Packer with Vision System Robot configured for pharmaceutical packaging. The solution consists of the Scirocco wrapper with Super Long Dwell high-speed cross sealing system and automated vision-assisted infeed system.
Reliable high speed hermetic sealing
The Super Long Dwell is a continuous motion sealing system that increases the Scirocco’s speed to 200 ppm by optimizing sealing temperature pressure and dwell to maximize the sealing portion of a cycle.
The Super Long Dwell system produces the guaranteed hermetic seals that are essential for air tight moisture tight pharmaceutical and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) applications.
For reliability it uses no pneumatics and features a sealed oil bath lubricated mechanical drivetrain that extends the components’ useful life while assuring consistent operation. For ease of maintenance sealing units can be removed in just 10 minutes.
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Embracing standards and pharma automation expertise
PFM recognized that the pharmaceutical industry is embracing OMAC Packaging Guidelines and the emerging ISA S88-based Make2Pack initiative. They are doing so to address changing regulatory requirements in a standardized way. As trends such as Process Analytical Technology take hold pharmaceutical manufacturing leaders recognize that it will be impractical to address compliance requirements on a vendor-by-vendor basis. Instead industrywide standards are needed.
Because its control platform is ELAU’s PacDrive automation system the Scirocco inherently supports all applicable OMAC Packaging Guidelines – including IEC standards for programming languages motion networking device networks and Ethernet. And the PacDrive automation system is already in extensive use by the world’s major pharmaceutical companies.
PFM has responded by implementing OMAC’s S88-derived PackML state model following the best practices established by ELAU. They have also taken advantage of PacDrive’s change detection software modular programming framework and use of pre-tested reusable software objects from its extensive IEC-conforming Function Block libraries – all of which serve to reduce engineering costs while simplifying validation and GAMP compliance.
Reducing life cycle costs
A touch screen HMI the common look and feel of IEC programming PacDrive’s powerful diagnostic capabilities and the capability for on-line remote service each contribute to Scirocco’s overall efficiency and Total Cost of Ownership.
A pure mechatronic design from the ground up the Scirocco uses an ELAU PacDrive C400 controller to integrate motion and logic in the most efficient way -- in a single software program running on a powerful Pentium processor. Six servo axes are used to perform product infeed film unwind crimping and sealing functions for maximum speed flexibility and streamlined mechanical design.
Mechanical design also reflects pharmaceutical trends. The cantilever design features AISI 304 stainless construction rounded edges and accessibility from all sides for ease of cleaning and sanitation. Mechanical and electrical components are isolated on the back of the machine away from areas that would need to be resanitized.
Automated infeed and film changes
The Vision System Robot uses vision to locate and pick randomly spaced products from the transport belt and place them precisely for presentation to the flow wrapper.
In addition an automatic register mark based film splicing system allows precise on-the-fly reel changes with no impact on machine speed.
About the companies
With a 40+ year track record of flexible packaging solutions the PFM Group has a product range of some 40 models of flow wrappers form/fill/seal machines automated feed systems accessories and a series of linear and multi-head weighing machines. With a presence in over 75 countries PFM’s network of packaging solutions provides turnkey design manufacturing and service.
ELAU equips over $1 billion worth of the world’s best machines annually with over 25 PacDrive systems already deployed in packaging machinery worldwide. PacDrive is the first truly integrated automation architecture capable of performing the functions of PLC motion control robotics temperature control PLS MES data interface and more in a single standards-based software environment.