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Roche finds flexibility in secondary packaging of pharmaceuticals

Company’s Diagnostics Division employs a top loader that provides flexibility and a small footprint for secondary packing of CoaguChek diagnostic strips used to test blood clotting time.

For more than 100 years, Roche has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, as an innovator of products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases. The Switzerland-based company’s mission is to create added value in healthcare by focusing on its expertise in diagnostics and pharmaceuticals.

Roche’s Diagnostics Division recently required a change in the secondary packaging of its CoaguChek® diagnostic strips, which are used for home, or point of care testing of blood clotting time, enabling patients to avoid repeated visits to a hospital-based anticoagulation clinic.

The full CoaguChek product consists of diagnostic strips packaged in plastic tubes, read-only memory chips containing calibration data and information leaflets, which all have to be processed for secondary packaging in boxes and fitted with labels and code strips. The main selection criterion for the new line was to increase production efficiency while maintaining full process control. As a result, gentle product handling and reliable packaging of all components were key requirements. Also needed was flexibility for handling different formats and components, as well as the ability to produce small batches in a confined space.

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Seeking an experienced partner with technical expertise to meet its requirements, Roche selected Bosch Packaging Technology’s and its Pharma Toploader TTP, developed specially for the pharmaceutical industry. The new machine is compact and integrated, delivering high output while ensuring maximum product safety and highly convenient operation.

The TTP's rotary system saves space and includes innovative box transportation and corresponding loading and infeed modules. The machine’s flexibility is useful in the secondary packaging of products such as vials, prefilled syringes, ampules, tubes, and other components. It achieves flexibility by applying vacuum technology to hold boxes in position while on the transportation device, ensuring safe and careful product transport, and speeding format changes. This allows the box carriers to handle varioua box formats without requiring additional change parts or mechanical holders.

The entire installation, including various integrated functions, can be operated via a central HMI. In addition to good process visibility and easy access, all products ejected from the process accumulate at defined discharge points, which allows simplified line clearance in the final stages of batch production.


As a result of its modular design, the Toploader provides the option of simply docking on additional modules, or components, such as labeling units and checkweighers. This allows for process-dependent configuration adapted to customer requirements.

The Pharma Toploader TTP enables Roche to profit from its minimal footprint, and the new packaging line takes care of all required production procedures. Short changeover times increase the machine's availability and allow for the production of the required volumes while maintaining high efficiency levels.

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