The Unica robotic line integrates the deep draw thermoforming and the carton packaging processes in a single monobloc unit.
The use of the most advanced robotics both upstream, during product feeding into the thermoformed tray and downstream to the monobloc, during the transfer of the tray to the cartoner, allows a wide variety of cosmetic and pharmaceutical products to be packaged at high speeds, up to 120 cartons/min, in a footprint of only 8 meters.
Unica is manufactured with a balcony structure, which guarantees the separation between the mechanical section and the working area, and thus the absolute sterility of the products processed in total compliance with GMP standards in terms of packaging. Excellent visibility and accessibility of all stations and groups make the line very easy to clean.
The machine has been designed to manage all the operations - including carton and leaflet loading - in one access area. The use of a shared PC for the two sections, the thermoformer and cartoner, and the installation of one operator panel ensure a faster management of the entire line, thanks to the possibility to recall all the set parameters. Special attention has been paid to size changing, which is performed without using tools, thanks to quick-release couplings and locking handles completely managed by the PC.
The Unica’s main innovation regards the integration of two Robovision, the patented four-axis robot by Marchesini that has revolutionized the packaging of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products in the last ten years. Compared to the conventional infeed systems, which are less versatile and slower, the Robovisions are indeed capable of picking up and handling individual products of any shape and size from a belt and feeding them to both the thermoformer and the cartoner. Such versatility makes handling almost any type of products quick, simple and effective. Ampoules, for example, are fed by the first Robovision to special Marchesini patented vibrating tables that allow the product to move forward in a vertical position without falling over. Other products, such as syringes, arrive from an upstream synchrodynamic feeder that places them in a horizontal position on the plug-in conveyor, from which they are picked up by the Robovision before introduction into the cartoner.
Thanks to the employment of robotics, Unica can also handle other products in trays such as small tubes and dispensers, and also a combination of products in thermoformed trays. Depending on customer’s needs, it is possible to personalize the feeding systems such as the division of the vibrating table in two halves to handle different products, such as ampoules and vial, in the same tray, or the Z version (Zero Cross Waste), a greener and more economical machine due to waste reduction.
The second Robovision transfers the tray into the carton. Also in this case, the use of robotics eliminates intermediate steps thus saving time and money. In addition, it allows greater protection of the package, the direct stacking of the trays into the cartoner buckets and also the possibility to orient the products aligning them in specific packs in order to fully exploit the format volume.
Unica lines are assembled at the Blister & Farcon Division in Carpi. The plant - a smart industrial factory, while still catering for tailored products - was inaugurated in October 2016. It has become the biggest production hub of thermoforming machinery in Italy, with 15,000 square meters and an investment of 14 million Euro.
Carpi’s Blister & Farcon Division has been built using exclusively “Made in Italy” products. It exploits renewable energy sources to minimise harmful emissions and generates 40% of its own energy needs. The heat and energy of machinery is recycled and converted into heat and hot water, thus ensuring a completely emission-free heating system.