Romaco Promatic P 91 multi-vial vaccine line – Standardisation speeds up delivery times

Since the global vaccination campaign against Covid-19 started, there has been a massive demand for vaccine processing technologies. In addition to performance, quality and safety, rapid machine availability is currently a key concern. In response to this need, Romaco developed standardised solutions such as the Promatic P 91 multi-vial vaccine line for secondary vaccine packaging – which reduces delivery times from order entry to FAT to just three months.

The GMP-compliant Promatic P 91 line is specially designed for the packaging of 2R, 6R and 10R vials. It can produce packs of 6, 10, 20 or 40 with a maximum output of 40 packs per minute. Here, servo motors and electronic cams guarantee safe handling when packing the glass vials. Toothed belts are used instead of chains for low-vibration running and to keep the maintenance costs for the vaccine line to a minimum.

The HMI is additionally configured with various functions to speed up and visualise troubleshooting and fault clearance. Several monitoring systems simultaneously permit optimal process control. Furthermore, the balcony architecture and ergonomic layout of the machine ensure that it is readily accessible and visible, simplifying format changes and eliminating the risk of cross-contamination.

Transport via vacuum

On the intermittent motion cartoner, the vials are first placed in so-called cardboard “ecotrays” and then packed in cartons together with a booklet. To transfer the vials and to open the ecotrays and cartons the Promatic P 91 uses Pick & place systems with vacuum grippers. It generates the required vacuum in a Venturi process rather than with classic vacuum pumps. This has several advantages: As well as being comparatively small, Venturi pumps make less noise, give off less heat and generally need less maintenance.

The vaccine line is equipped with four different feeding units. Both the ecotrays and the cartons are fed via horizontal magazines. After the vials coming from a rotary table have been separated and grouped on a conveyor belt, they are inserted into the erected trays by the pick & place system. The vacuum gripper then positions the booklets on the loaded ecotrays before the latter are pushed into the cartons.

Promatic cartoners like the P91 have a positive opening system that allows the ecotrays and cartons to be erected without being damaged. The packaging is pulled off and actively opened for this purpose by two vacuum grippers. There is consequently no friction that could impair the cartons. This makes the process ideal for recycled materials, which have lower stability owing to their fibre structure, so that gentle processing is a must.

Reliable track & trace

The cartons pass through the Promatic Carton Carry immediately after exiting from the cartoner. This checks the hot glue closures and prints the Pharmacode – either a 2D Data Matrix or a QR code – on each pack. Not until this code has been verified does the system release the packs for the next process step. The compact transfer station thus ensures that all secondary packed vaccines can be tracked & traced reliably.

For more information on the Promatic P 91 multi-vial vaccine line at PPMA Show 2021 in Birmingham, UK, from 28 to 30 September 2021 visit Pharma Machinery LTD at stand B70.