Vials, clinical products and blister strips for small and medium-sized (SME) pharmaceutical and healthcare manufacturers are usually packed with product by external service providers. However, the cost of using these service providers is unsustainably high in the long run. Manufacturers that packaging their products can maintain the highest quality at high production volumes and overcome these high costs by developing their own large-scale packaging machines. Knoll VpA GmbH of Hüttisheim, Germany has developed a fully-automated, compact packaging process to meet this challenge.
Knoll’s automated packaging system features intelligent quality control using a Cognex In-Sight® vision system. Knoll‘s designed this system specifically for SMEs but large manufacturers can use it to meet requirements during high-demand periods. The system is easily moved because it is on rollers, and it lets pharmaceutical and healthcare do their packaging in a minimum of space at maximum quality levels – at cycle rates of up to 45 units a minute.
Compact Means Quick
Knoll’s blister packaging machine is only 70 cm (2.756 in) wide and 244 cm (9.61 in) long overall, with a working area of just 140 cm (5.51 in). It is suitable for clinical packaging operations, prototype packaging and small to medium production runs, as well as vials and blisters. It enables pharmaceutical and healthcare manufacturers to shape both hard and soft packaging materials such as PVC/ALU or ALU/ALU, to fill and seal them and to produce blister pack formats. It feeds in the packaging film, heats and shapes it. It prints the foil seal and applies it before finally marking and stamping the product units. Quality control is managed entirely by the In-Sight vision system which checks the completeness of the packaged products as well as their shape and position and guarantees absolutely perfect quality.
Flexible Means Better
The In-Sight vision system has also improved the positioning accuracy of modules for Knoll’s tattoo machines. Despite the contrast difficulties caused by black plastic heads with integrated tattoo needles, the vision system determines the positioning using a small ink filling opening of only about 3x3 mm (0.119x0.119 in). Th In-Sight system also determines whether the needles being used are round or broad versions. It is simple to test a wide range of tattoo modules using preconfigured settings. The extensive Cognex image processing library makes this quick and easy. The EasyBuilder® configuration software is simple to use, a touchscreen lets them quickly enable and control the high-performance Cognex image processing tools. A VisionView® visualization system provides the user interface – monitoring the manufacturing processes and eliminating the need for a PC. l. When used in larger system networks, VisionView automatically detects any Cognex image processing system and can simultaneously display the data from up to nine vision systems.
Smaller is Smarter
The 30x30x60 mm (1.18x1.18x2.36 in) vision system delivers a complete image processing system. Flexible mounting options include a non-linear calibration tool that allows the system to be mounted at an angle of up to 45 degrees – even in tight spaces on robots and in difficult-to-access locations.