When it comes to capping systems, pharmaceutical companies are looking for flexibility, reports Franck Vidal, Vice President Sales & Marketing for Fowler Products, a Pro Mach company. “Companies need flexibility, depending on their distribution channel, such as a retail location or a club store,” he says.
To meet the need for flexibility, Fowler showcased at Pack Expo Las Vegas its Zalkin high-speed, eight-head CAS 8/360 capping machine offering the ability to handle seven different bottles sizes (from 30 to 900 cubic centimeters) and three different cap sizes (ranging from 2-piece CR as well as non-CT and snap-cap closures) at speeds of up to 240 bottles a minute.
Zalkin manufactures rotary chuck-style cappers that feature a pick-and-place method of cap handling whereby the closure is picked-up by the gripping chuck of the capping head, explains the company.
The capping process is well controlled. “The rotating head with the cap will descend onto the bottle and apply the cap to the desired torque,” reports Andy Monroe, VP, Product Development. “Application torque is accurately and repeatable controlled either through the use of magnetic clutches or servo motor capping heads. Our servo capping heads provide on-line torque measurement for each cap applied. Our inspection/rejection systems can detect and positively reject all bottles with missing cap, high cap, cocked cap, high/low torque, and missing foil defects.” The Fowler/Zalkin CAS 8/360 capper utilizes a fail-safe quality control system that can cap and visually inspect more than 300 bottles per minute.
Changeover is eased through a tool-less approach, including changeover of the entire cap path, compact waterfall sorter, captransfer star wheel, and chucks. The operator selects the required inch/pounds of torque from the scale etched into the capping head. “Bottle height can be changed via recipes for servomotor adjustment,” says Vidal.
Fowler Products has invested in its facilities in order to support extensive FATs to provide thorough testing of its capping machines as well as complete integrated bottle unscrambling/cleaning/filling/capping systems, Monroe reports. “Fowler Products is well versed in the validation requirements of the pharma industry and can provide services for FDS, IQ, OQ, and FAT documentation,” he explains.
Fowler can also integrate other pieces of equipment into a full integrated packaging solution for its customers, Vidal adds.
Please visit http://www.fowlerproducts.com for more details.