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Compact packaging system hermetically seals microtitration plates

Compact packaging system hermetically seals microtitration plates
MTPs being labeled and having their bar codes verified at a Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics facility in Germany

 

As a worldwide clinical diagnostics specialist, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics provides a plethora of products and services for the efficient provision of tests for diagnosing diseases and monitoring patient care, including a wide choice of analysis systems.

 

At its Marburg, Germany, location, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics processes and packs microtitration plates (MTP) for worldwide distribution to clients such as blood donor centers, laboratories and clinics. The packs were packed in rigid aluminum trays. Timo Vaupel, head of MTP manufacturing division, and Tobias Schaub, production engineer at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, were unhappy with the packaging though. 


According to Vaupel and Schaub, the aluminum-tray packaging previously used for MTPs is only available from one supplier. This prevented Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics from being able to compare offerings from different suppliers to get the best price. Additionally, the men had read a study that detailed how savings could be realized by packaging in flexible foil. The packaging machine also was ageing and had become increasingly susceptible to faults. 

graph of Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics


To increase reliability and provide more varied material options, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics installed a new packaging system from Sigpack Systems. The new system uses pillow packs that provide high level of packaging integrity with complete tightness throughout the pack.

 

The clinical products are first labeled then conveyed to the packaging machine via a transportation belt system. A vision system checks the bar codes on the labels. Any products missing labels or with unreadable bar codes are rejected. 

 

MTP labeling with following bar code verification at Siemens Healthcare DiagnosticsVerified MTPs are conveyed to the HBL horizontal pillow-pack wrapping machine, where they are pushed at a 90-deg angle into the infeed chain. Meanwhile, a desiccant bag is prepared by a dispenser fitted with a cutter. Then MTPs with accompany desiccant bags are hermetically sealed as pillow packs. Batch number, date and product type are printed on the foil. A Cognex vision system then reads the printed data.

The system installation project took four weeks and included disassembly of the old unit, assembly of the new installation and qualification in order to ensure speedy recommissioning of the entire line. 

 

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