The 2019 Uhlman’s Pharmazing Days were held in June at Uhlmann’s headquarters in Laupheim, Germany. Over 500 attendees visited, and over 20 exhibition partners showcased pharmaceutical packaging solutions that are integrated with Uhlmann’s systems. Uhlmann Pac-Systeme showed its packaging line for solid primary packaging and secondary liquid dose packaging.
A highlight in the machine exhibition was a complete “from table to pallet“ line packaging line consisting of the Uhlmann BEC 400/200 and CPC 500, combining blister machine and cartoner with case packer and palletizer. The blister and cartoner line consist of a variable feeder (brush box, vibratory or tap feed), blister machine with rotary seal, after-seal digital printer, real-time inspection for product presence and quality verification with features like the continuous monitoring of the machine. The case packer and palletizer unit provide an inspection system for aggregation in carton cases or cases on pallet as well as track and trace for serialization. The secondary liquid dose packaging line, the BLU 200, combines secondary product packaging for liquid dose medicines in syringes, ampoules, vials, cartridges, bottles, and pens, with an after-seal digital printer and a cartoner unit, all with continuous machine condition monitoring running on the HMI.
Uhlmann Pac Systeme also introduced modular software solutions, like Microsoft Azure-powered augmented reality headsets. These headsets contain a machine operation manual that guides operators through machine start up, shutdown, and maintenance scenarios. Other partners showcased an extended portfolio spectrum for customized packaging solutions, for example, Koch Pac-Systeme for blister wallet packaging, Cremer Special Machines for compact bottle filling, and Wonder Packing Machinery with a unit consisting of a blister machine and a cartoner designed for the Chinese market.
These new designs in pharmaceutical packaging are driven by digitalization, optimization of production lines, services and well as lean manufacturing. This became clear in the breakout sessions that covered market development, new pharmaceutical business models as well as industry standards and future trends. Integrating digital applications into current processes to yield better efficiency and higher speed for customers is well under way in pharmaceutical packaging as shown by the machines displayed by Uhlmann and other partners. However, there is still room for more. For example, machine vision inspection could be more tightly integrated into the packaging line. Uhlmann has indicated interest in moving in this direction as demonstrated by the Uhlmann startup competition, which was won by a machine vision startup.
As digitalization continues to drive efficient processes in pharmaceutical industries, ARC sees the ability of pharmaceutical machine builders to provide integrated modular and compact solutions as a good step towards achieving Industrie 4.0 goals. ARC continues to cover trends and markets for digitalization, Industrie 4.0 and analytics in manufacturing across industries and regions.