Increasing uptime on pharmaceutical filling and packaging lines

Problem

As part of a manufacturing quality initiative, the customer undertook a review on their sealing equipment on a filling and packaging line. This review was intended to give the company a complete picture of the size and types of elastomer seals and other non-elastomeric seals used on the line equipment.

PPE worked closely with the customer in confirming the size and identity of the elastomers used for each seal on the line. The strip down of each machine was filmed, showing how the seal was fitted. The review indicated that in some cases, the dimensional accuracy of the seals could be improved. Moreover, changes to the type of elastomer to better match the Topicals chemistry and cleaning processes could also extend the plant’s production time before a seal change was needed.

Solution

PPE systematically checked each seal of every assembly on the filling and packaging line. Seal accuracy was improved using PPE’s CAD design and tooling machines, producing a highly accurate custom seal. It also recommended a switch to an alternate grade of fluoroelastomer for static sealing applications, with Perlast® perfluoroelastomer grades recommended for dynamic applications – including pumps and valves.

In order to guarantee seal quality and consistency of supply, the customer requested that all seals be barcoded for stock control and traceability. All the seals supplied by PPE are FDA and USP Class VI compliant. In addition, the seals are manufactured in a Class 10000 clean room.

Outcome

The outcome of the Topicals filling and packing line sealing review was an increase in the production time between seal changes, compared with more frequent seal changes before the review. In addition, the customer was able to improve stock control and traceability.

Subsequent to the work conducted by PPE sealing specialists, a further seven filling and packaging lines at the customer’s Barnard Castle facility have been upgraded with the PPE seals.

How can we help? Contact our pharmaceutical and biomedical sealing experts to discuss your requirements, or start a discussion online.

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