Pharmaworks Introduces TF1pro Blister Machine

Pharmaworks, part of ProMach Pharma Solutions, introduces the TF1pro, the most advanced system in its TF1 family of compact blister machines. Ideal for pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturers and contract packers that frequently changeover, this fully servo-driven blister machine runs up to 100 indexes (200 blisters) per minute. The TF1pro offers sophisticated cGMP features, which are unusual on a system this small, to maximize product safety and ease cleaning, while also achieving fast changeovers, superior accuracy and extreme versatility.

“The TF1pro is not a typical blister packaging machine. There’s a reason we call it the ‘pro’ – it comes with all the latest bells and whistles,” said Ben Brower, Director of Sales and Marketing at Pharmaworks. “Two years ago, a large pharmaceutical company approached us and asked us to develop a compact blister machine with the most advanced cGMP features. With their design input, we developed the TF1pro, the only blister machine on the market that offers this high level of product safety and sanitation in a small footprint.”

Suitable for tablets, capsules, softgels, vials, syringes, liquids and more, the intermittent-motion TF1pro supports both thermoforming and cold forming applications and is compatible with all corresponding materials including polypropylene. The usable forming area is 120 by 165 mm with an unusual depth of 25 mm. Optional product vision inspection and print vision inspection are available, as well as full serialization if needed.

The TF1pro includes state-of-the-art cGMP features. Sloped surfaces throughout eliminate the chance of cross-contamination from trapped product. The reject / transfer station uses a vacuum arm to lift the ‘good’ blisters onto the outfeed conveyor while ‘bad’ blisters simply drop down into the reject bin, which ensures consistent and accurate ejection. The overload detection capability automatically stops the seal station if out-of-tolerance pressure is detected. Base material is handled via a specialized dolly that enhances sanitation, speeds changeover and improves operator ergonomics. On the machine, the base material is enclosed to protect it from particulate matter.

Designed for manufacturers and contract packers running medium and small batch sizes such as clinical trials, the TF1pro changes over in less than 10 minutes with no tools required. It features ergonomic, easy-to-use components that slide in and lock, including the guide track on the feeding station. Quick release covers on each station improve access. The heat area automatically retracts when not in use for operator safety and convenience during changeovers and maintenance. A color touchscreen HMI, up to 20 inches (50 cm) in size, presents a large and intuitive user interface.

The TF1pro achieves impressive accuracy. By using sensors instead of pendulum rollers to handle the web, material drag and necking is eliminated, saving material costs. A die cut laser registration system aligns the index so the materials are correctly placed and cut every time. The print registration adjustment capability ensures the print on the material is lined up perfectly. Contact heating is available at the preheat station to improve heat transfer for improved efficiency, less wear and lower energy costs. The dynamic seal pressure adjustment feature allows the TF1pro to change the amount of seal pressure without stopping the line.

To maximize versatility, the modular TF1pro accommodates different feeders, accessories and floor plans. When feeding is done manually, operators can work from either side of the machine. The frame accommodates a containment system at the feed area, when needed. Multiple outfeed options allow blisters to be transferred out the front, the rear or the side of the machine. All stations are independently driven and can be turned on and off separately.

The TF1pro is available with a wide variety of options. Selective forming enables specific pockets to be turned on and off within the same tool. Low level detection alerts operators before a new base or lidding roll is needed. Pinhole detection for the lid material and/or the base material is available for cold forming. Additional options include a lid material splice table, a splitter, servo plug assisted cold forming and both helium and nitrogen gas flushing.

Fully servo-driven, the TF1pro provides repeatable performance, low maintenance, simple troubleshooting and easy adaptability to future applications. An Allen-Bradley PLC controls machine functions and the HMI is PC-based to maximize operator ease of use.

The TF1pro blister machine can be seen in-action at Pharmaworks’ Pack Expo Connects virtual showroom on Monday, November 9 at 1 pm Central Time (GMT-6).

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