The ADAPTA series of capsule fillers from IMA Active is known for exceptional precision and flexibility in multi-product dosing. Thanks to the compact performance of its B&R automation platform, the new ADAPTA 50 offers all the advanced functionality of its larger siblings on a one-third smaller footprint.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away – that’s easy enough to remember. Unfortunately, reality is often much more complex. Multiple doses of different medications to be taken at different times throughout the day leave us structuring our lives around charts and checklists, fancy pill boxes and organizers. Mix-ups or missed doses can cause dangerous side-effects. Yet, even when we get it right, medication management remains a constant source of stress. And with an ageing population, the phenomenon is affecting more people all the time.
Technology for quality of life
A much safer and more convenient solution is to combine multiple drugs in a single capsule. Taken once in the morning, the medications are time-released throughout the day. Interactions and uptake times are accounted for automatically, and patients can live their lives without worrying about missing a dose. Yet, filling different medications at high speed and with reliable accuracy is no easy task. It takes machines that are exceptionally precise and flexible – like those offered by Italian solid dose pharmaceutical specialist IMA Active.
The company’s ADAPTA 100 and 200 capsule fillers offer 100% in-line quality control and plug-and-play dosing units for powder, pellets, tablets, minitablets and liquids. To meet new market demands, IMA recently expanded the popular series with the compact new ADAPTA 50. Packing all that advanced functionality into a one-third smaller footprint involved much more than simply scaling down an existing model.
Integrated platform for compact performance
“In demanding markets like pharmaceuticals and life sciences, performance is ultimately a matter of patient safety,” says IMA Active Automation manager Marco Minardi. “So, for a best-in-class product line like ADAPTA, every aspect of the machines must meet the absolute highest requirements, particularly the automation technology.” The compact size of the new ADAPTA 50 meant that IMA would have to satisfy its demanding performance requirements in a tighterspace than ever before.
The intricate timing of multiple-product dosing generates large volumes of data that need to be processed very quickly and coordinated with other features, like the built-in suspension scale used for gravimetric quality control. “With B&R’s Aut omation PC 3100, we got the computing power we needed in a compact, fan-less housing,” says Minardi. “And running the HMI application directly on a B&R Panel PC 3100 operator pane
l saved us additional space in the control cabinet.”
The ADAPTA 50’s dosing unit needs to be aligned very precisely with the fast-moving capsules. “Thanks to the compact performance of B&R’s three-axis ACOPOS P3 servo drive, we were able to solve this very dynamic process in only a third of the cabinet space we would otherwise need.”
Easy service, half the wiring
The whole B&R solution is joined by a POWERLINK network with a cycle time of 400 microseconds and configured in B&R’s universal engineering environment, Automation Studio. “That considerably reduces our time-to-market for new machines,” says Minardi, “and makes it easy to add options like optical dosage verification.” Optical dosage verification using B&R’s machine vision solution synchronizes perfectly with the high-speed process, and its integrated intelligence saves valuable cabinet space.
The compactness of B&R’s products also makes it possible to place remote hardware strategically around the machine to simplify wiring and consequently service. “Thanks to openSAFETY and POWERLINK, our decentralized safety components communicate seamlessly with the machine control system, and we only need half the wiring,” confirms Minardi.
Close collaboration for lasting success
According to Minardi, IMA Active especially values B&R’s customer focus. “They’re easy to talk to, quick to understand our needs and ready to solve challenges at every phase of the project.” Another decisive factor for Minardi is B&R’s strong global presence, which is particularly important to a company like IMA, who sells 90% of its machines abroad. “Our partnership with B&R gives us confidence that our machines around the world will always deliver reliable best-in-class performance with the latest the world of automation has to offer.”
B&R’s collaboration with IMA Active began in 2000, and since 2017 they have been the preferred automation supplier for the entire IMA Group, a world leader in the processing and packaging of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, tea and coffee.