Romaco Noack
The New Unity 600 blister packaging line from Romaco Noack. Photo Romaco Noack

Karlsruhe(Germany)- Romaco Noack – an international supplier of processing and packaging equipment specializing in engineering technologies for pharmaceutical products – has expanded its state-of-the-art Unity family with the Unity 600 blister packaging line.

The new technology leads the way in terms of sustainability, process reliability, and performance. The heart of this monobloc is the innovative transfer unit, which is not only designed for much higher cycle numbers but also provides more format flexibility as well as better traceability and energy efficiency.

All in all, the double-lane high-speed line – comprising a blister machine with rotary sealing and a continuous motion cartoner – achieves a maximum output of 600 blisters and 350 cartons per minute. With a maximum foil width of 304 mm, blister packs up to 145 mm long and 90 mm wide can be safely processed.

And for all applications demanding even higher performance, Romaco offers a three-lane version of the Unity 600 with an output of up to 750 blisters per minute.

The packaging line is on show at interpack in Dusseldorf (Germany) from 4 to 10 May 2023 at Hall 16, Booth D22.

More energy efficiency

With the Unity 600, the blisters are transferred to the cartoner via an indexing wheel with a downstream stack transfer unit. First, the die-cut blisters are removed from the die-cutter by vacuum and then placed on the transfer belt to the cartoner by a carousel-shaped shuttle. The vacuum is generated in a Venturi process, eliminating the need for a conventional vacuum pump.

Romaco Noack
The blister transfer with the Romaco Noack Unity 600’s indexing wheel. Photo Romaco Noack

Apart from reducing noise emissions, this has the advantage that significantly less heat radiation is emitted in the cleanroom – which would have to be cooled down in an energy-intensive operation. What’s more, the suction cups of the indexing wheel are only ever active while blisters are being transferred. This means that no air is drawn in erroneously and power consumption is minimized.

Better traceability in primary packaging

The Unity 600’s newly developed stack transfer unit stacks the blisters from below and guides them safely from all sides, ensuring ultra-stable processes that are gentle on the product. The blister stacks are positioned one behind the other in the cartoner’s bucket chain by so-called stack carriers. Only complete stacks are transferred to the cartoner.

Romaco Noack
Stack transfer unit of the Romaco Noack Unity 600. Photo Romaco Noack

For the first time, any compensation for gaps in the process is mapped in the software, so that good blisters no longer have to be held back. As a result, a manual blister top-up magazine can be dispensed. This highly automated transfer solution from Romaco Noack additionally allows seamless tracking and tracing of blister packs from the product feeding unit onward.

Sustainability features

Romaco Noack’s new Unity 600 was developed according to the principle “avoidance is better than reduction is better than compensation”, the aim is to dramatically reduce the blister packaging line’s carbon footprint both during its manufacture and later in operation. That is why the line ships with an energy monitor that measures not only power and air consumption, but also the machine’s carbon dioxide emissions during production. Its smart standby functions enable a reduction in base load without any negative impact on OEE (overall equipment effectiveness).

Components made from carbon-reduced ASI aluminum and recycled acrylic glass housing give the line an even better environmental balance. The insulated heating plates of the blister forming station restrict the amount of waste heat in the air-conditioned primary packaging room. And the cartoner abides by the same principle: Romaco relies on the more sustainable Venturi process to produce the vacuum that is essential for carton and leaflet pickup. Last but not least, the blister line features motors with energy recovery.

The Unity 600 can be supplied in a carbon-neutral version on request. Romaco’s offsetting initiatives are undertaken together with Forliance – one of the Alliance for Development and Climate Foundation’s offsetting partners – on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Wide range of applications

The Unity 600 blister packaging line from Romaco Noack meets all the requirements of the pharmaceutical and nutraceuticals industry when it comes to flexibility, quality, and performance. The technology is utilized for the primary packaging of solid products such as tablets, capsules, and oblongs, and is suitable for manufacturing sustainable packaging like paper blisters. This GMP-compliant line convinces with excellent OEE values – due to short changeover times and very good line clearance.

The Karlsruhe-headquartered Romaco Group provides individual machines, lines, and turnkey solutions for manufacturing, filling, and packing powders, granulates, pellets, tablets, capsules, syringes, liquids, and medical devices. It also serves the food and chemical industries.

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