At PACK EXPO, Körber Business Area Pharma unveiled its K.Pak 665 topload case packer, which provides secure handling of cartons or products with smooth and accurate packaging.
Known for its life science inspection, transport systems, packaging machines, and more, the K.Pak 665 represents the company’s first machine in their end of-line portfolio. The system enables those with (or seeking) primary packaging machines from Körber to add end of line capabilities in a one-stop-shop. Product manager Matt Smith says, “This also helps with downstream processes like service, training—customers now have the ability to have a full Körber line from inspection, handling, topload or sideload cartoning, blister packaging, and now into the end of line. This way, many of the interfaces, the components, the methodology, and the design are similar throughout the entire line.”
Reaching speeds of 12 cases/min, the system is designed to run cartons sized from Körber’s cartoning machines, but target speeds depend on applications which also include bottles. “There’s a range of steps that require downsizing that speed requirement, handling potentially more cartons per minute but fewer cases per minute,” Smith notes. The system handles cases from 8”L x 6”W x 4”H to 24”L x 16”W x 16”H.
K.Pak 665 is designed specifically for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, where gentle handling is often a key capability. This includes COVID-19 vaccine vials. “The main focus is clean design, smooth and controlled motion of the products, and simple design interfaces to really help connect the operator to the process,” says Smith. “Standing next to it, watching it, and listening to it are evidence that we were successful in that goal. It's an extremely quiet and smooth machine, and it’s specifically designed to gently handle products because of the industry we're in. The balcony-style design provides great visibility for line clearance and access to machine components.” The system’s gantry-style design is focused on ease of maintenance and clean surfaces.
In terms of controls, Smith adds, “With our full line solution, our focus is on providing a control system that is similar to our cartoning or inspection machines, which use B&R control systems.” Marketing in North America, Allen Bradley/Rockwell Automation controls are also available.
Simple integration between Körber handling, packaging, inspection, and software solutions means pharma and biotech brand owners can create packaging lines suited to their unique needs. Quality control is ensured through optimized integration with line management and serialization systems, which are often necessary for regulatory requirements under DSCSA. “Our design for serialization handling was also well-received by customers who visited our booth at PACK EXPO. We worked with Optel and our internal serialization experts to define common challenges in case packing applications and developed a few features to address those problem areas,” says Smith. “Our machine prevents cartons that fail the incoming verification process from being grouped into a layer and protects the integrity of the in-process cases. This helps to ensure aggregation is correct for every completed case. We’re excited to show customers how those features can be a benefit in their process.”