Bosch Packaging Technology introduced the latest addition to its AFG series, the AFG 5000 filling and closing machine for pharmaceutical powders in glass vials. The machine offers manufacturers a range of options and was developed with a focus on flexibility.
The AFG 5000 allows customers to choose between several different versions and various features, delivering an increased output rate.
Based on a single machine platform, the system can accurately fill both large and small amounts of powder. Customers have the choice between one filling point for an output of 160 containers/min to three filling points for up to 480 vials/min. The machine’s vacuum-compressed-air filling system enables output to remain high even with small filling amounts. For all versions, customers can choose between statistical or 100% in-process control of dosing weights.
To optimize efficiency, Bosch developed a new, flexible transport system for the AFG 5000. As vials are continuously fed into the machine, the transport system adjusts the speed of the following processes to precisely match the rhythm of the individual work stations. Whether filling, weighing or closing of vials, each stage is optimally paced. The new vertical transport system was designed to prevent idle time or bottlenecks. Rotating carrier systems, known as shuttles, transfer the vials quickly and safely to the respective work station. Once the vials have been sealed and taken out of the system, the shuttles quickly return to the infeed, ready for the next transport run.
Beyond flexibility, product development focused on compact design. Bosch considered that its customers powder filling takes place in class B cleanrooms, where every centimeter counts in terms of operating, maintenance and cleaning costs. Apart from the vertical design, the separation of the compact filling station from the intake and output reduced the amount of space that must be cooled and cleaned with sterile, dry air. A further space-saving feature is the optional air-treatment system, which can be installed outside the sterile area.
All components that come into contact with the product can easily be disassembled for cleaning and sterilization. The result is an easy-to use machine with few format parts, offering space and cost savings.
The AFG 5000 can be combined with upstream cleaning machines and sterilizing tunnels, as well as downstream capping equipment to create a complete line for safe and reliable filling processes for pharmaceutical powders.