IWK Packaging Systems, Inc., a manufacturer of cartoning and tube filling equipment for the pharmaceuticals and health & beauty sectors, has introduced a modular, high-speed top-load cartoning line to meet dramatically increased demands for packaging pre-filled syringes, vials, and other delicate pharma containers. The company’s IWK TL Series arrives amid continued efforts to produce billions of additional COVID-19 vaccine doses, and offers a slew of benefits not typically found in conventional top-load cartoning equipment.
Most importantly, the IWK TL Series is intended to assure safe, reliable product handling designed to virtually eliminate glass-to-glass contact. The machine builds upon IWK’s reputation for cGMP-guaranteed, floorspace-conscious equipment with quick tool-free changeover, cleanability, and easy line clearance.
Among other features, the IWK TL Series incorporates an intelligent transport system that is not typically found in top-load units. Instead of requiring a fixed distance between carton holders, customers get an individually adaptable setup; this allows for a variable number of items per function, simplifying operation. Secure carton holding is assured throughout via mechanical hold and, since the system does not use vacuum belts or conveyors, risk of breakage-caused contamination is mitigated. Features such as these are derived from the company’s embrace of emerging technologies to bring advanced capabilities to customers in the horizontal-load cartoning space.
Another key facet of the IWK TL Series is its modularity – a crucial element as many pharma manufactures continue experiencing evolving production needs. The series’ monoblock design allows for mixing and matching various stations per product-specific needs, including product feeding, carton erection and divider insertion units prior to transport to end-of-line closure, reject and discharge modules. Marking can be performed via inkjet or laser printing, and quality control features include code reading and presence verification for both products and inserts.
The IWK TL Series can form and fill carton from 90-180mm in length, 50-150mm in width and 15-80mm in height, based on carton flats from 150-500mm long and 150-400mm wide. Depending on box size and insert parameters, the machine can produce up to 120 completed cartons/min.
“The new IWK TL Series of top-loaders is a product of IWK’s 75-year roots in the cartoning machinery industry,” said Bernie Conlon, managing director of IWK Packaging Systems, Inc. “That experience allows us to adapt quickly to evolving industry needs, including the current demand for premium top-loading machinery for high-leverage, delicate pharmaceuticals containers like pre-filled syringes and glass vials.”
The IWK TL Series also helps IWK synergize with fellow subsidiaries under parent company ATS Automation. In particular, IWK sister company ATS Life Sciences manufactures a variety of medical devices and diagnostics items for which top-load cartoning is required.