Based in Mount Vernon, NY, TurboFil Packaging Machines, LLC is a manufacturer of liquid filling and assembly equipment, and has two decades of experiences designing, building and supplying packaging machines for the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and chemical industries. Its most prominent equipment portfolio comprises benchtop and automatic liquid filling machines for liquid pharmaceuticals, diagnostic reagents and dental products, as well as cosmetics such as nail polish, perfumes, lotions and mascara. Automatic cappers, crimpers and parts assemblers round out TurboFil’s offerings.
In addition to a range of standardized equipment, TurboFil specializes in custom-made, built-to-spec machinery that integrates advanced components. Customers' needs are often unique, presenting challenges that require design modifications or even entirely new concepts.
Among the many customization issues TurboFil faces is labeling. The reason is the precision required especially for its pharmaceutical filling customers.
“We build machines for very specialized applications,” said Deborah Smook, VP Marketing & Business Development for TurboFil. “Our machinery’s label application requisites are both extensive and varying, calling for a combination of versatility, speed and accuracy.”
TurboFil was seeking a labeler suitable for a cleanroom environment, compatible with its machinery and capable of combining high speed and precision. And per its customers’ frequent requests for filling lines that maximize floor space, TurboFil desired a labeling unit that helped keep its solutions as compact as possible.
A recent order exemplifies the sort of precision TurboFil’s customers demand of the machine manufacturer. The company received a request for two identical machines for syringe filling, capping and labeling from an Asia-based hospital pharmacy with multiple locations. The machines would fill oral medications into syringes of varying sizes, taking advantage of the easy changeover process that has become a hallmark of TurboFil equipment. The units also had to be versatile, as varying drug dosages meant disparate fill levels, even for the same run.
User-friendliness also was paramount. Following a manual syringe loading, all other aspects – filling, capping and wrap labeling – would be performed automatically. The labeler was to fasten labels individually printed by a Domino printer with drug- and patient-specific information. The label on each syringe, of course, must match the filled dosage. This information, including the dosage, is delivered to the machine electronically.
TurboFil found itself seeking a labeling solution not only for its current order, but for future ones as well.
“We needed a labeler that was more flexible than most, one capable of seamless integration with a broader set of our machinery portfolio both mechanically and electronically,” said Eli Uriel, General Manager for TurboFil.
The ideal labeler would feature ready-mounts and connections for printers, be plug-and-play from an electronics standpoint, and, aligning with TurboFil’s ergonomic approach to machine design, offer easy accessibility and label roll changeover.
Ultimately, TurboFil chose the HERMA 400 Label Applicator, the signature unit around which each of Germany-based HERMA’s (www.herma.us) labeling machine solutions are based. The compact module features a 400-watt servo drive capable of achieving speeds in excess of 4,000 inches/minute, or up to 1,000 products per minute, with label registration accuracy of 0.008 inches.
A major advantage to the HERMA 400 is that, whatever the configuration, the basic servo drive module remains the same -- one unit, one development, one spare part. Thanks to the wide range of ancillary modules available, the HERMA 400 can be integrated into any production line, or be built into a labeling machine specifically developed to suit individual requirements.
The HERMA 400 can apply any type of adhesive label to virtually any type of product or package and is used across a wide variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, logistics, food and beverages, and the automotive and chemical sectors. Depending on the machine type, the applicator can be installed in a horizontal, upright or suspended position.
“The HERMA labeler fit beautifully into our overall syringe filler design,” said Uriel of TurboFil. “Both mechanical and electronic integration proceeded smoothly and the support from HERMA has been stellar. This is a game changer. The ability to fill multiple volumes and label appropriately opens up new options, such as 503B pharmacy applications."