ESS Technologies, Inc. (esstechnologies.com) has designed an automated system for filling, capping, and tray loading micro vials at a rate of up to 60 vials per minute or 120 per minute (dual pitch). Engineered to minimize the machine footprint, the system integrates an ESS Model MB 25 Mini Monoblock Filler/Capper with an ESS TaskMate® Robotic Tray Loading System to create a robust packaging line. Available in single pitch or dual pitch configurations, the MB 25 offers a range of filling options for liquids, powders, and creams. The mini Monoblock also handles a wide variety of closure types, including screw-on caps, push-on caps, and stoppers.
Micro vials are manually fed to the MB 25, or the filler/capper can be integrated with an automatic micro vial feeding system. The MB 25 employs No Bottle No Fill No Cap sensors to prevent filling in the case of a missed micro vial. A two-stage servo driven capping system first picks and places a cap and applies a slight amount of pre-torque to seat it. The starwheel then indexes the micro vial to the final torque station where a pre-programmed amount of torque is applied. A pick-and-place system discharges the micro vials onto a conveyor. The MB 25 can be ordered with an optional net weigh filling system to ensure the precise filling of small amounts of liquid.
The conveyor carries the micro vials to an ESS TaskMate® Robotic Tray Loading System, which integrates a FANUC M-1iA robot fitted with ESS-designed end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) to pick filled and capped micro vials. Custom vacuum-style EOAT handles two vials at a time. The high speed robotic system allows both the Monoblock Filler/Capper and the tray loader to run at the desired production speed. The complete system occupies only 7’ x 11’ of space, creating a compact and cost-effective automated solution.
ESS will demonstrate the system at the upcoming Interphex show in Booth 3154. Interphex is a leading annual industry event dedicated to showcasing pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical innovation, technology and knowledge. It will be held at the Javits Center, New York, New York April 21-23, 2015. Contact ESS Technologies to receive a free pass to the exhibit hall.