Here’s one for the books: with almost 50 years of experience, we are the world market leader in cartridge processing. On all five continents, more than 200 Syntegon filling machines ensure safe and flexible filling of liquid pharmaceuticals into cartridges – regardless of container size and output rate.
Syntegon’s customers include all major insulin manufacturers around the globe. They rely on our long-standing experience, which has proved to be particularly crucial when working with cartridges. Because the containers are more versatile than they might seem at first glance: varying in size and volume, they are used for pharmaceuticals such as insulin, dental anesthetics, and autoimmune drugs in single- or dual-chamber systems. When it comes to handling such a variety of container types, one thing is of paramount importance – flexible processing technology.
Maximum output rate of up to 600 cartridges per minute
Flexibility is literally built into Syntegon’s cartridge machines, since the portfolio covers all cartridge sizes and production speeds. For example, rotary machines in the MRD series can fill smaller batches at speeds of up to 100 containers per minute. In the high-speed range, manufacturers can count on the MLD filling and closing machine for cartridges to achieve reliable output rates of up to 600 cartridges per minute.
Compact footprint thanks to patented transport system
The MLD’s patented transport system offers several advantages: instead of a conventional transport system, a specially developed clip system conveys the cartridges from one station to the next. Separate container carriers mean that the individual cartridges remain in place, guaranteeing gentle handling. This not only results in a more precise filling process, but also in reduced overall line dimensions. The smaller footprint is especially useful in combination with barrier systems and in cleanroom environments with limited space. The machine’s design also ensures optimum accessibility for easy operation and maintenance.
Filling cartridges and vials in combination
Moreover, thanks to its modular design, the MLD allows the integration of additional working stations for vial processing. This flexibility is particularly important when filling insulin on an international scale. Depending on the region, patients rely either on insulin cartridges for autoinjector pens or on vials to administer their insulin via syringes. Manufacturers can process both container types with the MLD.
Safe inspection and assembly
Once the insulin has been filled into the cartridges, the containers are inspected and, along with other components, used to assemble injector pens. Although many injector types consist of similar parts, their design varies in terms of size, material, and shape. Manufacturers therefore need flexible yet standardized inspection and assembly equipment that can be configurated to meet individual needs. To support customers, Syntegon offers flexible solutions for these process steps, too.
Next step: pre-sterilized cartridges
The ability to react quickly to market requirements will become even more important in the future, not least due to small batch manufacturing gaining increasing traction in the industry. So-called RTU (ready-to-use) cartridges and other pre-sterilized primary packaging materials already play an important role in small-batch drug filling. The latter requires keeping downtime during batch changes to a strict minimum and ensuring contamination-free feeding of the RTU containers into the filling area. Syntegon is therefore currently developing new machine concepts that go beyond conventional configurations, featuring cleaning machines and sterilizing tunnels. The approaches focus on upstream process steps, such as the unpacking of pre-sterilized cartridges and the safe introduction of the containers into the filling area. Once again, the key to success is flexibility. You can already look forward to our future developments in cartridge filling!
Global Product Manager