Fast response filling solution for Covid -19 test kits

Packaging machinery specialist Excel Packaging Machinery has stepped up the supply of its latest pharmaceutical vial filling and capping machines, working closely with the NHS to meet the huge demand for Covid-19 testing kits in the UK during the current pandemic.

In conjunction with its longstanding partner Omas Tecnosistemi, based in Milan, Italy, Excel has already delivered one line and has orders for a further eight automatic lines, all being supplied within a fast three-months turnaround.

Meeting this challenge has required much focus on streamlining standard processes in order to fast track orders and satisfy strict customer deadlines. As part of this, Omas’s state of the art 12,000 square metre manufacturing facility has recently benefitted from additional structural-technology investments which, together with the latest high technology design and manufacturing tools, have guaranteed complete control of the production process.

The fully automatic Omas G250 Monobloc provides a complete filling and capping operation for the vials into which swabs are placed after samples have been taken from patients.

Tubes are delivered from the Omas bulk feeder with soundproof cover to the machine star wheel. The filling station incorporates a micro volumetric pump system designed for ease of dismantling for autoclave cleaning. A cap sorter distributes the caps to the closing station where a pick and place device places them onto the filled tubes. A servomotor driven closing system provides total cap control to ensure each closure is correctly torqued. Tubes can be transferred to a bagging machine or to a conveyor for subsequent labelling. Filling speeds are up to 90 tubes per minute.

In addition, Excel also offers the Omas GCR 500 Puck Monobloc, a semi-automatic solution featuring a more compact design where vials and caps are inserted into the machine by an operator. This version is capable of filling at up to 40 tubes per minute.

Importantly, the flexible design of the range of machines means they can be easily adapted to handle other types of products once the coronavirus crisis is over.

Excel provides full Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) at the Omas factory either in person or as a virtual FAT. As well as Excel’s renowned comprehensive UK service and support services, the machines are Wi-Fi enabled for remote service assistance from Italy.

“As the media is constantly reminding us, effective testing is a vital part of the fight against Covid-19,” commented Excel director Andy Skittrall.“A fast-response has always been a key part of our offering and this has been all the more vital in getting these machines into operation as quickly as possible.”

Excel’s 20-year partnership with Omas has included the development of a variety of packing line solutions for the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and toiletries, liquid foods, e-liquid cigarettes and CBD industries. The company has continued to operate throughout the pandemic to support its wide customer base. As well as the solutions for the testing kits, Excel has also experienced strong demand for automated lines for the filling of hand sanitiser.

“For us, the global pandemic exposed weaknesses but also unlocked new opportunities, and it made us realise that we can only move forward if we work together and if we are open to change,” concluded Andy Skittrall. “Our team is committed to retaining this positive attitude and continuing the good work in the years to come.”

To view the G250 Monobloc in action, visit https://youtu.be/Y1gC7HUVXKY.

 

Innovations in Food (& Beverage) Processing & Packaging is a quarterly magazine distributed globally both in Print and Digital formats. www.innovationsfood.com.  Twitter: @Innovfoodtech.  Instagram: @innovationsinfoodtechnology.  Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/terry-prior52