Technical solutions for maximum safety

Visitors had the opportunity to see for themselves the extensive and technically leading range of services of Inova pharma systems. Several Inova machines were on show at the exhibition, among them a complete processing line for injection bottles that is specifically designed for small batch operation. Also on display: The Inova H5-10 as high-performance model with an output of up to 30,000 syringes/h and the Inova VVM 2428 crimping machine for vials and infusion bottles.

The highlight at Achema was a comprehensive and yet particularly compact laboratory line. It consists of a rotary washing machine, a hot-air sterilization tunnel as well as a filling and closing machine for injection bottles. The fully automatic rotary washing machine provides very gentle cleaning of injection bottles made of tubular or molded glass. After manual product feeding, single or multi-head transport grippers index the vials through three different washing stations and then to two air rinsing stations. Optionally, the bottles may also pass a siliconization station.

The precleaned containers are then conveyed through a laminar-flow infeed area into the sterilization area of the Inova line, the heating zone. Here, the injection bottles are heated to a defined temperature for reliable sterilization and depryrogenization. Then the bottles enter a sterilizable cooling zone where they are cooled back down to a defined 'normal temperature’. To ensure optimal and safe results, the sterilization tunnel is provided with pressure cascade, belt speed as well as air temperature controls, so that the sterilization process can be fine-tuned to the requirements of the respective bottles.

On an Inova filling and closing machine VFVM 221, peristaltic pumps are used to fill injection bottles. After the filling, the bottles are plugged either with standard or lyophilization stoppers. The machine can be operated under laminar flow as well as under isolator. All product contact parts are made of 316L special steel; the modern machine design complies with cGMP regulations. The Inova VFVM 221 covers a format range of 2 - 100 ml. Depending on the bottle size, up to 2,500 vials are filled and closed. With this, Inova established a new reference line that meets the highest demands in terms of safety and sterilizability and stands out for its flexibility and its compact dimensions. This makes it ideally suited as laboratory machines for small batch production.

Further Inova highlights at Achema

The Inova H5-10 is a syringe filling and closing machine for prefilled syringes from all leading manufacturers in trays. This high-performance ten-head machine achieves an output of up to 30,000 syringes/h. The format range is 0.2 to 29 ml. All drives are located in the base of the machine. The Inova H5-10 has a particularly slim and compact linear design allowing for the line to be operated under isolator. Servo controls for the filling nozzle movement and the stopper insertion station ensure both excellent reliability and a particularly high output. With only a small number of format parts, the inova H5-10 is perfectly prepared for quick format changeover. If required, the machine can also be equipped for vacuum filling and plug insertion. Apart from the rotary piston pumps, other filling systems such time/pressure dosing are also available.

The fully automatic crimping machine Inova VVM 2428 for vials and infusion bottles is designed for bottles with diameters of 14 to max. 54 mm and heights of 35 to 105 mm. It is available in eight or ten-head rotor design and reaches outputs of 12,000 and 24,000 bottles/h, respectively. The crimping force is individually controlled for each single bottle. Electronic adjustment systems, central height adjustments, variable screw capping functions and menu-guided format changeover are standard features on Inova closing machines.

These exhibits constitute a small selection of the current range of Inova filling and closing machines for liquid drugs intended for administration into the bloodstream.