optima machinery

UK-based automation specialist Optima’s innovative MDC300 solution is a high-performance system that has been carefully optimised for the production, packaging and cartoning of wound dressing products for the medical sector.

The large turnkey line has been in operation since October 2017 and is one of the most complex projects that Optima Life Science has built.

Due to the high output of the line, the customer is able to double their production capacity.

This is the third converting system that the customer has entrusted to OPTIMA. The system is equipped with more than 100 functional modules and can achieve run rates of up to 600 packs per minute.

These are the impressive numbers of the wound dressing production and packaging machine that doubled the production of an Optima Life Science customer. In addition to manufacturing the product and primary packaging into bags, the line also handles secondary packaging into cartons.

Web converting machines are very impressive due to their complex functionality and their sheer size. The project, completed in October 2017, however, is also very special for the Optima Life Science experts.

The machine is processing post-surgery wound dressing, a well-established product. Therefore, the output is paramount and the right choice was made with the MDC300.

Optima project manager Florian Härpfer described the most important requirement of the customer: “Our customer was looking for an extremely high output machine.

“With the MDC300 advanced machine, we were able to offer him the appropriate solution.”

The customer already has several wound dressing lines, but the capacity is insufficient to cover the demand of the market.

Autosplicer for continuous operation

Härpfer noted: “The machine has a very high output and at the same time is also very efficient.

“We integrated an automatic splice table on each unwinding station. Therefore, the machine does not need to be stopped to change a film roll; this provides an uninterrupted production process.

“As soon as one roll is empty, the machine automatically engages the next roll and continues with production.”

Optima Life Science is a specialist in manufacturing multi-layer wound dressing machines with the so-called web converting and designs laboratory and small batch machines, as well as high-output machines such as the MDC300 advanced.

Optima has proven its expertise with turnkey solutions through this project. Besides the manufacturing and packaging the product into bags, a secondary packaging machine is also integrated in the line.

The customer received the benefit of having all processes provided from one supplier. A single-point contact at Optima Life Science guarantees a thorough coordination and a short decision path.

Turnkey solutions for web converting

The complexity of the project mostly stems form the number of process steps, reports the project manager, as 100 functional modules were required.

The cartoning machine places the product into a ready-to-sell folding carton after they are counted and collated. Due to the different product sizes and formats, this can take place whilst the product is laying or standing.

For example, wound pads cannot be stacked upright since they would be too high for the carton. Therefore, different stackers had to be integrated into the line.

The technology was supplied by Optima France and adjusted to the specification requirements by Optima Life Science, e.g. the control unit.

The variety of products makes this an exceptional project. Five different products in different variations, can be processed on the MDC300 advanced and 13 different set of change parts are required since the post-surgery wound dressing are manufactured with or without wound pad.

In addition, bandages for catheter applications are produced on the machine also with or without wound pad. Within certain product dimension, several additional formats are possible.

A format change is quick and easy with the Optima OPAL-system with detailed and illustrated instructions on the machine’s HMI.

Since the cutting tools are changed with drawer-system, the time for a format change is reduced to a minimum. The MDC300 advance also provides a small footprint, considering the number of functional modules.

The 32m-long line will fit perfectly into the existing assembly hall of the customer. The installation of the line was completed within four weeks.

How was that possible? The modular design of the machine allows for easy disassembly and reassembly during installation, explains Härpfer.

Four camera systems guarantee product safety

The product quality was also very important to the customer. Therefore, Optima installed four camera systems.

As soon as one camera catches an error of one of the products, it will be marked and is rejected at the end of the system.

The completely integrated cartoning machine produces ready-to-sell folding boxes, including application of an expiration date and batch number.

The secondary packaging equipment is designed for a maximum output of up to 120 cartons per minute with five products per carton.

Reliability meets high performance; this is the motto for this extremely large Optima Life Science project.

The user profits from integrated automatic table splicers that guarantee a high availability and minimise downtimes. Due to the high output, the machine satisfies the high demand.

Last but not least, the flexibility makes this project with its five products in different variations, very special to all participants.

This is another example of Optima Life Science showing its capabilities to design individual machines and complex turnkey lines.

OPTIMA OPAL for an efficient production

The abbreviation OPAL stands for “Optima Process Automation Library”. The Industry 4.0 solution consists of two functional modules.

OPALmonitor is a pre-configured system that records the production data, processes them and provides a report (OEEcalculations, alarm messages).

A profound basis for a target oriented production process. OPALmanage is an individual configurable line management system that depicts and controls the actual machine structure and its processes.

OPAL is an important tool to optimise production planning and to get as close as possible to maximum efficiency.

A recipe and a user management system, as well as an audit trail, guarantee additional safety of validated products.