Achema 2024: Steriline upgrades its zero-loss philosophy

Published: 4-Jun-2024

Flexibility, robotics and waste minimisation for a more sustainable and time-saving production of drugs

Achema 2024, the World Forum for the Process Industries that unites manufacturers and service providers from over 50 countries, is fast approaching. Steriline, the European manufacturer of standard and robotic lines for the aseptic processing of injectable drugs, will exhibit at stand E95, hall 3.1 (Frankfurt Fair) from 10th to 14th June, showcasing the new technologies developed to upgrade its zero-loss philosophy, to better meet the sustainability needs of the pharmaceutical industry.

The market for pharmaceutical packaging will grow by 8.24% worldwide and the market for pharmaceutical packaging machines by 7.5% per year until 20281. At the same time, the rising costs for filling, packaging and labelling medicines, added to the increased energy costs, could cause a fall in revenue for pharmaceutical manufacturers, which are under additional pressure because of fixed sales prices for drugs (i.e. in the EU).

Technologies and solutions that facilitate the maximisation of profit are thus under intense scrutiny by pharmaceutical producers, who are particularly focused on production flexibility, robotics implementation and sustainability, especially in terms of recycling and reducing consumption and waste.

Achema 2024: Steriline upgrades its zero-loss philosophy

At Achema 2024, Steriline will showcase a Robotic Vial Filling Machine (RVFM5) that merges these qualities for the primary packaging of injectable drugs. Equipped with 5 filling needles, it integrates robotics (which allows to easily change the production cycles and vary containers and capacities) with zero-loss philosophy 2.0, a methodology first developed five years ago and now improved to further save time and speed up production.

Steriline’s zero-loss philosophy 2.0 detects inaccuracies in filling and stoppering processes directly in their respective stations and, if necessary, it reprocesses any non-compliant pieces. The filling station is equipped with high-precision weighing cells that measure the filling levels and, through sophisticated software that relies on the received feedback, the station controls pump operation to deliver accurate filling (±0.5 % or better, depending on filling volume vs. output requirement). At the stoppering station, the technology relies on pressure sensors that can distinguish an appropriately executed sealing process from an incorrect one. Both checks potentially avoid any waste due to non-compliant filling or missing components.

“Innovation and sustainability are certainly among the challenges of the pharmaceutical industry,” states Federico Fumagalli, Chief Commercial Officer of Steriline. “United, these themes lead to a win-win combination: a lower impact on our planet (in terms of resources) combined with a reduction in production costs, a panacea for business and operating margins. The zero-loss philosophy, which we continue to improve thanks to research in our laboratories, embraces this synergy and aims to minimise waste in favour of more efficient production.”

The RVFM5 will also be equipped with a new technology for the monitoring of viable and non-viable particles provided by Particle Measuring Systems. “Continuous microbial monitoring by active air sampling is achieved using the BioCapt® Single-Use Impactor, making it possible to reduce the amount of agar plates for air monitoring by at least 50% on filling lines such as Steriline’s,” states Frank Panofen, Vice President & GM of the Life Sciences Division at Particle Measuring Systems.

Finally, visitors will also have the exclusive opportunity to discover the new launches of rapid transfer solutions from Getinge. Positioned as a step forward in aseptic transfer, they represent Getinge's commitment to addressing customer challenges related to contamination risk, production efficiency and resource utilisation. Attendees can discover firsthand how these innovative solutions contribute to operational integrity, production processes and resource management.

1 [Access: 03 rd May 2024]

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