Accurate and versatile packaging with Cremer’s CF 1220 counting and bottle filling solution
For over fifteen years Ambi Pack is a loyal customer of Cremer. Started as a small company with five employees, it has now become a specialist in the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical market, with 85 employees. Ambi Pack’s main focus is production and packaging of tablets and capsules for a broad range of customers which sell these products to consumers. The family-owned business, founded in 1998, has a fully equipped factory taking care of the complete production without any outsourcing. Cremer’s three CF 1220 counting and filling machines are an important reliable link in the packaging process. “Accuracy and flexibility are very important to us”, says Sales Manager Bjorn Hollegien. “We work with a wide range of products and want to be able to adapt the machines quickly if necessary.”
Ambi Pack is located at an industrial area in Hendrik-Ido Ambacht, south of Rotterdam. Currently fifteen buildings are operated there for the production and packaging of mainly food supplements and medical devices, such as resistance-building products, weight loss aids and cardiovascular health products. In addition, AmbiPack focuses on pharmaceutical products, cosmetics and food, including meal replacements. Recently, under the same legislation, they also started producing capsules as a remedy for bladder infections. The company handles the complete process of packaging in bottles, sachets or blister packs. The largest sales markets are in the Benelux, Germany, Austria and Scandinavia, among others. Hollegien: “Usually our clients supply the products to retailers, such as drugstores and pharmacies, but sometimes they also sell them directly online.”
The first contact with Cremer was around 2005. At that time Ambi Pack started testing a demo model which preceded the current CF 1220. “This machine is still running to full satisfaction”, says Manager Packaging Sander van Kooten proudly. A few years later Ambi Pack ordered two more machines for its packaging lines. “In our processes accuracy and speed are crucial. Cremer’s machines run at high speed and are able to continuously fillthe bottles with the right number of tablets or capsules”, explains Van Kooten. Ambi Pack works with bottles made of glass and plastic that are filled with 30, 60 or 120 units. The filling speed is between 40 and 55 bottles per minute.
CF 1220 counting and bottle filling solution
The CF 1220 is a counting and bottle filling solution for solid dose products. The machine is a 12-channel linear tablet and capsule counter with integrated bottle indexing conveyor. The linear concept uses three vibratory plates for optimal product separation and infrared product detection that guarantees 100% accurate counts. The CF 1220 meets all US and European pharma-grade standards. The system is designed for seamlessintegration into complete bottle lines, as applied in the Ambi Pack production lines, but it can also be used as a stand-alone solution for numerous pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications.
Not sensitive to dust
The products are causing dust by moving and bumping up against each other, but this is not affecting the counts. Van Kooten: “With older machines we had to take this into account by cleaning more regularly. Now we can run longer with the same settings and quality as the CF 1220 compensates for dust automatically. Before we start a production run with a new product, proper cleaning is needed. This is done easily and efficiently.” adds that cleaning after each run is important: “Uncoated tablets, for example, can leave a layer of dust behind. Cremer has introduced slots in the vibration plates of the machine to get rid of most of the dust. After a production run the plates are taken off for cleaning.” For a manufacturer of products to be delivered in time, short change-over time is an important requirement. Ambi Pack carries out all maintenance itself, except for Cremer’s annual specialist inspection.
A customer survey shows that Ambi Pack’s clients value the employees as competent and flexible with an eye for quality. That is why the company continuously organizes courses and trainings for its staff. Several employees have been certified as pharmaceutical technicians.
Both Ambi Pack colleagues appreciate Cremer’s active role in thinking about future plans. Innovation is high on the agenda and Cremer shows itself to be a partner in this when it comes to its expertise. Ambi Pack, for example, is considering taking the next step with robotization. A robot will then take over the current human task of packaging bottles in shipping cases. This process will be more efficient and faster, so that upstream machines in the line, including the Cremer CF 1220, can run at a higher output. Hollegien: “To be able to accelerate at the back end, we need to be compatible with the front end. At the moment the bottles are positioned manually on the packaging line and in the shipping cases. For now we consider to gain experience with a robot at one of our lines.”
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