Disposable Hopper: A small unit to improve ease of work and ergonomics while reducing man power

bsBy: Bausch + Stroebel

Portable vibrating system for dispensing components (stoppers and caps)

At first sight, the disposable hopper – type BZV 8110 might look rather unspectacular. The unit might be small, but it packs a punch. The small unit actually becomes a real workhorse piece of equipment and savings for both, the process and operator.  Basically, the BZV8110 is a portable vibrating system to hold ready-to-use or ready-to-sterilize component bags and with the vibrating system dispensing the components into the bowls for processing. The bright idea behind it: we would dispense the components into large hoppers to hold a large number of components.  The hoppers were located inside the RABS or inside the isolator.  The hopper would vibrate upon demand and dispensed the components into the bowls for processing. The component bags now become the hopper to hold a large number of components.  Hence, we are eliminating the hopper and vibration mechanism from inside the aseptic filling area.  A study according to DIN EN 14644-1 ISO 5 sterility compliance was performed which resulted in an improved compliance when compared to operator handling vs the automated vibration.

Even as the BZV 8110 is serving a critical and sophisticated function it is simple to operate and integrate with a great variety of systems. The transportable system is pushed in front of the dedicated sterile port or RABS opening. Next, the unit automatically elevates to a position where the operator can comfortably place the bag from the ergonomic point of view. At the press of a button, the unit elevates to a programed position. The operator then simply connects the bag to the alpha-beta-port system for the sterile connection without the need of stairs or straining activity.

The disposable hopper – type BZV 8110 is exactly tailored to the requirements of the VarioSys flexible production modules (see VarioSys.com).

In the sterile production environment space is at a premium. The VarioSys system is a compact yet highly flexible system and is designed to make best use of the available clean room real estate. The BZV hopper system plays in to this concept and works automatically as part of a fully integrated solution. Sensors ensure constant and controlled supply of the stoppers. Excess or insufficient supply of closures is reliably avoided, thereby significantly enhancing process reliability.

The disposable hopper was originally designed for small batch operation in connection with this system; however it can be used in combination with any machines that would benefit from a reduced hopper and sorting bowl size, or an environment where reducing operator handling and time spent on this task is of interest.

The disposable hopper is suitable for all bag types and sizes available on the market.

Features and advantages in a nutshell:

  • Hopperless component feeding
  • Reduces parts that need to be sterilized.
  • Automate the component bag to bowl dispensing
  • Portable and adaptable to all existing machines
  • Dispenses components directly from the “Ready-to-use” and “Ready-to-sterilize” RTP port component bags to the sorting bowl
  • Plug and play connection to any VarioSys L-flange and other machines as a standard design
  • The vibratory unit is linked to the level sensor of the sorting bowl ensuring continuous dispensing of the stoppers and caps without the need of an operator
  • Capable of using multiple sizes of component bags from different vendors
  • Slim design, which allows two units to be connected side by side to one L-flange filler
  • A maximum of two BZV units is needed to cover all flexible filling line needs for vials, syringes, cartridges etc.
  • Electric motor-driven telescoping lift column for operator-friendly ergonomics, eliminates/reduces lifting and above shoulder operations.
  • Maximizes operator efficiency (one bag to last multiple hours or a full batch)
  • DIN EN 14644-1 ISO 5 compliant (study on particle generation available)
  • The BZV vibrator is outside of the aseptic filling line whether it is a RABS or isolator

 

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About INTERPHEX

Official blog of: INTERPHEX New York - www.interphex.com
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