Improving OEE in blister packaging

By Richard Norris, Prodieco 

Pharmaceutical packaging centers are feeling immense pressure to improve performance and output, as the drive for increased OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) continues unabated across pharmaceutical production plants. Engineering departments are also pushing for solutions that improve their operational effectiveness. Simultaneously, market demand for a growing variety of shapes and sizes of oral solid dosage tablets has significantly increased the propensity for broken ones.

Prodieco has addressed this issue for many years for our global customer base in the blister packaging sector by offering the ELIM tablet sorter. As any production team working with a difficult product knows, broken particles and dusty products cause a huge amount of downtime and contribute significantly to low operator morale, notwithstanding the heavy impact on the production cycle times and schedules. This can all too often result in missed production batches and require additional expensive overtime for line operators.

Tablets broken on high speed bottle machines have become a huge issue for major vision systems vendors in the United States and Canada. Because vision systems cannot always detect broken tablets, packagers can add an ELIM tablet sorter to their production line before the slat fillers. Prodieco has found that an increased drive unit, with vibration and a wider sorting surface can comfortably address the sheer volume of tablets.

This system is flexible and can be mounted inline or standalone for mobility between lines. The equipment is a unique design and has demonstrated the ability to improve OEE by up to 20 percent on problem batches. One such case involved a 1.3 million tablet batch that had been quarantined due to constant blockages from broken particles. Each blockage was contributing to one- to two-minutes of downtime on the line. Installing the ELIM on the line removed five kilograms of broken particles and left only the good, useable products. This equated to 6,500 prevented stoppages which, when converted to time, saved 108 operator hours. Innovative engineering solutions like these in pharmaceutical packaging drive efficiencies and leaning out operations.

Prodieco is a member of PMMI and will be addressing operational efficiency at Healthcare Packaging EXPO 2018. Visit the company at booth 637 to learn more. Find the latest pharmaceutical packaging technologies on display on the show floor. For more information and inquiries, visit 


About Richard Norris

Richard Norris is the Global Business Development Manager for Prodieco Pharmaceutical Components. Prodieco are the largest independent blister tooling supplier’s in the world at present. Richard is well regarded in the OSD packaging space within the United States and is a direct technical expert resource to the largest and most prominent pharmaceutical originators, contract packagers, and generics, with the USA & Canada. Richard has exhibited at Interphex in 2017 & 2018 and joins forces with Natoli Engineering to share booth 637 at The Healthcare Packaging EXPO, on October 2018 in Chicago.

2018-06-11T16:13:00-04:00 June 11th, 2018|