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Blister packaging

What Is Blister Packaging Machine?

Blister packaging refers to a packaging method in which a product is sealed between a blister formed from a transparent plastic sheet and a base plate (made of cardboard, plastic film or sheet, aluminum foil, or their composites).

This packaging method was invented and popularized in Germany in the late 1950s. A blister pack sealing machine was first used for the packaging of tablets and capsules. At that time, it was used to change the inconvenience of taking bottled tablets such as glass bottles and plastic bottles, and the large investment in packaging production lines. Coupled with the development of dose packaging, the demand for small packaging of tablets was increasing bigger. The blister-packed tablets are squeezed by hand when taking the medicine, and the tablets can break through the aluminum foil, so some people call it foaming or press-through packaging.

What Are the Types of Blister Packaging Machines?

From the perspective of machine structure:

Roller Blister Packaging Machine

The working principle of the roller tablet blister packing machine: the forming film is heated and softened by the heating device, and the blister is sucked out by vacuum negative pressure on the roller forming die roll. The filling device fills the packaged material into the blister, and then through the roller heat sealing device, the cover film coated with adhesive on one side is sealed on the surface of the material with the blister under appropriate temperature and pressure, and Seal the packaged material in a blister. Then, the batch number is printed by the typing and embossing device and the breaking line is pressed out, and finally, the punching device is punched into a certain size of product plates.

Due to the use of roll forming, sealing and feeding, the blister tape will bend on the roll surface during operation, so it is not suitable for forming large, deep and complex blister packs. Items should also be smaller in size.

Flatbed Blister Packaging Machine

The working principle of the flat blister packaging machine: the formed film is heated and softened by a flat heating device, and the softened film is blown into a blister by compressed air in the flat forming device. The filling device fills the packaged material into the blister, and then sends it to the flat sealing device to seal the cover film and the forming film under a suitable temperature and pressure. Then, the batch number is printed and the breaking line is pressed out by the printing and imprinting device, and finally, the punching device is punched into the product plate of the specified size.

This type of model has a large filling space and can arrange multiple filling machines at the same time, which makes it easier to realize the packaging of multiple drugs in one plate, expand the packaging range and improve the packaging efficiency.

Roller Plate Blister Packaging Machine

The roller plate type pill blister pack machine is developed on the basis of the roller type and flat type blister machines. The working principle is basically the same as the above two.

Roller plate blister packaging equipment combines the two advantages of plate forming and roller sealing, so it is widely used. It can pack various specifications of sugar-coated tablets, plain tablets, capsules, capsules and special-shaped tablets, and can also be used to package chocolate beans, bubble gum and other small foods, but generally larger than 16 mm in diameter. When the sheet is inclined at an angle of more than 45 degrees on the plate, it is not suitable for this type of pharmaceutical blister packaging machine.

capsule blister packaging machine

How Is Blister Packaging Made Step by Step?

The operation method of blister packaging machines for pharmacies is mainly divided into three forms, namely manual operation, semi-automatic operation and fully automatic operation. The latter two are the most common types of machines currently used in production lines.

Semi-automatic blister packaging

The roll or single plastic sheet is fed into the semi-automatic blister packaging machine, and the machine operates continuously or intermittently; the number of forming molds depends on the size and output of the product, generally multi-column; after the forming is cooled, the product is manually loaded into the blister Covers; a printed roll or individual shape substrate is placed over a blister, and the trimmed edges are heat sealed to obtain a complete packaged part.

Fully Automatic Blister Packaging

During automatic operation, in addition to the above-mentioned packaging processes, processes such as printing, packaging instructions, and boxing can also be connected to the production line.

What Is the Difference Between Strip and Blister Packaging?

Blister packaging

Strip Packing

For the selection of some larger dosage forms of drug tablets or drug tablets that are sensitive to ultraviolet light, have strong hygroscopicity, require heat and cold resistance, and require a long period of validity and improved packaging grades, most of them are packaged with strip-shaped composite film.

It uses two layers of strip packaging films to sandwich the tablets, and the unit medicines are separated by a certain distance. On the alu alu strip packing machine, the inner sides of the two layers of SP films around the medicines are heat-sealed and sealed, and tooth marks are pressed between the medicines. A form of unit packaging (single packs or small packs in rows). Bar packaging is a continuous operation on a bar packaging machine, which is especially suitable for automatic packaging in large quantities. When taking the medicine, the SP film can be torn along the tooth marks.

The strip packaging film has a certain tensile strength and elongation and is suitable for medicines of various shapes and sizes.

Aluminum Plastic Blister Packaging

Unlike strip packaging, alu plastic blister pack is mainly composed of aluminum foil and PV blister film sealed together. The main feature of blister packaging is that the cost is lower than that of alu alu blister foil packaging, but the sealing performance is slightly worse than that of strip packaging.

The choice of composite film for drug packaging by pharmaceutical companies is determined by the properties of the drug (moisture, oxidation, retention of drug taste, etc.) and shelf life. It is mainly based on the quality characteristics required by the drug and combined with the characteristics of composite products. The characteristics of medicinal composite membrane for reference:

a. Ordinary Composite Film: The composite structure is made of polyester, aluminum foil and polyethylene (PET/AL/PE), which is characterized by good printing adaptability and good gas and moisture barrier properties to medicines.

b. Medicinal Strip-shaped Easy-tear Composite Film: the composite structure is composited with cellophane, polyethylene and aluminum foil (PT/PE/AL/PE). The characteristics are: it has good wearability, which is convenient for consumers to take products. Good gas and water vapor barrier properties ensure a longer shelf life of the contents. It is suitable for the packaging of effervescent, paint, tablet capsules and other medicines.

c. Paper-aluminum-plastic Composite Film: The composite structure is composed of paper, polyethylene and aluminum foil (paper/PE/AL/PE), which is characterized by good printability and good stiffness. It has good barrier properties to gas or water, which can ensure a long shelf life of medicines.

Which Material Are Common for Blisters?

The more common structural forms of blister packaging include single blister liner structures and double blister linerless structures.

There are many types of blister packaging materials for pharmaceutical products, such as plastic films. The choice needs to consider the adaptability of the plastic film and the packaged product, that is, the selection of materials must meet the technical requirements of blister packaging, including cost control.

Rigid plastic sheets commonly used in pharmaceutical blister packaging are mainly polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) and some composite materials. At present, the most widely used is the polyvinyl chloride rigid sheet. The polyvinyl chloride sheet used for pharmaceutical packaging has high hygienic requirements for the resin and must use non-toxic polyvinyl chloride resin, a non-toxic modifier and a non-toxic heat stabilizer. Since medicines are very sensitive to moisture and light transmission, plastic sheets are required to have good barrier properties of water vapor, light, and anti-odor.

Polyvinylidene chloride has strong gas sealing, excellent moisture resistance, good oil resistance, chemical resistance and solvent resistance, especially for oxygen, water vapor, and carbon dioxide gas in the air has excellent barrier properties. Polyvinylidene chloride not only has good gas and odor barrier properties, but also the sealing performance, impact strength, tensile strength and durability of the material can meet the special requirements of pharmaceutical packaging.

Composite plastic rigid sheets for pharmaceutical blister packaging include PVC/PVDC/PE, VDC/OPP/PE, PVC/PE, etc. For pharmaceutical packaging that requires barrier properties and light-proof properties, a composite material of plastic sheet and aluminum foil can be used, such as a composite material of PET/aluminum foil/PP, and PET/aluminum foil/PE.

What Are the Advantages of Blister Packaging?

Good Protection

Because the blister pack has good sealing, it can be waterproof, moisture-proof, dust-proof, and rust-proof and extend the protection period.

Transparent and Intuitive

It is easy to see the shape and size of the goods through the transparent blister, and the substrate can print basic information such as commodity code, name, specification and barcode, which is convenient for the identification and quantity of the equipment in the package.

Easy to Use

The blister package is easy to open and convenient to use, and the sealing and protection of other products are not affected when using a single product.

Light Weight

The blister package is light in weight, and the blister has a certain elasticity, so it has a certain cushioning performance, and no additional cushioning material is required when packing, which saves storage space and reduces the cost of packaging.

Can Blister Packaging Be Recycled?

Drug blister packs typically include layers of aluminum and plastic. Due to their multi-material structure, discarded encapsulations are usually landfilled, although when separated, both metal and polymer fractions can be recovered.

In order to support sustainable blister packaging, more and more pharmaceutical manufacturers are replacing PVC materials with other environmentally friendly materials which have high recycling rates.

Where to Buy Reliable Blister Machines?

SED Pharma is a professional blister machine manufacturer that owns advanced blister packaging technology. We attach great importance to the quality we bring to customers, and we support the provision of customized blister packaging machines according to customer needs. If you are looking for blister machines at this time, please don’t hesitate to leave us an inquiry!

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