Bosch supplies filling and packaging line to Novartis in Egypt

Pack shots of the Otrivin Saline Baby nose drops and Otrivin nasal spray productsSwiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis has been producing and filling a wide range of pharmaceuticals in Egypt for more than 50 years.

The Novartis plant in Cairo produces enough medication to meet seven per cent of the country’s market needs and serves as a base for the manufacturing and supply chain management of prescription pharmaceuticals, as well as over-the-counter (OTC) products.

However, the facility met its match trying to fill and package 15mℓ plastic bottles of Otrivin Saline Baby nose drops, 10mℓ plastic bottles of Otrivin nasal spray and 100mℓ glass bottles of Catafly Suspension cough syrup. The varying consistencies of oil-based nose sprays and syrupy cough medicines presented the company with a problem, not to mention the packaging format issue as both required different closures.

A personalised solution

Bosch Packaging Technology customised a line specifically for Novartis. It includes a bottle unscramble with an air blower to clean and prevent contamination inside all three bottles. To allow for format flexibility, the line incorporates three different rotary capping machines, which are used depending on product in production.

A key function of the line is the cleaning in place plus system, which ensures repeatable cleaning after every product changeover in only two hours.

After the capping process, the bottles are conveyed to the labelling system, with the exception of the pre-printed nasal spray bottles. For secondary packaging, the bottles are fed into the continuous motion cartoning machine CUK from Bosch, which can handle 15 different product sizes, cartons and leaflets. 

Flexibility, speed and energy efficiency

Bosch’s tailored system for Novartis helped the company streamline the filling and packaging of three different products with different packaging formats and enhanced production speed from 100 bottles to 140 bottles per minute, for 10mℓ and 15mℓ size bottles. The equipment also improved its energy savings by US$60 000 annually. All of these benefits have leveraged Novartis to respond to the growing demand for its products, now and in the future.

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