Reliable and economical packaging solution

Greiner Bio-One opts once more for MULTIVAC


Greiner Bio-One International GmbH had been packing its VACUETTE® QUICKSHIELD Complete blood collection system for some years on a MULTIVAC thermoforming packaging machine. Since this R 245 had proved itself so effectively in practice, in 2013 the manufacturer from Rainbach im Mühlkreis in Austria invested in a further thermoforming packaging machine of the same type.

Greiner Bio-One International GmbH has specialised in the development and manufacture of quality products from plastic for laboratory requirements. Founded in 1963 in Nürtingen, the company is active in the areas of biotechnology, diagnostic and pharmaceutical products, as well as medical and in-vitro diagnostics. In 2013 Greiner Bio-One International GmbH achieved a turnover of 373 million euros. With over 1,700 employees, 23 of its own subsidiaries and a large number of sales partners, this technology company has a presence in more than 100 countries.

The extensive product range of Greiner Bio-One includes systems for the collection of blood, urine and samples, such as the well-known VACUETTE® line of products. The product family offers several safety benefits for protecting the patient or the person, from whom the collection is being made. These include a special cannula tip for painless puncturing, a safety shield for avoiding puncture injuries, and fill-level marking for precise filling. The customers of Greiner Bio-One include hospitals, laboratories, medical practices and blood donation services throughout the world.

R 245 thermoforming packaging machine

Cut-off length (mm):   < 700
Forming depth (mm):  < 150
Output (cycles/min):   < 25
Hygiene standard:       Clean Design™

Growing demand

Among the products, which have experienced constantly growing demand in recent years, is the VACUETTE® QUICKSHIELD Complete blood collection system, a combi-product comprising a safety tube holder and multiple collection cannulas.

The blood collection system, which is some five centimetres in height, is packaged in thermoformed packs made of flexible film and medical paper. One pack unit consists of five pack cavities, which can be easily separated by means of perforation. The packs are sterilised by electron-beam technology, after they have been packed into boxes.

Since 2009, Greiner Bio-One had been using a MULTIVAC R 245 thermoforming packaging machine for producing the thermoformed packs for VACUETTE® QUICKSHIELD Complete. The machine was installed at the production site in Rainbach im Mühlkreis in Austria, and the loading area is situated under laminar airflow. Around 1,800 units of the blood collection system are packed per hour on the machine. In view of the forecast for the coming years, it was clear to the company management, production quantity would no longer be sufficient in future.



Doubling capacity

At the end of 2012, Greiner Bio-One decided to expand the packaging capacity and invest in a second packaging line for VACUETTE® QUICKSHIELD Complete, which
would be installed parallel to the existing line. The requirements were quickly defined: “The second line had to produce double the output of the existing line with the same consistent quality. It also had to be just as simple to operate”, says engineer Wolfgang Pühringer from the department of Injection Moulding Engineering.

There also had to be particular focus with this project on the integration of the upstream infeed system into the control architecture of the packaging machine.

After the requirements had been discussed with MULTIVAC, the selection was again made in favour of the R 245 thermoforming packaging machine. Wolfgang Pühringer explains the reasons for the decision as follows: “The R 245 can be scaled up to a very high degree. By changing the design of the machine, we could simply match the new R 245 to our increased output expectations. The die format was increased in such a way, that we were able to achieve on this machine an output of ten packs per cycle instead of the previous five packs per cycle.”

A MR293 direct web printer from MULTIVAC Marking & Inspection is also used on the second machine. The direct web printer, fitted at the film infeed, prints the medical paper upper web. The controls for the printer are integrated in the machine control of the thermoforming packaging machine.

MR293 direct web printer

Printing of:                          film, paper
Film width (mm):                 320 - 720
Printing resolution (dpi):    300
Printing process:                Thermal transfer, hot foil printing

Expectations fulfilled

In 2013, the thermoforming packaging machine was put into operation at Greiner Bio-One. It was installed within the planned time frame and without adversely affecting running production in the factory. “As with the previous project, there were no delays on the part of the supplier. The machine was put into operation with the expected quality of pack,” praises Wolfgang Pühringer. The combi-product, VACUETTE® QUICKSHIELD Complete, is packed reliably, reproducibly and economically on the MULTIVAC packaging machines. “Should there be further projects where we use a thermoforming packaging machine, we will certainly be putting another MULTIVAC machine at the top of the list,” adds Wolfgang Pühringer.