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Klosterfrau benefits from Bosch’s flexible line for bottling its medicines

Klosterfrau, a pharmaceutical manufacturer with a history spanning almost 200 years has more than 1000 employees across Germany.

At Klosterfrau, entering new markets means constantly expanding the entire range with new, innovative products and finding the latest technical solutions to optimise the production process.

In the future, Klosterfrau will consolidate most of its production at its plant in Berlin — including products such as Bronchicum cough syrup and lozenges, Soledum cough syrup and Junior Angin syrup.

With this in mind, the company was looking for a flexible filling and capping line to bottle various liquid and viscous medicines in glass bottles ready for oral consumption.

Flexible bottling

The volumetric filling system from Bosch handles a wide range of products from liquid to high viscous products with different characteristics, to achieve maximum filling accuracy.

Lutz Müller, Head of the Department ‘Liquida’ Berlin, said: “Given the diversity of the products, the two key requirements of a filling technology are flexibility and a reliable cleaning system. The taste and smell of the various products processed on the same machine can vary tremendously.

"The problem here is that the differing smells and tastes might mix with one another, altering the intended end product and ultimately taking away from the end consumer experience. In this respect, the innovative cleaning system from Bosch provided the perfect solution.”

Validated cleaning

The integrated Cleaning In Place (CIP) Plus system of the filling machines ensures residue free and reliable cleaning preventing any potential cross contamination when processing different products at the same machine.

Using the CIP Plus system, Klosterfrau can set an individual cleaning programme for each product. This allows the cleaning process to be repeated and validated, despite the diverse range of filled products.

Particularly with products containing no preservatives, it is important CIP Plus is integrated to guarantee the shelf life and the quality of the product. Since cleaning occurs within a closed process, there is no need to disassemble the machine, this in turn reduces downtime.

Variable capping

After the filling machine, the containers pass through capping machines. Based on the end consumer, individual pouring spouts are attached to the bottles at the first machine. The caps are then fitted at the second machine. It is possible at this stage to attach a wide variety of caps, with the torque and position adjusted to suit the respective cap format.

The modular configuration of the lines enables processing of different packaging materials. This ensures a high level of flexibility for future applications.

Efficient production

The entire line, from filling to capping, is protected by a laminar flow hood. The bottles on the packaging line therefore reach the feeding table at the start of the production process clean and in a continuous stream. The production line can run uninterrupted for 20–30 minutes, because of the large size of the feeding table.

The continuous operating principle of the rotating filling machine allows high output levels. All production steps are performed in the same flow rate without any breakpoints. This enables Klosterfrau to fill up to 160 bottles per minute, depending on the product.

Tobias Pabst, Project Manager at Klosterfrau, said: “Compared to an intermittent linear filling system, we can process our products much quicker on a continuous rotary system. Thanks to the higher capacity of the new system, we are now able to more than double our production speeds.”

A convincing long-term solution

Bosch’s long lasting experience, in terms of designing and building top-class filling and capping lines, was the deciding factor for Klosterfrau.

Pabst said: “Bosch has put together the optimal solution for our individual needs. The machines are both reliable and user friendly. While conventional machines can only work with a limited range of products, the Bosch line in Berlin is currently handling ten different formats.”

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