Romaco Macofar’s MicroRobot 50 microdosing machine

Filling technology for sticky or hygroscopic pharmaceutical powders

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Romaco Macofar
Romaco Macofar MicroRobot 50 microdosing machine

The MicroRobot 50 microdosing machine is Romaco Macofar’s innovative high-tech solution for filling cytostatic powders into vials. Three anthropomorphic robots ensure reliable processes protected by an isolator.

Germany-based Romaco is a leading international supplier of processing and packaging equipment specializing in engineering technologies for pharmaceutical solids. The group provides individual machines and turnkey solutions for manufacturing and packing powders, granulates, pellets, tablets, capsules, syringes and medical devices. Romaco also serves the food and chemical industries.

Romaco operates from four European business sites, with a broad portfolio comprised of six established product brands. Noack and Siebler (Karlsruhe, Germany) supply blister, heat-sealing and rigid tube filling machines. Macofar (Bologna, Italy) markets technologies for filling sterile and non-sterile powders and liquids. Promatic (also Bologna, Italy) specializes in cartoners, track & trace systems, and case packers. Kilian (Cologne, Germany) offers compression solutions for tableting while Innojet (Steinen, Germany) is an innovation leader for granulation and coating.

Microdosing machine for potent and cytostatic medicines

Romaco Macofar’s MicroRobot 50 is a robotic microdosing machine specially designed for filling potent and cytostatic medicines, for example, for treating cancer and auto-immune diseases. The technology is particularly suited for dosing sticky or hygroscopic pharmaceutical powders with irregular shapes. It can also be used to fill sterile liquids. For high containment applications up to level OEB 5, the Macofar MicroRobot 50 can be supplied with isolator technology. Alternatively, it can be configured with cRABS or oRABS for non-cytotoxic products.

During the production process, three anthropomorphic robots transport the vials under an isolator to the dosing, stoppering and capping stations. Since the robots work independently of specific formats, the product change times are significantly shorter. The servo-driven transfer system generally reduces the concentration of particles in critical areas and the risk of contamination. Due to the structured system concept, the MicroRobot 50 is readily accessible and easy to clean. The robotic grippers can be equipped with cleaning guns to validate the cleaning processes.

According to the company, the Macofar MicroRobot 50 achieves a maximum total output of 50 vials per minute, including 100 % in-process weight control, in other words, each vial is individually weighed both before and after filling. If necessary, the filling volume is adjusted automatically. Numerous control systems ensure a reliable process and a very low waste rate with these high-priced medicines. If a stopper is missing, the filled vial is fed back to the station in question, where the process is repeated, rather than removed. The same applies to missing caps. The remaining quantity of the batch has been reduced to a minimum in the dosing station, so that product loss is virtually zero.

This ultra-compact machine is less than four meters long and was designed with ergonomic principles in mind. All product contact parts are extremely small and lightweight. The use of components that are easy to remove and install was likewise a development priority. Access to the machine is via glove ports and RTP systems. The isolator features a built-in VHP generator for bio-decontamination.

The MicroRobot 50 unites the powder expertise of Romaco Macofar with Truking isolator technology. This robotic microdosing machine represents the first joint development project by the two pharmaceutical machinery specialists from Italy and China. According to the company, the feedback so far has been altogether positive and orders for the MicroRobot 50 have already been received from two Asian pharmaceutical producers.

The MicroRobot 50 microdosing machine from Romaco Macofar can be seen (via live stream) at the Romaco S r l plant in Bologna, Italy.

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