Creating a Pharma Packaging Line That Fits Acidic Products

April 8, 2019
Acidic liquids could cause damage to equipment over time through corrosion, which will result in costly breakdowns and downtime without sufficient preventive measures.

Acidic pharmaceutical products have certain special requirements when it comes to filling and packaging. Throughout these processes, acidic liquids could cause damage to equipment over time through corrosion, which will result in costly breakdowns and downtime without sufficient preventive measures. 

To avoid corrosive damage from acids, it’s best to install and maintain the right filling and packaging equipment that’s designed to handle these products. These include systems of liquid filling machines, bottlers, conveyors and capping machines. With the right combination of high-quality packaging equipment, your production lines can benefit from both maximized efficiency and longevity.

Here are the main factors to consider: 

HDPE Construction

One of the keys to preventing corrosion is to utilize equipment made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE). This material is designed to hold up in highly corrosive environments where traditional metal parts would be prone to dissolving.

HDPE is used in a variety of liquid packaging machines, including fillers, conveyors and turntables.

Choosing the Right Liquid Filling Machine

Liquid fillers for acidic pharmaceuticals will consist of a variety of corrosion-resistant parts. In addition to general HDPE construction, you’ll want to find filling machines that include features such as HDPE reservoirs and poly float systems, kynar or teflon fill valves, touch-screen operator interfaces, braided PVC tubing and polypropylene fittings.

You should also consider tabletop, semi-automatic, or fully automatic machines based on your application, along with optional HDPE enclosures designed for safety and proper ventilation.

Corrosion-Resistant Conveyors

Conveyors are required to transport products from one end of the production line to the other, but acidic products are particularly important to transport safely. Spillage could also cause corrosion if conveyors aren’t made with the right materials.

Conveyors should be constructed with HDPE along with PVC and stainless steel hardware. Some conveyors may also feature additional components designed to handle acidic materials, including HDPE belting, variable speed motors, adjustable heights, and HDPE rail systems that allow for adjustments without tools.

High-Quality Turntables

Another important piece of equipment to include in a corrosion-resistant liquid packaging system is an HDPE turntable. Some models will include variable speed motors, clockwise or counterclockwise rotation, and HDPE rail systems.

Bottling Equipment for Acidic Products

Certain applications may require acid-resistant bottling machines. This is why it’s important to get HDPE-constructed bottling equipment that also features UHMW and PVC construction. Certain models may also be designed to allow for easy cleaning to help further increase efficiency, with flexible designs that allow for the use of many different custom liquid containers. 

Bottom line? 

Using one or more of each of these types of corrosion-resistant machines, you can create an efficient packaging line that’s capable of handling acidic or corrosive pharmaceutical products for many years. You won’t need to worry about your systems breaking down over time with the proper equipment installed in your facility.

When searching for the perfect corrosion-resistant systems for your packaging lines, it can be best to find packaging equipment suppliers and manufacturers that carry machinery made with HDPE, PVC, and other acid-proof materials. With the right acidic product packaging system, you’ll benefit from a cost-effective and more efficient production line in the long run.

Krys Beal, part of E-PAK Machinery, Inc’s inside sales and marketing department, has over 19 years of experience in the manufacturing equipment industry with expertise in filling, capping and bottling equipment. 

About the Author

Krys Beal | Vice President of sales and marketing