CASE HISTORY: Complete Line for Pharmaceutical Powder Sachets

A global pharmaceutical company improved output speed for 4-side-seal sachets of laxative powders by selecting a new packaging line—complete with remo

A multinational pharmaceutical company sought a complete packaging line to produce 4-side-seal sachets of laxative powder and automatically insert them into pre-glued cartons. It was key that the line allow maximum production flexibility, high output, and compliance with pharmaceutical market requirements, while maintaining a compact footprint.


The company selected a 4-side-seal Theta machine from Universal Pack due to speed and compact size—the vertical machine model can reach horizontal machine outputs, while reducing footprint and maintaining flexibility.


Beyond output, the company selected the Theta machine for sachet integrity and aesthetics. Seal integrity is enhanced by a new horizontal sealing concept and a liquid cooling system for the sealing parts, which help avoid film and product stress during dosing.


For high precision with pharmaceutical powders, the packaging line was equipped with a multi-lane checkweigher with thousandth load cells with direct feedback to the single lanes of the dosing unit. There is also a station for manual reintegration of rejected sachets. The extractable dosing system can be placed at ergonomic height to facilitate cleaning operations and format changes.


The Theta line offers companies flexibility in both sachet and carton size, making it well-suited to  contract manufacturers and brand owners managing several production batches. With the goal of simplifying operations, the system features toolless adjustments and format changes.


The machine was released previously, but the complete line for the laxative powders is a new innovation. As Alex Leardini, marketing executive at Universal Pack, explains, “The real innovation is the R80 Counting and Stacking Unit. We usually package sachets using intermittent motion, and this is our first unit designed for continuous motion.” 


The line features four modules:

  • Theta Sachet Machine
  • R80 Counting and Stacking Unit
  • SC80 Seamless Transfer Unit
  • Cartoning Machine


The system can compact the stacks of sachets before transferring them to the cartoning machine—this process allows for greater stability and enables the company to insert more sachets into each carton. Next is the SC80 Seamless Transfer Unit. “The robot can independently move depending on the rhythm of the machine and the counting and stacking unit, for seamless transfer that maintains the speed and the output of the complete line. At the end we have a Universal Pack continuous motion cartoning machine,” says Leardini.


For the laxative powder line, Universal Pack provided a customized assistance and maintenance plan, including training, on-site and remote assistance, and predictive maintenance. Installation of the system was performed remotely.


The turnkey line means the pharmaceutical company eliminated concerns over integrating components from multiple equipment suppliers. Leardini says that controls and motors are supplied by Allen Bradly, and all other components are produced in house by Universal. “This is important to us, and allows us to be very flexible during development.”

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