A "faster and cheaper" blister pack machine was launched by Indian-firm Cap Tab for the first time in Europe at this year's CPhI in Paris.
The Cap Tab 400 FR is an upgrade of the company's Mini 25 blister machine and features the combination of intermittent compressed-air flat-forming and continuous rotary sealing, meaning that the formation of the blister cavity is flat and the sealing is done by rotation, allowing high-speed feeding and a tight seal, said the firm.
"With these features this new machine is up to four times faster than the previous model," a Cap Tab spokesperson told In-PharmaTechnologist.com.
In addition, the Cap Tab 400 FR features auto-rejection and a pack discharger aggregator (PDA) attachment, which can aggregate the blisters for down-line automation and allow them to be packed straight into cartons if required.
Manufactured in India, the machine also costs roughly half the price of an equivalent European-made machine, the Cap Tab spokesperson said.
"It has been available in the US for four months and we have two customers already using it. Now we are bringing it to Europe."
The pharmaceutical packaging market has been moving from a passive to an active one and predicted to swell from $2.6bn (€2.2bn) in 2004 to just under $3.4bn in 2011 by market research analysts Frost & Sullivan.
The blister packaging subset is experiencing particular growth due to the increase in biologics-based drugs - which are particularly sensitive to moisture, oxygen, and light and require high barrier packages.
In addition, blister packaging's share of the market is predicted to continue to rise also on the back of increasing recognition of the positive impact it can have on patient compliance.