Bosch introduces new laboratory device

Compact, modular and upgradable FHM 1000 offers flexible filling of liquid pharmaceuticals

All automatic processes are operated from the HMI, which is the centerpiece of the FHM 1000

Bosch Packaging Technology, a leading providers of process and packaging technology, has launched a series of semi-automated, modular laboratory devices for liquid pharmaceutical filling operations.

The new development is said to be particularly suitable for pharmacists and for laboratory and early clinical trials applications. Its filling parameters can be easily scaled up to production systems: all relevant parameters are measured and specified in the laboratory, and can then be transferred to production machines without further setting.

Early involvement of customers and end users

Customers and end users were involved early on in the process of developing the first prototype of the new FHM 1000 series. ‘Our goal is to offer our customers compact and modular laboratory filling systems that support their everyday working processes,’ said Joachim Brenner, site manager Crailsheim and responsible for the pharma liquid product portfolio worldwide. According to Bosch, the FHM series significantly facilitates the design of experiments (DoE) for customers. Recording parameters makes it possible to precisely determine cause-effect relationships between influencing factors and target variables by involving customers' experience.

This ‘user experience’ approach has already been successfully implemented within the Bosch Group. In the electromobility sector, for instance, the very early involvement of potential customers in the design and development process led to a quick marketability of several products.

‘Our new development was a good occasion to transfer this internal know-how to the pharmaceutical area. An interdisciplinary team of development and market experts successfully implemented the user experience approach for our new laboratory device FHM 1000,’ said Andreas Gross, product manager at Bosch Packaging Technology.

Four different modules

The laboratory device series currently consists of four different modules: the Human Machine Interface (HMI), the filling module, the weighing module and the needle movement. All automatic processes are operated from the HMI, which is the centerpiece of the FHM 1000. The filling process, with its filling needle movement and in-process control (IPC) weighing, is parameterised via the HMI, whereas in- and output of the packaging is done manually.

‘The recorded results and parameters can be scaled-up and transferred, for example to high-performance lines,’ Gross explained.

The prototype operates with a peristaltic pump. Further filling modules are planned, for instance with a rotary slide piston pump. According to demand, the different filling systems can then be flexibly exchanged.

The integration of a closing module is also planned, enabling packaging to be equipped with different types of stoppers. A protective housing for both the filling module and the needle movement ensure product and operator safety. All modules conform to the EU Machinery Directive 2006/42/EG.