GSK’s manufacturing plant in Barnard Castle, which manufactures a range of medicines, turned to Bosch Packaging technology when it needed a new filling solution for an upcoming product launch. The solution needed to eliminate cross contamination while ensuring operational efficiency.

To meet GSK’s needs, Bosch provided a single-use dosing system with peristaltic pumps, which is ­suitable for biopharma products and for processing highly active substances. Working closely with GSK enabled Bosch to design a customised solution.

An important goal for GSK was to guarantee ­product safety for sensitive drugs together with ­efficient production and this was achieved through Bosch’s single-use dosing system. For GSK, the core benefit of the disposable system is the elimination of the need for cleaning and sterilising of the product paths during batch or product changes.

To further advance this technology, Bosch incorporated its PreVAS concept (PreValidated, PreAssembled, PreSterilised). Designed to enable all product-contact parts including hoses, product bags and filling needles to be delivered both pre-assembled and sterilised, the system eliminates risk of cross-contamination and speeds production start-up. In addition, at the end of a production cycle, these parts are simply disposed of without requiring the time-consuming and costly cleaning then revalidation process. This improves ­efficiency while ensuring safety. The Bosch-PreVAS system also uses stainless steel filling needles with a plastic coating, while normally single-use dosing ­systems use molded plastic needles, which allow ­significantly higher reproducibility of filling volumes.

An integral part of the PreVAS system is the ­peristaltic pumps from Bosch. When integrated with a disposable filling system, peristaltic pumps offer many advantages, including simple operation and safety for filling of sensitive drugs and biotech products. The design also enables GSK’s products to be filled with higher precision and accuracy while lengthening ­production cycles. In addition, an offset arrangement of rollers is used where one tube is always less compressed. Stress on the tubing is decreased, reducing flow pulsations and ensuring continuous liquid flow.

The peristaltic pump offers quick tubing changes with only one hand. The system features a pivoting pump head cover that allows the pump to be opened without tools and without removing the cover parts. The operator can easily open the pump to change the tubing then simply close the pump again.

A key differentiating feature of Bosch’s solution is the mobility of the dosing system, which offers GSK the flexibility to use the system whenever and wherever required. Mounted on a movable trolley, the peristaltic pump acts as an autonomous filling station with a built-in control system and servo drives. This enables the pump to be positioned next to any filling line whenever required, allowing GSK to extend the ­performance and flexibility of its filling machine.

By choosing between its current dosing system and the movable peristaltic pumps, GSK can prepare new products for production more quickly, for the quick release of new drugs in the market, with less effort.