For many patients around the globe, lidocaine offers welcome relief during visits to the dentist. For Huons Global, it is much more. The drug laid the basis for the company’s success in the 1980s. It strengthened Huons’ local production in Korea, which the company is now extending to further markets with a new MLD line from Syntegon.
Lidocaine is usually administered via syringes – but only after the respective cartridges have been carefully siliconized, filled, and closed. The leading lidocaine manufacturer Huons Global leaves nothing to chance in this respect: a line from Syntegon has been reliably filling 1.8 ml lidocaine cartridges for decades. Now it was time to install a second line to expand the Korean production site for international exports.
Flexibility in challenging times
The experts from Syntegon had worked with Huons Global before and knew the company’s requirements. They designed a line that fits the limited space of a class A cleanroom, which required an L-shaped set-up. In times of Covid-19, however, flexibility played an even more important role. The combination of virtual teamwork and on-site support from the local sales agent Hakoplan convinced Huons. “Syntegon offered an unmatched level of flexibility, which led us to tackle this project with the company, too,” says Jong Dae Lee, engineering manager at Huons Global..
The highest precision for sensitive containers
The HQL tunnel from Syntegon, which the cartridges enter after the RRU cleaning machine, optimally fixates the silicone. “Equipment from Syntegon is always state-of-art. We know what to expect, which greatly facilitates maintenance and hence stable processes,” Lee points out. Given the small opening of the 1.8 ml cartridges, filling must be as precise as possible. Just like the first line, the second includes an MLD 3081 with a time-pressure filling system. After stopper insertion via a plunger rod, the containers are pre-filled on two stations. Subsequent sensor filling helps achieve the optimum filling level and avoid any air bubbles inside the liquid, which reduces costly rejects.
Gentle handling of the delicate containers is especially important to avoid glass breakage. Syntegon meets this challenge with a scroll-based system that gently singularizes the containers at the line’s infeed, and special carrier systems that hold the cartridges via a customized click system during stopper insertion, filling and capping. This way, the cartridges remain intact throughout the entire process, contributing to maximum product safety. Moreover, an integrated inspection system thoroughly checks each cartridge for defects after filling and closing.
High throughput with a small footprint
Huons efficiently fills 600-liter batches of lidocaine on the new MLD line at a rate of one batch per day on five days a week. “We can significantly increase our throughput while operating a line with a particularly small footprint,” Lee summarizes. The company has made the right move to tap additional markets – and take the stress out of dentist’s appointments for many more patients to come.