Telstar develops first automatic vial loading system using magnetic levitation

Without belts, bellows or racks, the loading/unloading system maintains the aseptic conditions of the freeze-drying process and product

A 3D view of the interior of a loading/unloading system propelled by contact-free magnetic drive system

The groundbreaking loading system for pharmaceutical freeze-drying processes is propelled by contact-free magnetic drive system.

With no need for belts, bellows or racks, the new loading/unloading system slides smoothly and unhindered and maintains the fully aseptic conditions required for the freeze-drying process.

The automatic loading and unloading system developed by Telstar represents substantial progress in the field of lyophilisation processes under aseptic conditions.

Earlier loading/unloading technologies rely on the use of long pushing mechanisms which take up space and require bellows covers to maintain aseptic conditions.

In an attempt to resolve this issue, belts, bands, chains and linkages have been used but these introduce cleaning challenges.

Recent systems featuring autonomous sliding devices have operated on ‘wireless’ principles but this requires the use of motors, electrical wiring and even batteries moving into the chamber, which introduces additional risks to sterility.

The new Telstar system – Lyogistics Zero – eliminates all of these problems simply and elegantly by using a passive magnetic drive.

Configured to be integrated to industrial-scale single-side or pass-through freeze-dryers, the automated device goes beyond the traditional concepts of push-in/push-out or push-in/pull-out by incorporating a magnetic slider device able to move the vials in both directions for loading and unloading.

The absence of mechanical links between drive and slider provides the system with a precision and robustness capable of overcoming difficult situations inside a freeze dryer chamber.

At the same time, the long pushers are eliminated and replaced with compact marshalling devices. The system also excels at handling vials in a ‘cold shelf’ loading mode.

Suitable for use in manufacturing processes for hazardous products, the equipment has been designed to be integrated within aseptic isolators requiring high level protection for the operator (OEL5), the product (ISO5) and the environment.

Telstar’s system features a steam-sterilisable slider with no concealed parts which is propelled by contact-free magnetic drive mechanism.

In addition, there is no need for actuated side guides inside the freeze drying chamber, thereby avoiding additional mechanisms or bellows. The company says there are no trade-offs, just a sterile open slider, non-contact magnetic driving mechanism and no bellows.

This development and others will be on show at CPhI (Barcelona, 4-6 October), on the Telstar stand 2D30.

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