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Engineers’ pride

What‘s a book titled ‘100 Years of Future’ without taking a look at the equipment that shaped Optima‘s future?

Join us on a trip into the world of engineers, developers and technicians. Experience technologies and machines made by Optima attracting attention in the industry by setting completely new standards.

Even the dimensions are impressive, but the most important things aren’t visible at first glance: the precise coordination and synchronization of complex processes to create an efficient unit.

Each of the systems shown incorporates the latest findings from the fields of automation, drive and process technology, but above all a high level of passion – and the level of expertise gained throughout the company‘s 100-year history.

Everything is designed to ensure that the products that play a key role in our everyday life reach their destination reliably, safely, hygienically and sustainably: food items and luxury goods, hygiene products, pharmaceutical and even the technology of the future.

Redefining flexibility

Car manufacturers like to use prototypes at trade shows to illustrate what the future may hold. The Project ZERO design from Optima Nonwovens, presented for the first time at the Index trade show in 2017, is used similarly with one major difference – all of the innovative technologies used in this design are already available today.

Highlighting what’s possible: that is the objective of Project ZERO. A system designed for packaging femcare products, equipped with all the latest technological features. ZERO stands for the time users should ideally schedule for format changes: ZERO. The system can perform a format change automatically without personnel support. The integrated inline printer can make changes to the packaging design within a process cycle without interrupting production, achieving a changeover time of ZERO. The LS stackers in the system are also designed for continuous speed and flexibility. 

Project ZERO offers extremely flexible handling: the structure and content of the HMI (Human Machine Interface) can be adapted depending on the experience level of the operator and the application. It goes without saying that the system is fully ‘4.0-capable’ and can be linked easily with the customer’s operating system. Project ZERO delivers exactly what it promises: the start of a new era in production flexibility.

  • Format change within a cycle
  • Inline printing: The packaging design can be changed within a cycle.
  • User friendly and custom tailored operating unit (HMI) 
  • Speed-rail system with linear drive technology
  • Linear pusher: Operating parameters can be optimized for every product and packaging.
  • Adjustment of the format width during operation: ±50% of the format part width.
  • Dimensions: 6.3 x 7.6 x 2.3 m (L x W x H)

A product made from eight different components, parts that need to be combined, filled, sealed and labeled – and the entire process monitored for maximum precision, requires excellence. A great challenge for the experts from Optima Consumer and Optima Automation.

In a joint effort, the Optima experts and the customer created an assembly and filling line that is in a league of its own. The task was to combine more than 50 modules, whereby some modules can be viewed as independent machines. The system consists of three large, independently functioning units. The first two machines create sub-assemblies, and the third machine combines and fills the different assemblies. A total of 300 workpiece carriers circulate between the units, and more than ten interchangeable filling trolleys are used and over 1,000 checkpoints were implemented to precisely monitor the entire process with optical sensors, cameras, color sensors, resistance measuring devices, position sensors, ultrasonic sensors and many more. The result is impressive: a 300 m2 large, fully automatice system that has earned the title ‘state of the art’ and processes up to 250 units per minute.

  • 5 ultrasonic welding systems
  • 10 laser welding systems
  • 3 labeling lasers
  • 10 tagged filling trolleys with separate cleaning station
  • 80 m of conveying transport
  • 10 electronic switches for product conveying control
  • 300 m2 footprint
  • 10 camera systems
  • 1,000 sensors within the line
  • 300 high-precision workpiece carriers
  • Dimensions Complete line: 30 x 10 x 2.5 m (L x W x H)

Expansion Opportunities

The globally successful French pharmaceuticals company ‘Les Laboratoires Servier Industrie’ wants to expand its portfolio to include the production of biologics and small molecules, or, more precisely, the latest generation of cancer drugs for preclinical and clinical use. This requires new production capacities – a modern, flexible filling line with isolator and freeze dryer that meets the highest standards. A mission for Optima Pharma.

In a joint effort with the customer, the Optima Pharma experts developed a turnkey project including a multi-use filling line, an isolator and a freeze dryer that can process syringes, cartridges and vials. A 100% in-process weight control and corresponding technologies such as RoR (Redosing-on-Request) monitor the process and minimize product loss – a particularly important requirement for expensive drugs. Upon request, the SCADA control of the machine is integrated in the customer systems, enabling smooth communication between the MultiUse line, freeze dryer and isolator and the production site. In other words, optimal integration into the customer’s processes. 

The customer is pleased with the results: “The system’s flexibility provides real added value. Different container types and different types of drugs can be handled: highly-effective, liquid or freeze-dried, biologics or small molecules and highly potent ingredients. This will give us the ability to cover our future requirements for clinical products.” Optima Pharma and Les Laboratoires Servier Industrie are also setting new standards, as this is the first system of its kind in France. 

  • 100% in-process weight control
  • Filling syringes and cartridges, freeze-drying vials
  • Filling containers with peristaltic pumps
  • All packaging materials are supplied pre-nested and pre-sterilized
  • Protective film removal by a Tyvek robotic system
  • Handling of a wide range of different drugs including highly potent ingredients
  • Dimensions:
    • 12.8 x 2.4 x 3.3 m (L x W x H)
    • Dimensions with freeze dryer: 12.8 x 3.4 x 3.3 m (L x W x H)

Advancing a Proven System

Hydrogen plays a major role in the switch to emission-free and sustainable energy generation. Optima Life Science is implementing tried-and-tested Optima technologies into this rapidly growing sector. Whether it is hydrogen generation with electrolyzers or hydrogen in fuel cells for power generation: Optima supplies technologies and systems for mobile and stationary applications that enable a cost-efficient, large-scale production.

The know-how gained by the Optima Group over many years is used to assemble this new technology. Optima Life Science gained much expertise producing wound dressings over many years – now Optima is employing that knowledge to create solutions for the fuel cell industry. Like wound dressings, the finished ‘fuel cell’ products combine multiple layers to create the MEA (Membrane Electrode Assembly). This process requires high-speed cutting, combining and stacking, while meeting high quality standards under clean room conditions. The objective is the design of a complete solution: from roll to stack. This is exactly what the Optima systems deliver, using proven technologies and modules, with all the usual Optima benefits, such as high output and maximum process reliability.

  • Step 1: Cutting
    Individual components are cut from rolled goods in a quick, continuous process based on the roll-to-piece principle. With high cutting precision, clinical cleanliness and a high output.
  • Step 2: Combining
    A key feature of a fuel cell or electrolyzer is the membrane electrode assembly, or MEA. The MEA consists of multiple layers that have to be produced precisely, gently and under clean room conditions. Optima uses well established, reliable processes.
  • Step 3: Stacking
    The MEAs are also stacked by our systems. Optima’s high-speed stacking solutions facilitate a continuous process with a high output of several parts per second.
  • Dimensions: 11.5 x 2.8  x 2.7 m (L x W x H)