Building blocks for a suc­cessful product

The suc­cess of a product depends on a number of fac­tors. Apart from the spark of an idea and a dose of courage, a suit­able process and reli­able part­ners are needed. Alto­gether, they can greatly facil­i­tate market entry.

The product

The XStraw® is an oral admin­is­tra­tion device in straw format, spe­cially devel­oped for chil­dren and the elderly. The pellet-filled XStraw® pro­vides users who have dif­fi­culty swallowing
with a con­ve­nient and safe alter­na­tive to tablets or cap­sules. The appli­ca­tion is very simple. Remove the cap, place the straw in a glass of liquid and drink. Depending on indi­vidual taste pref­er­ences, almost any cold drink is suitable.

The right active ingredient

The pellet tech­nology allows taste masking of poten­tially unpleasant-tasting ingre­di­ents. High-pre­ci­sion dosing sys­tems ensure that every XStraw® is filled with an exact amount of the active ingre­dient. The right con­cept opens up the pos­si­bility to enter new mar­kets. Partner for the devel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion of the pel­lets is Excel­lence United member Glatt.

Per­fect functionality

Every com­po­nent of the XStraw® con­tributes sig­nif­i­cantly to its func­tion­ality. Raumedic pro­vides an ongoing supply of com­po­nents for the extru­sion of the drinking straws and the injec­tion molded caps. The closing caps with des­ic­cant are sup­plied by CSP. Porex is respon­sible for the sophis­ti­cated con­trol filter.

Cre­ative partner

DS Tech­nology GmbH, based in Win­nenden near Stuttgart, is the licensor and mar­kets the XStraw® and other med­ical and phar­ma­ceu­tical prod­ucts. Harro Höfliger sup­plies suit­able pro­duc­tion solu­tions. The experts from DS Tech­nology, with many years of expe­ri­ence in the phar­ma­ceu­tical industry, advise and sup­port inter­ested par­ties during the entire value cre­ation. This helps with a fast and safe product launch.

Scal­able processes

The scal­a­bility of processes plays a key role in phar­ma­ceu­tical man­u­fac­turing. Harro Höfliger offers machine solu­tions for the XStraw® from the lab­o­ra­tory stage to high-per­for­mance production.

Small-scale pro­duc­tion

The DST LS for the lab­o­ra­tory stage is a semi-auto­matic filling and assembly unit with an output of up to 1,000 XStraw® per hour. A work­piece car­rier man­u­ally loaded with empty straws which con­tain pre­vi­ously inserted con­trol fil­ters, passes through the filling and assembly processes step by step. The lower end of the tube is deformed, which pre­vents the con­trol filter from sliding out. At the top, the XStraw® is rounded off. This shaping allows the clo­sure cap to be locked into place and ensures a firm fit. Using a vacuum dosator, the XStraw® is filled with an exact number of pel­lets before the cap is applied manually.

Filling with vacuum dosator

Large-scale pro­duc­tion

For high-per­for­mance pro­duc­tion, a fully auto­matic system con­sisting of three machine units pro­duces just under 20,000 XStraw® per hour. In addi­tion to the auto­mation of all filling and assembly processes, the inter­mit­tent oval motion machine has con­trol sta­tions that check, among other things, the filling and the cor­rect clo­sure of the XStraw® by means of a pull force test. Bad parts are detected and ejected. A con­nected film pack­aging machine seals the pack­aging of the XStraw® in a pro­tec­tive atmos­phere, fol­lowed by online printing. A down­stream car­toner pack­ages defined quan­ti­ties in folding cartons.

Inserting the con­trol filters

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Graphic: Christoph Kalscheuer, Photo: DS Technology