Testimonial: Omnicell increases production with MPS EXL-Packaging
In 2018, world leader in medication packaging, Omnicell, recognized the need to increase capacity at their St. Petersburg, FL facility and began searching for a flexo press solution to meet the demands of the market. Specializing in high volume blister packaging, Omnicell produces various single and multi-pill packaging products for use in their autonomous pharmacy machines.
“We were at max press capacity with the packaging we were producing in our Florida plant and we needed to find a new solution to ramp up production,” says Chris Hayes, Manufacturing Engineer at Omnicell and leader of the press initiative.
Requirements for high speed card applications
As the search began for a new press solution, Chris and Omnicell leadership had one key goal in mind: increase production capacity while maintaining the Omnicell standard of quality. Chris, a 10-year industry professional in engineering and packaging applications, laid out clear targets for press manufacturers to meet and evaluated five popular flexo packaging press OEMs over the course of one year.
Omnicell’s main criteria: the equipment needed to produce at top speeds for heat seal card applications and cold seal card applications. In addition, there were unique restrictions on the substrate thickness and width, in order to effectively produce the complex blister packaging applications in their everyday production. Press speed, local service and support, responsive communication and niche auxiliary equipment were all important considerations when choosing the right press partner to meet their goals. These standards were sent to each final OEM for evaluation and, in the end, “MPS CRUSHED every single requirement we had,” boasts Chris.
Chris Hayes and Harm-Jan de Jong with Omnicell's MPS EXL-Packaging press
Performance beyond expectations
After rigorous OEM testing and evaluation, Omnicell made the decision to purchase an MPS EXL-Packaging 680 flexo press, in 2019, to achieve their goal of increased production. Omnicell’s MPS EXL-Packaging press is equipped with an impressive list of state-of-the-art technology, including: 6 flexo stations, reversed flexo and reversed solvent and water-based gravure printing, hot air dryers, Kocher & Beck cassette die-stations and 3 automatic unwinders from Martin Automatic. The press is also equipped with the latest 100% inspection technology from AVT, communicating with the stacker from Gannicott to remove failures immediately during production.
The Omnicell press marks a record length built for MPS, with an astonishing 118 feet / 36 metres of length. Harm-Jan de Jong, Vice President MPS North America: “This has been an exciting project for us, as besides the printing aspect, this press features a lot of integrated embellishment equipment from OEMs that has to all work together smoothly.”
Productivity - MPS Machines are known for their ability to precisely produce large volumes at very high press speeds. The EXL-Packaging press at the Omnicell facility certainly lived up to its reputation and helped their Florida plant meet their production goals, easily.
Manufactured for blister packaging production, up to widths of 26”, the EXL-Packaging press can produce at speeds of over 500 ft/min and “can do anything and everything that all other presses at the facility can do, combined.” Chris continues “It prints better, has quicker changeovers, is fully automated, modular and easy to maintain. Our MPS press is incredible.”
According to Chris, the MPS EXL-Packaging press not only meets, but exceeds all expectations, and has become a valuable asset to their St. Petersburg operations.
Service & Training – MPS takes pride in our responsive service and support, providing converters with the knowledge they need and the respect they deserve. “In the beginning, we weren’t hitting our production numbers as expected. After speaking with the MPS team, they dedicated one of their Field Service Engineers to our facility to run the press for a full week” explains Chris. “It turns out, the press could easily reach our production goals, however our operators were running the system slower than necessary.”
Before the MPS machine, Omnicell had never encountered a press perform well at such high speeds. “The speed is almost intimidating,” Chris mentions, “but after our MPS technician proved the press can run at record speeds for the long run, with no complications; he trained our operators to do the same and we began hitting our production goals easily thanks to him and the MPS Service team.”
Communication - “Communication with the MPS team, both in the States and overseas, has been great. Mike Weyermann was a pleasure to work with and gave his word that the MPS press could reach our production goals without a problem,” says Hayes. “If anyone in our facility needs assistance, we know we can contact Mike, Harm-Jan and the Service team, and our requests will be acknowledged within the hour.” With a responsive service and support team, Omnicell has access to the knowledge they need to keep production at a maximum.
Connectivity – Additionally, the MPS EXL-Packaging press was equipped with Connectivity solutions, connecting their machine directly to the MPS Service Team. Chris states, “having the ability for MPS technicians to login and provide remote support, software updates, troubleshooting etc. directly to our machine has been phenomenal.” Chris mentions that the Omnicell team has reached out to MPS’s remote support team numerous times with changes and ideas and they are always greeted with innovative solutions that meet their needs.
The press partner for success
At MPS Systems, we tailor our press solutions to meet the unique needs of each converter we partner with. Chris Hayes appreciated that “MPS was willing to work with other vendors that specialized in the niche equipment needed to produce complex blister packaging, in a single pass.” Through continuous innovation and collaboration, MPS Systems designed a press solution optimized specifically for Omnicell and their future.
With the new MPS EXL-Packaging 680 press solution, Omnicell is equipped and eager to handle the increasing demands of the pharma packaging market for years to come. “I’d recommend MPS to any converter looking to increase capacity. Their press technology, service and the whole MPS experience has been incredible. Watching the speed of the machine, the quality of the print and witnessing the variety of applications possible, I know we made the right choice choosing MPS as our press partner.”
Founded in 1992, Omnicell began with a vision to innovate the management of pharmacy supplies and medication to improve the standard of care at hospitals and pharmacies around the world. Through the innovation of autonomous pharmacies and functional pharma packaging, Omnicell has become a world leader in medication packaging and management. Specializing in high volume blister packaging, Omnicell produces various single and multi-pill packaging products for use in their autonomous pharmacy machines.
In the market for a new flexo, hybrid flexo-digital or offset press? Visit Our Solutions to view the press solutions manufactured by MPS Systems. Are you curious to find out how MPS can help you improve your over-all performance based on unbiased data from your press? Learn more about our new vision and brand promise Connect to Grow and schedule a live demo to begin your journey into a solution that helps you Connect to Grow.
Inge Smolders is Manager Marketing Communications at MPS. She has been working at the Marketing department since 2015, when she first entered the printing industry as a newbie. Inge likes to write about industry news, developments and her own experiences.