The 15-minute Blister options trading system

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Contents

Rowing Blisters 101

Blisters suck — this we can all agree on. What most rowers and coxswains don’t know are the specifics of how and why they form, how to treat them, and how to prevent them.

One of my former coaches used to tell us that there was nothing more character-building in rowing than the blisters you get. A lot of the time you’re encouraged to just deal with them because they’re inevitable but a point in time comes when you have to stop just dealing with it and start taking the proper steps to protect the ones you already have and prevent more from occurring. Do not be careless when it comes to your blisters. There are few things more eye-roll inducing than rowers ( novices) who are like “look at my hands, they’re completely torn to shreds, clearly this makes me the most badass rower ever!” Just … no.

What are they and how do you get them?

There are two kinds of blisters — your regular, run of the mill blisters and blood blisters. Regular blisters are pockets of fluid in between the upper layers of your skin. They’re most often caused by friction, which in rowing could be from overuse, having too tight of a grip, etc. The other kind of blister is a blood blister. These kinds form when blood vessels near the surface of your skin are damaged but the skin itself isn’t broken. There are two main causes for blood blisters. One is consistently rubbing the skin back and forth on or against something. The other, and more common cause, is the skin being pinched together (say, for example, when you’re rowing and suddenly the boat goes offset to one side and you smash your pinky in between the oar handle and the gunnel).

Question of the Day

Are you only supposed to get blisters on your inside hand? I have one on my outside hand on my fingers which has never…

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To pop or not to pop

There’s a lot of opinions out there on what you should do if you get a blister. Pop it, leave it alone, drain it, rip the skin off, sob quietly in the corner of the boathouse because your significant other will never want to hold your hand ever again, etc. I’m firmly in the camp of “leave it alone” if and when possible. As long as the blister isn’t having any kind of impact on your rowing you should aim to just let it be so as to avoid getting an infection in the open wound. This is one of those moments where you need to know the difference between pain and discomfort. Don’t deliberately mess with the blister if you don’t have to. If you develop a blister that has filled with fluid and is painful or disrupting your rowing though, you’ll want to drain it.

How to drain and clean them

Before you do anything, wash your hands. It’s probably going to hurt but you never know what microbial nuisances might be lurking on your skin. Antimicrobial soap + warm water + at least 30 seconds per hand = acceptable. When you clean your blisters, especially the really bloody ones, try to avoid using peroxide if possible. Betadine is a better antibacterial alternative because it’s not as harsh on your skin and doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as peroxide does. Peroxide gets the job done quite well and there’s even some cool (read: gross) foaming action that happens with the really bad blisters but that being said, it hurts like a bitch.

As a pre-step to draining the blister you need to sterilize the needle or pin you plan on using. Don’t skip this step. It takes like, two minutes to do. You can sterilize whatever you plan on using by running it over a flame until it’s red hot and then letting it soak in peroxide for a few minutes.

When you’re ready to drain the blister, you’ll want to drain it from the side, not the middle as I’ve tried to illustrate below. To avoid creating a hole that would allow the skin to be easily ripped off it’s often suggested that you poke it with the needle from the top edge near your fingers. Keep the needle as close to your skin as possible.

Once the blister starts releasing the fluid, try not to let it run all over your hands. At the same time you’re poking it with the needle, hold a cotton ball or tissue on the blister so that the fluid can be immediately soaked up. Press gently with the pad of your finger to get the liquid out. Make sure that you’re actually pressing in the direction of the hole you just made too and do this until the blister is completely flat.

Once you’ve got them drained you should put some Neosporin on them but keep them uncovered to give them an opportunity to dry out. NewSkin is another option but that seems to be a fairly hit or miss choice with most rowers. Some swear by it, others hate it. One thing that I’ve heard of people doing is rubbing Neosporin on a piece of sewing thread, putting it on a needle, and pulling it through the blister. Usually this is done before draining it but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be effective post-draining too. Doing this allows the medicine to get inside the blister and helps to prevent infections.

I’ve also heard about rowers using tea bags to help dry out and harden the blisters (via the tannic acid) — has anyone tried this? What have your experiences been? Another option is filling a bowl with epsom salts and warm water and allowing the salts to dissolve before soaking your hands for 20–30 minutes. This will help to dry out the blisters and keep them clean. Conveniently this process also allows you the time to catch up on all those TV shows you never actually have time to watch.

Question of the Day

Do you know any secret remedies for blisters? It’s the first week of winter conditioning and after only two practices I…

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How to protect your hands

If you’ve already got blisters the next step is learning how to protect them while you’re practicing. Tape, band-aids, etc. are going to be your best friends if — if — you use them properly. Before anyone suggests it let’s get this out of the way right now: gloves = NO. You can’t get a good grip on the oar (yes, even with golfer’s or batter’s gloves) and your hands sweat inside them so much that you end up with way more blisters than when you started. You’re going to be tempted to ask your coach or coxswain if you can wear gloves but I’m here to save you from that embarrassment. Just don’t do it.

If you have blisters on your fingers, I recommend the knuckle band-aids since their little wing-like things allow them to stay more securely on your fingers. An additional option on top of — not instead of — the band-aids is to get those rubber finger protectors and slide one of those on. The rowers I’ve seen do it say that it holds the band-aid in place better so they don’t have to worry about it sliding around. If for whatever reason the blister starts bleeding, by having it in the protector you’ll avoid getting blood, bacteria, and who knows what else on your handle (and transferring whatever is on your handle into your open wound).

The issue that most rowers have is taping up the blisters on your palms and right below your fingers. If you just wrap the tape in a circle, about 1/3 of the way through your warmup you’ll notice that it’s starting to bunch up and expose your blisters to the elements. My recommendation is to wrap your hands similarly to how boxers wrap theirs. Obviously the tape wouldn’t need to be nearly as thick and if the blisters are only at the top of your palms you don’t need to wrap all the way down to your wrists but having the tape secured around your fingers will ensure that it stays in place and you won’t have to worry about it.

Below is a video that you can use for reference. The loop that goes around your thumb (or whatever finger you choose) is what really secures your tape in place.

If you have a lot of blisters, buy your own tape and band-aids. Your coxswain is not a tape and/or band-aid dispenser. Anything that’s waterproof and flexible will be a good choice since it’ll move with you and not restrict your movement.

You should be changing your tape and band-aids before and after every practice too because a) you need to clean your hands and get all the grunge off of them and b) the tape is going to be disgusting, rolled up on itself, and not effective at protecting your skin anymore.

How to prevent blisters

Getting blisters as a rower is inevitable — it’s going to happen. You can limit the severity of them though simply by rowing with proper technique. Understand the difference between “relaxed grip” and “no grip” — “loose” does not literally mean loose as in flimsy, it means a happy medium between a death grip and no grip.

Avoid the death grip on the handle and instead keep the hands relaxed. On the recovery you should be able to freely wiggle your fingers while still maintaining control of the handle. You’ll know if you’re doing the death grip if your forearms and wrists are really sore and you’ve got hands that like this.

Keep the towels that you use to wipe down your boats, oars, etc. clean too. At the beginning of the year it’s worth having everyone on the team donate an old rag or two to the team to use that way you’ve got an abundant supply. Also make sure the oar handles are being cleaned regularly too, especially if you’ve bled on them or had blisters open up during practice.

Know when a blister has festered into something more serious — and then get your ass to a doctor

MRSA. Sepsis. Cellulitis. Leptospirosis.

All of these are some of the potential consequences of bacteria coming in contact with your open wounds. All have been suffered from by rowers at some point or another. A prominent case that I remember reading about three or four years ago was the death of Andy Holmes, a several-time Olympian and gold-medalist from the UK, who died of leptospirosis after coming in contact with contaminated water. This resulted in British Rowing posting a notice on it’s website to rowers to remind them that good hygiene and proper care of blisters and track bites are crucial steps in not developing an infection, especially one that elevates to the severity that Holmes’ did.

It’s important for you to pay attention to any changes in the blisters themselves, the skin around the blisters, and most importantly, your overall health. If something looks or feels “off” don’t just suck it up — go to your local 24-hour urgent care facility and get someone to look at you. I know I say this all the time but I really mean it every time I do … better safe than sorry. Know how to separate discomfort or soreness from rowing from the symptoms of something more severe. If something feels off, tell your parent(s), coach(es), sibling(s), teammate(s), etc. so that someone else can keep an eye on you.

I’ve known three different people, two rowers and one coxswain, who developed MRSA as a result of not taking proper care of their blisters. On a scale of one to ten, two were probably at about a “six” with regards to severity and the other was at least a “nine”. That person got really sick and was hospitalized for about a week. This isn’t just stuff we make up to scare you into taking proper care of yourself, which you should be doing already. It can and does happen. Be proactive so it doesn’t happen to you.

Below is a quick rundown of each of the infections I listed above, in addition to their signs and symptoms.

Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) || MRSA is a strain of bacteria that causes infections in the body and tends to be resistant to most commonly used antibiotics. It’s transmitted either through touching someone who already has it on their skin or by touching something (for example, oar handles) that has the bacteria on it. Signs of an infection include the skin around the initial wound being red, swollen, warm to the touch, more painful than normal, and potentially contain pus. Typically skin infections that are related to MRSA are mistaken for spider bites since spider bites look similar. If the infection spreads to the respiratory system, you could develop pneumonia and experience shortness of breath, a fever, chills, or a cough that you don’t otherwise normally have. If you go to the doctor and are given antibiotics, pay attention and see if you are actually getting better. If the infection continues to get worse, you develop a fever or the fever you have gets worse, or there are no signs of improvement after three(ish) days, go back to the doctor.

Sepsis (blood poisoning) || When bacteria enters the blood it’s known as a condition called “bacteremia”. Since the blood is typically sterile, the presence of bacteria is considered abnormal. Previous infections in the body’s organs can spread and lead to sepsis, which itself is a secondary set of symptoms, but it can also occur from bacteria entering through an open wound and being transported throughout the blood. Typically you’ll develop a rapid heart rate, a fever, and extreme chills, in addition to a rash that can appear in the form of skin discoloration or small red dots clustered across the body. Joint pain, disorientation, nausea, decreased blood pressure, vomiting, and clammy skin are additional symptoms you might experience if the infection progresses. At it’s most severe, your blood pressure drops to dangerously low levels which prevents your organs from getting the proper amount of oxygenated blood, leading to septic shock, which can cause (multiple) organ failure and death.

Cellulitis || Cellulitis, which is an infection of the connective tissues, is caused when bacteria (typically staph or strep) enters the body through broken skin (cuts, burns, blisters, etc.) and as it progresses, spreads to the deeper tissues, blood, and/or lymph nodes. The infected area will be warm and tender to the touch, red, and swollen. If it’s progressed to the point where the lymphatic system is involved you may notice that your lymph nodes are swollen and that you have streaking on the skin as the infection travels through the body. If the infection enters the bloodstream you will also most likely develop a fever.

Leptospirosis || This is a common bacterial infection transmitted between animals and humans. Typically we don’t come in contact with too many animals while we’re rowing but we do come in contact with a lot of water that presumably many animals have urinated in (another reason to work on splashing…). When you’re rowing and water from backsplash gets on your hands, legs, etc. that bacteria can enter your system through any open track bites or blisters you might have. Leptospirosis is a two-phase disease that starts with flu-like symptoms (headache, chills, muscle soreness, etc.), jaundice, red eyes, etc. before appearing to resolve itself. There’s a brief period where the person displays no symptoms before the second phase begins. Once that happens you get knocked out with illnesses ranging from meningitis to kidney and liver disease to full on renal failure.

The great thing though is that all of these conditions are preventable by taking proper care of any open blisters, cuts, etc. you have. I hope this helps answer some of your questions on how to handle blisters. If you’ve got a foolproof method that you turn to in dealing with your blisters, please leave it in the comments!

SaintyCo Blister Packing Machine

SaintyCo Blister Packing Machine

SaintyCo Blister Packing Machines are the main workhorse in tablet, capsules, syringes, ampoules and vials blister packing processes. With dedicated automatic control systems and cGMP compliant designs, they are suitable for both low and high blister packaging.

Its main series of machines include: BP 120 Small Blister Packing Machine, BP 150 Alu Alu Blister Packing Machine, BP 180 Automatic Blister Packing Machine, BP 260 Tablet and Capsule Blister Packing Machine, ABC Blister Cartoning Line, CBC Capsule and Tablet Blister Cartoning Line and SBC Syringe Blister Cartoning Line.

As a premier blister packing machine manufacturer and supplier, SaintyCo has invested in thermoforming, cold-forming and tropic blister packing machines.

Helpful Resource About Blister Packing Machine

Blister Packaging Machine: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

Here is a list of FAQs that will help you understand everything about the blister packing machine.

In fact, they will help you choose a suitable blister packing machine.

Also, they will help you become an expert in the blister packaging process.

What is Blister Packaging Machine?

This is an electromechanical machine that has both moving and stationary parts that aid in sealing products in pre-formed cavities.

The mechanical movements facilitate the formation of cavities on web material, filling and sealing with appropriate materials.

The sealing materials can either be aluminum or film seal.

The blister packaging is commonly used for small consumers, food, and pharmaceutical products.

These machines use heat and pressure through a die to form a cavity or pocket from a sheet of plastic.

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What are the Benefits of Blister Pack?

There are many benefits to using this machine such as:

· It Maintains Product Integrity

Protection against adverse weather conditions is guaranteed through packaging material, and this increases its shelf life.

This protection is of a high standard because the products are isolated from moisture, humidity, light, and oxygen.

Even the writings on the package like manufacture and expiry date, the content of blister packaging, and instructions are durable.

· It is Tamper-Proof

This type of packaging protects tablets, capsules, and any other product from any form of contamination.

The products can only be reached after tearing the blister package

· Blister Packaging is Cost-effective in comparison to Plastic packaging

Using this packaging material does not require an alteration of many variables for it to be able to hold products.

It is also ideal for packaging complex products since it gets a high ROI.

· It makes Dose Accuracy Maintenance Easy

The fact that the tablets or capsules are in their packages, it’s easier to maintain dose accuracy.

Accidental overdose is therefore reduced.

The patients can use the blisters to helps them keep track of how they take their drugs.

· The Packaging Enhances Ease of Identification

The products packaged using blisters can be identified by their name, expiration date, and lot number.

These are written on the package.

What is Blister Packing Machines for Pharmacy used for?

There are many uses of blister packaging machines in pharmacies such as:

Blister packaging machine

i. They are used for preparing cavities from different web materials that are used for packaging products.

ii. The machine is used for packaging tablets and capsules from tablet press and filling machines.

Blister packaging tablets and capsules

iii. They help in sealing products like tablets, capsules, syringes, and ampoules to ensure they are tamper-proof.

Blister packaging syringes

iv. It prints the information that gives patients a clear mark of individual dose. This enables patients to follow the drug routine.

v. This type of packaging guarantees safe and convenient storage for products. It protects the products from moisture, oxygen, light, and any form of contamination.

vi. The printings on the package help in giving the product easy identification. You can easily realize whether it is a pack of tablets, capsules, ampoules, or syringes.

What is a Thermoforming Blister Packing Machine?

This is a small tabletop machine that is ideal for heating small cut sections of plastic sheets.

The sheet is then stretched over a mold using a vacuum process.

This type of technology is used for samples and prototype parts.

Blister packaging process

It is an automatic machine that can be used for all kinds of elevator card packaging.

Increased productivity, less manpower, saving on packaging materials, and storage space are the advantages of this machine.

This equipment has the following features:

  1. It has an operationally programmable PLC with a panel screen where all these machine actions are controlled from. It is, therefore, easy to operate.
  2. The machine operation happens in a sequence of forming a vacuum-gas flushing-sealing, and lastly, cutting of the blister packs.
  3. It has a quick change over for molds.
  4. The thermoforming blister packaging equipment protects products against decay, moisture, and dust—these help in increasing product integrity.

Is Pill Blister Packaging Machine different from normal Blister Packing Machine?

It is slightly different in the products it handles.

It is specifically used by pharmaceutical industries to package tablet pills.

The normal blister packaging machine can be used by chemical, food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical companies.

Also, the pill blister machine is small in size compared to the normal blister machine.

This is because it has been designed to be used in hospitals, laboratories, and middle to small factories.

It is easy to operate, has many functions, adjustable, and can last longer.

How does Manual Blister Packaging Machine compare to Fully Automatic Blister Packaging Machine?

Manual blister packaging machine uses human assistance to help package products.

Most of its operations require human support, without which it cannot perform.

On the other hand, an automatic blister packaging machine performs almost all its functions automatically.

This machine does not require any human effort to package products.

What are the Main Blister Packing Machine Parts?

The packaging process through this machine depends on the components of the machine.

This equipment has many parts, which are outlined below.

Parts of blister packaging machine

Touch Screen Operating Interface

This part helps in making the management of the machine easy for the packaging process.

It has different interface panels, but whichever the case may be, it is used to run the following tasks:

Touch screen panel

  • Tracking of production statistics and status.
  • Troubleshooting the equipment by looking at the instructions, which may include parts.
  • Keying in the correct specifications and parameters for efficient machine operation configurations.

· The Blister Pack Tooling System

This component comes in different designs and configurations because of the outlined reasons:

Blister pack tooling system

  • It’s used for thermoforming of blister packages.
  • The component is also used for the cold forming of blister packages.
  • Apart from these, it’s useful in continuous blister packages production.

This component is very crucial because it helps in determining the shapes of blister packages.

· The Aluminum Foil or PVC Feeding Roller

This part assists in pushing products to the platform so that they can go through blister packaging.

It’s continuously in the movement being synchronized by other machine parts.

The effective movement of this component uses a motor, and this is achieved by the following:

  • The human-machine interface is used to control its operation because it is automated.
  • This equipment poses a mechanism of continuous feeding.
  • There is an easy integration system that facilitates efficient packaging needs.
  • Many needs for feeding materials are also met by this component.

· Electric Motor

Electric motor system

This component facilitates the movement of all the moving parts of this machine.

The motion of the moving components is transmitted via belts, shafts, and gears.

It also controls the speed of all the moving parts so that they can fit blister packaging needs.

· Turning Rollers

This part of the machine helps in feeding the products into the machine. It does so by exerting tension on the materials.

It works with the help of the rolling system to feed products into the blister packaging system.

· The Heating Box

This is the first component that receives products from the feeding system.

It heats the product to a recommended temperature where it becomes ready for forming in the subsequent stage.

This component is composed of upper heating plate adjustment bolt, turning cycle, brace, forming die holder, and heating plate bracket.

· The Material Forming System

This component helps in forming cavities where the products will be loaded.

Eighteen different parts together produce the cavity shapes on the packaging materials.

Because packaging needs vary, it is possible to adjust all the material, forming system parts accordingly.

· Guide Rail

This component aids in guiding the products from one stage to another within the machine during the packaging process.

The equipment part has six very important parts, namely: Guide rail ide plate, integrated guide rail, Guide rail brace, turning roller, Adjusting handle, and Guide rail foot seat.

· Product Feeding System

This machine part helps in filling the cavities of the packaging material with the correct products.

Its speed of filling the cavities is influenced by the material feed rate.

It has a device that detects the empty cavities that are not filled by the feeding system.

· Heat Sealing System

While the process of blister packaging is continuing, the already filled cavities are sealed by this component.

The heat sealing system has seventeen parts.

These include the cam case and bearing seat, which facilitates the heat sealing mechanism.

· Sealing Material Feeder

It holds the materials used for sealing already product filled cavities.

This part rotates at a specific speed, which ushers the sealing materials to the guard rail.

It depends on The material forming feeder rotation speed, rate of forming technique, filling product cavities, and empty cavities’ inspection.

· Pressing Mechanism System

This part of the machine is ideal for pressing the sealing and form materials together.

This leads to the formation of a permanent seal.

· Winder for Waste Materials

This component winds the waste materials from forming materials and the sealing machine.

· Towing Mechanism

This part is useful in moving the sealed blister packages from one stage to the other.

This promotes efficient packaging and sealing process.

· Blanking Mechanism

This part aids in cutting the already processed blister package from the main material.

The size of this component is determined by the number of cavities on each set.

It’s in this part that indention can be included to print the batch numbers during the manufacturing process.

· Product Chute

The products are guided out of the blister packaging machine through this component.

It’s the product discharge point.

· Lubrication System

All the machine moving parts require greasing and oiling.

Therefore, this component is an automatic system that performs the oiling and greasing tasks to the equipment regularly.

What is Rotary Blister Packing Machine?

This is one of the most recent highly accurate blister packaging equipment used in pharmaceutical industries.

Rotary blister packaging machine

It is commonly used is packaging capsules, tablets, injections, syringes, and honey pills.

Apart from these, milk tablets, candy, and chocolate in the food industry are also packaged using this machine.

In addition to these, spare parts, households, drugstores, personal care, and toys are also packaged using this technology.

This machine operates at optimum speed, and it is one of the cost-effective options for packaging.

It can pack all free-flowing powder and granules, ranging from 2 to 100 grams.

Some of the advantages of using this machine include:

  • It is very convenient, user-friendly, and safe for pharmacists and patients.
  • The machine improves compliance, medication adherence, and efficiency of a pharmacy.
  • It helps in controlling the cost at hospitals, nursing homes, and ambulatory care.
  • The equipment helps in increasing patient knowledge of medication.
  • This machine operates at a high speed of 250 – blisters/ minute, which is controlled through an AC frequency drive.
  • When you use this machine, you save up to around 10% on lamination.
  • It’s a machine that is fully automated and very efficient.

What is Blister Packing Machine Working Principle?

The working principles of a blister packaging machine are the same regardless of whether it’s Alu Alu or PVC type.

To run this machine, switch it on so that the unwinding station can start moving together with other moving components.

There are two stations in this device.

Station 1 which supplies the forming materials for blister packs and station 2 that supplies the lidding materials.

The two stations will supply the materials at a corresponding speed.

The formed films will then move to the first stage of processing.

Heating Station

The temperature here is determined by the type of material being used for packaging.

The machine heats the form film until it becomes easy to form.

Both the lower and upper plates are used in the healing process to achieve uniform heating.

The temperature is set at 120 to 140 degrees Celsius for PVC material.

For polypropylene forming film, a setting of 140 to 150 degrees Celsius is recommended.

The materials will move to the next blister packaging process after arriving at the required temperature.

Cavity or Pocket-forming on the Films

The thermoforming blister packaging equipment uses die plates or compressed air to form desired cavities.

The machine then cools the films leaving a rigid cavity.

Cold forming uses stamping technique or punching pins to create cavities.

Cooling is not needed in this case since the heat was not used in cavity formation.

Below is the real working principle of a blister packaging machine.

Filling and Checking Empty Cavities

Here, the machine fills the cavities that have products and also check if there are empty cavities.

Blister Sealing Station

This is a very critical stage in this machine working principle.

This is because there has to be an accurate timing and coordination between the two stations.

When the forming films arrive at this point, the lidding materials should be ready to cover the cavities with products.

This should cover the entire surface before it moves to the sealing station heating system.

The equipment increases the sealing temperature to help exert a reasonable force that facilitates the tight sealing of products.

But the heat must not interfere with the product integrity.

Printing and Trimming of the Blister Packed Products

Before trimming is done, the products will move to the printing station so that the necessary information can be printed.

The information that should appear on the package is a manufacture and expiry dates, and batch number.

After printing, the blister packs will be pushed to the trimming station.

The blister packs are trimmed into individual units that will be discharged from the machine.

At this point, the unsealed blister packs will be automatically rejected by the machine.

Also, the scrap collector will roll the remaining forming film and lidding materials.

What is PVC Blister Packaging Machine?

It uses low-cost material that easily forms.

The lidding of cavity content is done using aluminum while the forming film is made from PVC.

The machine uses thermoforming technology to help in the forming of cavities.

This has the following advantages:

  • It’s a cheaper machine that uses the thermoforming process.
  • The machine can be used to make complex blister cavities, and this will depend on the tooling design.
  • The PVC is transparent, and therefore, blisters inspection is easy.
  • It uses the universal parts, and for this reason, it does not need any special designs.

However, this type of machine also has some disadvantages.

  • Lack of protection against moisture and oxygen.
  • Unsuitability for light-sensitive products because PVC is transparent.

Is Alu Alu Blister Packing Machine the same as Clamshell Blister Packaging Machine?

They are not the same.

They have different characteristics.

Alu Alu blister packing equipment is an equipment that uses the technique of cold forming.

It uses a stamping mechanism to form cavities.

Alu Alu blister packaging

On the other hand, clamshell blister packaging uses a thermoforming technique to form cavities.

Clamshell uses PVC, PETG, RPETG, and GAG PET materials to form cavities, while Alu Alu uses aluminum foil.

Aluminum foil is used as the lidding material for sealing the cavities in the alu alu machine.

On the other hand, clamshell uses plastic-to-plastic sealing, carded blisters, full face blisters, and foil, which are heat-sealable materials.

Alu Alu machine is recommended when you want to offer 100% moisture and light barrier.

It is also useful when you want to extend the product shelf life.

On the contrary, the clamshell blister packaging machine only offers a 100% moisture barrier, but not against the light.

Therefore shelf life is not prolonged for product packages through a clamshell machine.

Alu Alu production speed is relatively low compared to the machines that use PCV like a clamshell.

The inspection of products is costly because of the opaque nature of the blisters.

This requires an advanced machine which is very expensive.

On the other hand, clamshell machine products are easier to inspect since the PVC material used is transparent.

The material (aluminum) being used by Alu Alu blister packaging machine to form cavities is more expensive.

Clamshell blister packaging machine uses PVC material to form its cavities, and this is relatively cheaper.

What are the Features of the Hand Operated Blister Packing Machine?

Hand operated blister packaging machine has many features.

  • Steel body construction.
  • Good sealing and high-quality production.
  • It is easy to operate.
  • The manual machine poses a heat control system.

How does Strip Packing Machine and Blister Packing Machine compare?

Blister packaging vs strip packaging

These machines have some similarities and differences.

For example, they are both useful in packaging pharmaceutical products.

Strip packaging does not have cold and thermoforming cavities as the blister packaging machine does.

Strip packs are formed around strip packaged capsules or tables.

This is missing in blister packaging.

The production speed is relatively slow in the strip packaging machine as compared to the blister counterpart.

Branding can be made stronger by designing and printing individual packs in many different colors.

All the important product regulations and information are displayed well in both strip and blister packaging equipment.

The strip packaging machine is simple and small in size in comparison to the blister packaging machine.

Strip machine is composed of a feed mechanism that uses a vertical feed for a gravity drop.

Other parts include product insertion, heat sealing system, and trimming system.

All these parts also make up the main components of a blister packaging machine.

There is room for adding extra stages like printing, batch coding, and perforation into the stripping machine.

On the other hand, a blister packaging machine only allows the addition of printing and batch coding but not perforation.

Blister packaging machine

Strip packaging machine does not allow add to the seal width because pocket seals are theoretically 5 or more mm.

On the other hand, blister packaging allows addition to the seal width.

These two machines have the capability of filling many sizes of packs that have different solid dose products.

These may be capsules, tablets, powder, or liquids.

They are both available in semi and fully automatic machine types.

They are all useful in enhancing product safety, protects them from moisture and contamination, and boosts their shelf life.

Are there Disadvantages of Blister Packing Machine?

There are some disadvantages to this machine.

These are explained below.

The use of aluminum for the whole package makes the packaging process longer in comparison to when plastic is used.

This machine used foil backing, and the medicine can be pushed through the foil, although it is child-resistance.

The final process of attaching the seals to the filled cavity takes a relatively long time.

This calls for a high-quality machine that will not increase the packaging cost.

Not all drugs can be packaged using blisters.

This can confuse patients since un-blistered medicines may be difficult to determine the correct dose.

This may give rise to non-adherence issues by patients.

Even the nurses may find it difficult to administer drugs in a nursing home.

This is because they have to remember another drug distribution apart from tablets packed in blisters.

What are the main Configurations of Pharmaceutical Blister Packaging?

The pharmaceutical blister packaging machine has two main configurations.

One configuration has a constructed cavity, thermoformed plastic, and transparent plastic lids.

Its lid can also be made from combinations of paper, plastic, or foil.

The second configuration is made from foil as the main web component.

Its cavity is formed through cold stretching

Structure of blister pack

What is the difference between Thermoforming and Cold Forming in Blister Packing Machine Process?

There are some differences between the two types of techniques of blister forming.

Before inserting the PVC into the blister machine, it has to be heated in between the lower and upper plates.

The process of heating makes the PVC soft.

Thereafter, you can apply pressure on it to form any type of mold or shape.

When the mold becomes difficult to form, you can apply more pressure for molding or use a mechanical stamp.

Cold forming, on the other hand, does not require heating to form cavities.

Laminate aluminum foil is used through a stamping technique that forces its way to form cavities.

When the stamp is removed, the aluminum base stretches and retains the desired cavity shape that was formed.

Where can you use Blister Packaging Machinery?

The machine can be used in many industries.

For instance, it can be used in Pharmaceutical industries for packaging of ampoules, syringes, capsules, and tablets.

It can also be found worthy of food and processing companies.

They can be used to pack foods like candy, spices, and milk, among others.

Apart from these, blister pack machine can be relevant in chemical industries.

It can be used for packaging fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and other hazardous chemicals.

Cosmetic industries are not left out either.

They use this machine for packaging their products like foundation, creams, gels, lotions, and powders.

What are the Considerations when Choosing Lidding Material for Blister Packaging?

Lidding in blister

The choice of lidding materials is very critical because it helps in protecting the products from contamination.

It is the main base that forms the final blister package.

The selection should be influenced by the size, shape, weight, and style of the package you desire to produce.

Other critical factors may also include the following:

  • The lidding material must be compatible with the heat sealing and coating process.
  • The material must enhance printing when the clay coating is added.
  • The material for lidding should be able to use heat sealing, and it should also be printable.

Why do you need a De-blistering Machine?

There is one reason why we need a de-blistering machine.

To remove products from blister packages.

When a machine has rejected some blisters, this machine can be used to de-blister the products for re-packaging purposes.

This machine is a small, sturdy, durable, and portable equipment that is useful in de-blistering any blister packages.

Removing tablets from blisters

How does De-blistering Machine Work?

To use the de-blistering machine, load the blister packs with products into the product feeding system manually.

If it’s an automated machine, it will automatically feed the packs with blister products.

Position the blister packs so that the machine pushes the products out effectively.

The packs are then rotated, clamped, and tooling is used to carefully cut the edge of lidding material.

Finally, remove the products from the blister packs by gently pressing out the product into a removable collection bin.

The waste bin will also collect the empty blister packs after they have been emptied.

What determines the Sealing Temperature of Blister Packaging Machinery?

The temperature of sealing in a blister packaging machine is dependent on the material you intend to use.

For example, the sealing temperature of equipment is rated according to material temperature requirements.

Even if the sealing temperature is pre-determined by the manufacturer, it can still be controlled from the machine control panel.

What is PVC/Al Blister Packing Machine?

This is a blister packaging machine that uses PVC formed films and aluminum as its lidding material.

It relies on thermoforming technology to create cavities in plastic film materials.

It functions as explained below:

    • The PVC is passed through the upper and lower plate during the heating process.
    • It then forms film materials to the desired shape.
    • The material cools to make the rigid plastic cavities.
    • This machine fills cavities with the correct quantity of material.
    • Lastly, it seals the cavities filled with products using aluminum foil.
    • The fully processed blister is trimmed and discharged from the machine for further packaging into cartons.

The PVC/AL blister packaging machine has the following advantages:

    • It utilizes a low-cost thermoforming process.
    • It is easy to produce complex blister cavities since this depends on the tooling design.
    • Inspecting the packs is easy since the blisters are transparent, and any damaged products can be seen and rejected immediately.
    • This machine does not need any special feeder, unlike others that require universal feeders like circular brushes.

However, some shortcomings have been experienced by this machine users.

    • The PVC is used for forming cavities does not adequately protect the product from oxygen and moisture.
    • Due to PVC transparent nature, it is not ideal for products that are sensitive to light.

What is Alu-PVC-Alu Blister Packing Machine?

This is also known as tropical blister packaging equipment.

It is a unique machine since it uses extra aluminum forming and sealing.

It is also called thermo-cold forming.

The PVC Alu thermoforming blister packaging is formed, and the filled cavities are again sealed using tropical aluminum.

Below are some of the merits of this machine:

  • It is easy to operate, and it is cost-effective since it can adopt the use of a universal feeder system.
  • Inspecting products is easy because PVC/AL is transparent.
  • The products packaged using this machine are completely protected from oxygen and water. There is also a guarantee of extra product protection and long shelf life.

However, this machine has some demerits.

  • An extra aluminum film being used increases the cost of production.
  • This machine size has to be bigger because of the extra forming and sealing station it has. This requires a larger space for installation, and this is expensive.

How can you Troubleshoot Blister Packaging Machine?

There are many problems that you can identify when you troubleshoot this machine.

These challenges are discussed below.

Blister packaging machine

Material Thickness Variation

This challenge may interfere with the uniform forming of the material around the product, and this may compromise product integrity.

The thickness variation may be caused by material quality.

This can be resolved by sorting out materials that have uniform thickness and ensure the machine is programmed correctly.

The choice of lidding materials is very critical because it helps in protecting the products from contamination.

It is the main base that forms the final blister package.

The selection should be influenced by the size, shape, weight, and style of the package you desire to produce.

Other critical factors may also include the following:

  • The lidding material must be compatible with the heat sealing and coating process.
  • The material must enhance printing when the clay coating is added.
  • The material for lidding should be able to use heat sealing, and it should also be printable.

What should you Consider when Evaluating Blister Packaging Equipment?

It is important to pay attention to the following key aspects:

Automatic blister packing machine

i. The Design Features for the Machine

This should promote the productivity of the machine by allowing flexibility in the process of production.

This equipment should guarantee simple and easy running and easy and quick part changeover according to product needs.

A flexible machine can allow both thermoforming and cold forming.

This means that PVC/ALU and Alu/Alu can use it without making major changes in the system of production.

ii. The Automatic System of Blister Packaging Machine

This is ideal for large scale blister packaging.

It will automatically feed materials, form blister cavities, fill seal, and print the blister packs.

This type of machine has a PLC control panel where all operations are controlled from.

Products like ampoules may have ABB or YAMAHA robot feeding system.

These robots ensure the blister packages process is seamless.

Apart from this, the machine poses sensors that detect a seamless production process.

For example, it has a camera, an empty blister cavity, and temperature and motion detection sensors.

These sensors enhance efficiency and consistency in the blister packaging process.

iii. The Drive System

This is a very critical feature because the process depends on the mechanical motion of the movable components.

A good drive mechanism in this machine is a feature worth considering.

The machine should have different frequency step-less speed regulation and servo traction.

These will allow speed adjustment and system synchronization so that it can operate smoothly.

The machine must be able to form blisters, fill products, seal and trim the blister packs.

Why is Blister Pack Considered a Primary Packaging?

This is because it is the first material that covers the product and helps in holding them together.

What are the Components of the Pharmaceutical Blister Packaging Process?

There are four main components of this process.

  • The forming film is between 80 to 85 percent of the blister package.
  • The material for lidding, which accounts for approximately 15-20 % of the total packages weight.
  • The heat sealing coating
  • Printing ink for printing information on the blister packs.

Which Safety Precautions should you Consider when Operating Blister Packaging Machine?

When operating this machine, safety for a technician and the machine is very important.

Do not touch heating, sealing, and slitting stations since they are very hot and can cause burning.

Heating system for blister packaging

Ensure you keep your hand off the cutting station because it can cause serious injury to you.

Make sure you don’t touch moving parts like forming, sealing, and slitting stations.

The equipment should have safety interlock doors that prevent the technician from accessing the product processing area.

This is because some products may be harmful, and access to that area may lead to product contamination.

All electric devices in the machine must not be touched since they can cause shock or burns.

Do not touch the automatic cartooning machine because this can result in serious injury.

All motor mechanisms must have lockable doors.

This will reduce any possible injuries that may occur during the blister packaging process.

Also, this machine should have an alarm system.

In addition to these, it should provide easy access to the stop button in-case there is an emergency.

How do you Select Forming Film in Blister Packaging Process?

To select forming film in the blister packaging process, the following are some of the factors you should consider.

Forming film on blister packing machine

  • The weight and height of the product.
  • Nature of the final product edge, whether it is sharp or pointed
  • The resistance to impact.
  • The aging, migration, and film cost.
  • The plastic material has to be compatible with the product, which could be tablets, capsules, ampoules, etc.

It should have heat sealing properties, ease of cutting, and trimming formed blisters.

Which Types of Forming Film can you use for Blister Packing Machines for Pharmacy?

There are two types of forming a film that can be used.

These include thermoforming film and cold forming film.

Thermoforming films are made from PVC, PCTFE, Polyvinylidene, Polystyrene, and cyclic olefin copolymers. On the other hand, the cold forming film is made from aluminum foil.

What is Heat Seal Coating in Blister Packaging Equipment?

This is a media that creates a bond between the plastic blister and printed lidding material.

It is one of the essential components in the blister packaging machine.

It’s a very critical determinant for blister pack appearance and physical quality.

What are the Best Printing Inks in Blister Packing Process?

The best printing inks in this machine process should have the following characteristics.

  • It must be able to resist the heat sealing temperature of up to 300 degrees Celsius without developing any discoloration.
  • The ink must not suffer abrasion, bending, or fading and should not contaminate the product.
  • This ink should also be made in compliance with FDA recommendations.

What is Blister Pack Forming?

This is the process of pre-heating plastic material to form a cavity that is used for blister packaging.

For example, in cold forming, stamping is used to form the cavities.

The formation of blisters requires the right machine, electric connection, blister materials, and a technician that operates the equipment.

They are formed to package small consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, and food products.

What is Blister Pack Heat Sealer?

This is a device that uses heat to seal blister packs.

Thermoformed cavities are sealed using a lidding plastic material by applying heat and air pressure to seal it tightly.

The machine is very important because it perfectly seals the filled cavities.

It helps in preventing any form of contamination to the products.

Even blister packed hazardous chemicals cannot cause harm to the machine technician since the sealing is tight.

With this information, am sure you can definitely choose a suitable blister packing machine.

It should be based on clear understanding of the working principle and performance characteristics of the blister packaging equipment.

Home Remedies for Burns

Whether you burn your hand on a pan of cookies, spend too much time in the sun, or spill hot coffee on your lap, burns are certainly not pleasant. Unfortunately, burns are one of the most common household injuries.

Burns are categorized by their severity. A first-degree burn is considered the least severe because it only affects the outer layer of skin. It usually only causes mild pain, redness, and swelling.

Second-degree burns affect deeper layers of the skin and cause blisters and white, wet, and shiny skin.

Third-degree burns involve damage to all layers of the skin, while fourth-degree burns may involve the joints and bones. Third- and fourth-degree burns are considered medical emergencies and should only be treated in a hospital.

You can treat most first-degree burns and second-degree burns less than 3 inches in diameter at home. Read on to learn which remedies are best for healing your skin, and also which remedies should be avoided.

Mild burns typically take around a week or two to completely heal and usually don’t cause scarring. The goal of burn treatment is to reduce pain, prevent infections, and heal the skin faster.

1. Cool water

The first thing you should do when you get a minor burn is run cool (not cold) water over the burn area for about 20 minutes. Then wash the burned area with mild soap and water.

2. Cool compresses

A cool compress or clean wet cloth placed over the burn area helps relieve pain and swelling. You can apply the compress in 5- to 15-minute intervals. Try not to use excessively cold compresses because they may irritate the burn more.

3. Antibiotic ointments

Antibiotic ointments and creams help prevent infections. Apply an antibacterial ointment like Bacitracin or Neosporin to your burn and cover with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth.

4. Aloe vera

Aloe vera is often touted as the “burn plant.” Studies show evidence that aloe vera is effective in healing first- to second-degree burns. Aloe is anti-inflammatory, promotes circulation, and inhibits the growth of bacteria.

Apply a layer of pure aloe vera gel taken from the leaf of an aloe vera plant directly to the affected area. If you buy aloe vera in a store, make sure it contains a high percentage of aloe vera. Avoid products that have additives, especially coloring and perfumes.

5. Honey

Honey just got sweeter. Apart from its delicious taste, honey may help heal a minor burn when applied topically. Honey is an anti-inflammatory and naturally antibacterial and antifungal.

6. Reducing sun exposure

Do your best to avoid exposing the burn to direct sunlight. The burned skin will be very sensitive to the sun. Keep it covered with clothing.

7. Don’t pop your blisters

As tempting as it may be, leave your blisters alone. Bursting a blister yourself can lead to infection. If you’re worried about blisters that have formed due to your burn, see a medical professional.

8. Take an OTC pain reliever

If you have pain, take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen (Aleve). Be sure to read the label for the correct dosage.

Bizarre home remedies and old wives’ tales for treating burns are widespread, but not everything your grandma tells you to do is good for you. The following common home burn remedies should be avoided:

1. Butter

Don’t use butter on a burn. There’s little to no evidence supporting the effectiveness of butter as a burn remedy. On top of that, it may actually make your burn worse. Butter retains heat and also may be harboring harmful bacteria that can infect the burned skin.

Save your butter for your bread.

2. Oils

Contrary to popular belief, coconut oil doesn’t heal everything. For the same reason why you shouldn’t apply butter to your burns, oils, such as coconut oil, olive oil, and cooking oils, hold heat in and can even cause the skin to continue to burn.

Lavender oil is reported to help heal burns, but there’s little published evidence to support this claim. Studies conducted in rats, for example, haven’t shown any benefit of using lavender oil to heal a burn.

3. Egg whites

Another folktale, uncooked egg whites carry a risk of bacterial infection and shouldn’t be placed on a burn. Eggs can also cause an allergic reaction.

4. Toothpaste

Never apply toothpaste to a burn. This is another folktale with no evidence to back it up. Toothpaste could irritate the burn and create a more favorable environment for infection. Plus, it isn’t sterile.

5. Ice

Ice and very cold water can actually irritate your burn area more. Ice may even cause a cold burn if used improperly.

It’s important to recognize when a burn can be treated at home and when you need to seek medical care. You should seek help from a doctor if:

  • a burn affects a widespread area more than 3 inches in diameter
  • the burn includes the face, hands, buttocks, or groin area
  • the wound becomes painful or smelly
  • you develop a high temperature
  • you think you have a third-degree burn
  • if your last tetanus shot was more than 5 years ago

Third-degree burns should never be treated at home. They carry the risk of serious complications, including infections, blood loss, and shock.

Often referred to as a “full-thickness burn,” a third-degree burn reaches underlying tissues and can even damage the nerves.

Symptoms of third-degree burn include:

  • waxy, white-colored skin
  • char
  • dark brown color
  • raised and leathery texture

Burns caused by an electrical shock are also too risky for home treatment. These burns often reach layers under the skin and can even cause damage to internal tissues. The internal damage may be worse than you expect. Don’t take your chances. Call 911 right away.

Tips to Prevent and Treat Blisters for Hikers, Bikers, and Runners

Anyone who exercises frequently knows foot blisters are an uncomfortable and unfortunate part of being active. If you bike, run, or even hike, you know a blister can literally stop you in your tracks. But thankfully, a blister doesn’t mean the end of your fun. Thinking ahead can help prevent blisters and it’s important to know how to treat them. Start with these tips.

You have a blister, now what?

Stop and adjust

When you get a blister it’s important to stop whatever activity you’re participating in and decide how to treat it. Powering through the pain can make your blister pop or even become infected. Readjusting your footwear can help prevent your blister from becoming larger. Straighten out bunched socks. Change your socks for a dry pair if they’re sweaty or wet, and change your shoes if they’re causing you discomfort.

Use padding

Blister pads, bandages, or moleskin are all great options for preventing blisters. Padding can also protect existing blisters. Keep in mind that not all pads stay in place effectively. You may need to try several options before finding one that works for you.

To pop or not to pop?

The best scenario for treating a blister is to keep it intact. Popping can increase the opportunity for infections to form. Most blisters will heal themselves if you give them a few days. If you have a large blister that’s affecting your walking, it might be better to pop it. Follow these steps to safely pop a blister:

  • Check for signs of infection (pus that’s green or yellow in color and swelling). If the blister is infected you should contact your doctor.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, then clean the blister with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.
  • Sterilize a needle with rubbing alcohol.
  • Locate the blister’s edge and poke it with the needle in several places. Use clean gauze to soak up the fluid that comes out.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment over the blister and cover with gauze and tape or a bandage.
  • After several days you can cut away the dead skin and apply more ointment, then bandage again until healed.
  • Throughout this process, keep your blister clean. This will prevent infection.

Tips for preventing blisters

If you’re active and tend to get blisters often, here are tips to help prevent new blisters from forming.

  • Wear better shoes.Shoes are often the culprit when it comes to blisters forming on your feet. Avoid shoes that rub certain areas of your feet or that cramp or squeeze your feet. The right shoe can make all the difference. New shoes may give you a blister the first few times you wear them. Take it slow and easy as you break in a new pair of shoes.
  • Wear better socks. Choose non-cotton socks that wick away moisture. If you know you’ll be doing blister-inducing activities, double up your socks. One layer will soak up moisture and the other layer will give extra padding. Double-layer socks are more expensive but may help you avoid blisters. If you’re in for a long run or hike, change your socks partially through, or whenever they become moist. Good socks can be expensive, but they’re worth the cost if they keeps you from getting blisters.
  • Lubricate your feet before you exercise. Friction causes blisters, so it stands to reason that reducing friction can help reduce blisters. Rub petroleum jelly or other lubricants designed for runners on problem spots on your feet. That way your feet will slide around rather than rub.
  • Keep the calluses. It’s tempting to shave off or pumice down unsightly calluses, but they help protect your feet.
  • Keep your feet dry. Other than changing your socks regularly, you can add corn starch or talcum powder to your shoes and socks to help wick up moisture. If you’re going a long distance, take a minute to add more powder partially through your event.
  • Cover areas that are prone to blister. Just like you’d cover up a blister after it formed, you’ll want to pad areas that are prone to blistering. The extra layer of protection helps to prevent a blister from forming.
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