Garvey Automatic Vial Dryer Keeps Vaccines Effective by Reducing Time Out of the Cold Chain

May 23, 2019 | Equipment, Pharmaceutical, Vial Drying

Unique system slashes vial drying times from 24-48 hours down to 5-15 minutes, helping pharmaceutical manufacturers maintain the cold chain during labeling and inspection


The recent measles outbreaks have highlighted the importance of vaccination in protecting public health. In the United States alone, childhood immunizations are credited with preventing 20 million illnesses and more than 40,000 deaths per birth cohort. Worldwide, vaccines are estimated to prevent almost 6 million deaths every year.

For vaccines to do this essential work, they must retain their effectiveness. This requires vaccines to be kept at the proper temperature from the time they’re manufactured to the time they’re administered. Time spent out of the cold chain causes vaccines to lose potency — a process that’s permanent, irreversible, and all too common. A CDC study found that 23% of vaccination errors reported between 2003 and 2013 were due to storage errors or administering expired vaccines.

In their efforts to improve the cold chain, pharmaceutical manufacturers have largely focused on storage and shipment. However, there’s a period during the packaging process when vaccines are routinely out of the cold chain for up to 2 days.

In a typical process, vaccines are manufactured and then stored in a refrigerator or freezer. When the vials are ready to be shipped, they’re taken out of the cold chain for inspection and labeling. Just like with a cold beverage on a hot day, when the cold vials are brought to room temperature, condensation forms. This makes visual inspection difficult and interferes with label adhesion.

In most facilities, the current solution is to place the vials in a conditioning room for 24 to 48 hours to allow the condensation to dissipate. Unfortunately, this amount of time out of the cold chain can make the difference between a vaccine that works and one that doesn’t.

To solve this problem and keep vaccines effective, Garvey developed an Automatic Vial Dryer that can reduce drying time to as little as 5 minutes. Using Garvey’s patented pressureless loop technology with a high-volume laminar flow accumulator, the system can dry liquid-filled or lyophilized vials up to 100 ml and single-file them into a labeler or inspection machine at a rate up to 900 vials per minute with no vial damage or breakage.

“The goal is to get the vaccines out of refrigeration, inspected and labeled, and back into refrigeration as quickly as possible,” says Thomas Garvey, President of Garvey Corporation. “Thanks to our pressureless loop technology, our vial drying system is the only one on the market that’s capable of providing the high throughput required without compromising the vials’ structural integrity. This solution is already making a significant difference in pharmaceutical manufacturers’ ability to supply effective vaccines to doctors and medical clinics around the world.”

Garvey’s Automatic Vial Dryer is currently being used by some of the world’s top vaccine manufacturers. To learn more, visit the Garvey website or watch the Automatic Vial Dryer in action on YouTube.

About Garvey

For nearly 100 years, Garvey Corporation has been a leader in producing conveying, accumulating, and automation solutions for the pharmaceutical industry that can help increase throughput by up to 30%. Garvey’s line of solutions includes cutting-edge accumulation tables, rotary tables, conveyors, and more essentials to make your production lines more efficient. Visit Garvey online or follow the company on social media: FacebookTwitterYouTubeLinkedIn.