It's Showtime! - Pharmaceutical Technology

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PharmTech Europe

It's Showtime!
Visitors to INTERPHEX 2010 will find an abundance of packaging innovations. Plus: Check out our preliminary program for LIVE video interviews at the show.

Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 34, Issue 3, pp. 40-44

Quality control

A document-comparison system ensures the accuracy of printed materials including labels, inserts, packaging, and manuals. To ensure error-free performance, the system reads PDF files and compares the underlying data of each character rather than its shape or appearance. Discrepancies are highlighted and listed in the same order that errors would be spotted by a human reader (Quantum Compare document comparison system, Complete Inspection Systems, Indialantic, FL).

A metal-detection system seamlessly transfers open and closed bottles into the unit to provide 100% inspection for metal contamination. If any contaminants are found, an automatic diverter performs a soft reject (Insight PH metal detector, Lock Inspection Systems, Fitchburg, MA).

Another high-speed metal detector checks tablets and capsules as they are discharged from the molding press. An operator interface with a Windows-style, color touch-screen makes the system easy to run, while sophisticated software delivers the sensitivity necessary to locate the tiniest fragments of difficult-to-detect nonmagnetic stainless steel. Advanced condition-monitoring technology in the controller provides early warning of maintenance needs and prevents unscheduled downtime. Other features include robust, low-profile casters and three-axis head adjustment (Tablex 2 metal detector with a PowerPhasePRO operator interface, Mettler-Toledo Safeline, Tampa, FL).

Research shows that vacuum-decay leak testing detects the slightest amount of vapor and gas release and is a suitable way to confirm the integrity of syringes, vials, and ampuls. According to two studies, the vacuum-decay unit identified all defects ≥ 5.0 μm with no false positives or negatives (1, 2). The researchers concluded that the vacuum-decay device not only provides quantitative results that are not subject to human interpretation, but also can be incorporated into protocols at any point in the handling process because it is nondestructive, noninvasive, and requires no sample preparation (VeriPac 325/LV, PTI-Packaging Technologies and Inspection, Tuckahoe, NY).

A four-camera system inspects various colors of full or empty plastic or glass bottles. Compatible with container sizes as large as 1.5 L, the system operates at line speeds as high as 400 bottles/min. The four cameras eliminate the need to orient the container for label inspection. Eliminating container orientation reduces space requirements and cost while increasing throughput (360 Full View bottle inspection system, Mettler-Toledo CI-Vision, Aurora, IL).

Conference sessions

Interphex is accompanied by a full conference schedule. Packaging-related sessions include the following:

  • Integrity Testing of Single-Use Bags by Helium Method. Speaker: Alex Terentiev, US director of research and development, ATMI Life Sciences (Lexington, KY)
  • Reduce Waste and Improve Sustainability through Prevention, Early Detection, and Reprocessing. Speaker: Alan Shuhaibar, president, BellatRx (Pointe-Claire, Canada)
  • Green Solutions for Temperature-Controlled Shipping. Speakers: Elizabeth M. Steiner, executive director, Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers (Crofton, MD), and Al Valkema, national industrial accounts director, Sebright Products (Hopkins, MI).
  • What, Where, When, and How to Use Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology in the Pharma Supply Chain: Identifying the Real Business Value. Speaker: Anthony Palermo, director of business development, Academia RFID (Montreal)
  • Worldwide Pharmaceutical Package Traceability. Speaker: Ron Lawson, president, Seidenader Vision (Florham Park, NJ);
  • Attacking the Cold-Chain Challenge. Speaker: Chad Wachter, business-operations manager, GlaxoSmithKline (Research Triangle Park, NC)
  • Securely Implementing RFID in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain. Speakers: members of the RFID Security Alliance (Sausalito, CA).

Hallie Forcinio is Pharmaceutical Technology's Packaging Forum editor, 4708 morningside Drive, Cleveland, OH 44109, tel. 216.351.5824, fax 216.351.5684,


1. H. Wolf et al., J. Pharm. Sci. Technol. 63 (5), 472–488 (2009).

2. H. Wolf et al., J. Pharm. Sci. Technol. 63 (5), 489–498 (2009).


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