Even Packaging Can Multitask - Pharmaceutical Technology

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PharmTech Europe

Even Packaging Can Multitask
Interphex attendees found packaging machines and containers with increased functionality. This article contains online bonus material.


Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 6, Issue 34, pp. 34-36


The InspeCaps 150 single-file vision system inspects opaque, transparent, or translucent capsules when full or empty. (PHOTO IS COURTESY OF PRODITEC.)
For solid dosage forms, a patented arrangement of mirrors and three cameras captures images that are combined to show the entire surface of the capsule, including each end. As a result, the vision system detects surface flaws and nonconforming colors, confirms the presence of the tamper-evident sealing band, and verifies print quality without rotating the capsule. Three plug-and-play change parts make it possible to inspect capsule sizes from #00 to #5. Changeover is toolless and takes less than an hour. Capable of handling 2000 capsules/min, two systems are already installed—one in India and one in Taiwan (Proditec InspeCaps 150, Symetix, Walla Walla, WA).

Another camera-based system provides similar inspection capabilities on slat fillers. Each camera in the multicamera system checks a 4-in area for broken, missing, and different color tablets at a speed of 7 slats/s, which is equivalent to 400 150-count bottles/min. The turnkey vision system includes lighting and brackets (Slat Counter Inspector, Optel Vision, Quebec, Canada).

Robotic positioning with a multicamera vision system automates inspection of liquid products in ampuls, vials, cartridges, or syringes and lyophilized product in vials ranging in size from 8 to 80 mm in diameter and as tall as 200 mm. The robot picks up and rotates the liquid-filled container to check for particulates and fill level. It inspects the cake surface of lyophilized products. Optional checks include surface defects, stopper presence, aluminum-cap centering and crimping, and needle-shield condition (Mario inspection system, Dabrico, Bourbonnais, IL)

For text and labeling inspection, an upgraded vision system centralizes management in a client–server configuration to simplify global deployment and reduce information-technology costs. The Windows-based system can compare one master with multiple samples or multiple masters with multiple samples at faster scanning and inspection speeds than its predecessors. A click of the mouse groups errors for review (Docu-Proof Enterprise Client-Server Text Inspector, Global Vision, Montreal).

A multipage proofreading system enables batch processing of booklets, instruction manuals, and other documents to reduce proofreading time from weeks to days or minutes. Compensating for magnification differences, distortion, and ink bleed-through, the system can compare two digital files (i.e., PDFs), a digital file and a scanned document, or two scanned documents and check all aspects, including text characters, graphics, charts, and photos. Pages of different sizes may be scanned through a double-sided autofeed scanner.

After the scan is completed, an operator reviews discrepancies the machine flags, accepts or rejects them, and may add comments about them. Review sessions can be saved, closed, and reopened as needed. A rework folder stores information about major problems like out-of-order pages. The system includes a high-quality, autofeed color scanner, software, software license and warranty, 20-in. liquid-crystal display monitor, and personal computer with Windows, Microsoft Office, and Adobe Acrobat software, plus on-site installation and training. A validation package may be purchased as an option (Avia Infinity Multi-Page proofreading system, Mnemonics, Mount Laurel, NJ).


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