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PharmTech's monthly newsletter, Equipment & Processing Report, reviews the Editor's Picks for the August 2009 edition from AEC and Sensor Products.
Controller enables flexible material handling
The 10/80 unit is the latest addition to AEC’s (Schaumburg, IL) VacTrac series of conveying-control equipment. The device allows operators to control 10 vacuum conveying pumps, 80 loading stations, and 80 purge valves. The 10/80 facilitates manifold sharing, which reduces the need for tubing and purge valves. The device can stage and sequence six vacuum pumps per manifold line.
Each loading station can be assigned to any of the pumps connected to the same manifold. If several loaders on the manifold need material simultaneously from different pumps, the controller’s manifold-sharing function stages the pumps so that they can use the same manifold.
The 10/80 machine’s controller includes a touch-screen operator interface. The setup screen allows users to name loading stations, pumps, purge valves, and material sources. This feature enables personnel to track what material is in each hopper and where it is located.
Sensor film enhances packaging operations
Sensor Products (Madison, NJ) has introduced its Pressurex pressure-indicating sensor film, which can help validate and calibrate sealing-die pressure during pharmaceutical packaging operations. The product is a thin film containing microcapsulated color-forming material. When pressure is applied to the film, a red color impression is formed, the intensity of which depends on the amount and distribution of pressure. Operators can consult a color calibration chart to determine whether the appropriate pressure was applied and whether it was applied evenly.
Manufacturers can use the Pressurex film to test packaging machines during installation or maintenance. Films can be kept on file as records of proper equipment calibration. The flexible film can be cut to various sizes and shapes and is available in rolls and by the foot. The product is available in pressure ranges from 2 to 43,000 psi.