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Product Inspection Equipment at Contract Pharmacal
Category: Product Quality | Product Inspection Systems | 09/08/2012 - 04:12:16
Premium pharmaceuticals developer, producer and packager, Contract Pharmacal have reassessed their product inspection systems. The company evaluated their product range and their requirement for the highest levels of precision against the range of technologies available, and settled on X-ray as the best solution.
Product Inspection Equipment
Contract Pharmacal selected Mettler Toledo's Safeline and Hi-Speed systems. The corporation handles all stages of development, production and packaging of OTC drugs, premium pharmaceuticals and diet supplements for major brand names including GSK and the BAYER Group, and large retailers including CVS and Walgreens. To guarantee the maximum quality of products, the company have recently added seven XE2 checkweighers from Mettler-Toledo Hi-Speed and five SmartChek x-ray inspection system to their product lines.
Contract Pharmacal Corporation's CEO, Matt Wolf, commented: "Last year, we decided we wanted metal detection on every packaging line but five of our lines package product in a foil-laminated film, which disrupts traditional metal detectors. We decided to look at x-ray systems for those lines and considered technology from three different suppliers. We considered the accuracy of the systems - that was our most important criteria. We also looked at the durability of the equipment, the price and the reputation of the supplier."
He added, "In addition to searching for the best technology at a competitive price, we look for suppliers that will lend their expertise to help us implement the best practices in use in the industry today. Mettler-Toledo Safeline and Mettler-Toledo Hi-Speed have both delivered. And our sales rep, Harold Zeltner at Reliant Packaging, added to the mix by contributing his expertise."
SmartChek X-Ray Inspection System
Mettler Toledo's SmartChek x-ray inspection system uses a low-powered x-ray generator, and Mettler Toledo's patented image and data analysis software to detect objects with a dissimilar density to the product. The inspection systems can identify a range of contaminants including glass, metal, plastic, and many other materials, automatically taking contaminated goods from the production line.
Wolf explained: "Technically, we haven't needed the x-ray systems because we haven't had any problems with contamination, but it gives us the assurance we need that such an event, if it were to occur, will be caught before it leaves our plant. We test each of our x-ray systems several times every day to be sure they are performing as promised. Since we installed them one year ago, we haven't had any problems with accuracy or reliability. We've had zero downtime associated with our x-ray systems and we're operating three shifts per day, five days per week."
Contract Pharmacal Corporation manufactures over four billion softgels, two-part hard shells and tablets together with powdered products on an annual basis across their three manufacturing plants and one packaging plant. The company have roughly 300 active products and as a rule, each line changes over once per day.
Reflecting on these changeovers, Wolf remarks: "Changing over the x-ray systems is fast and accurate. We use pre-programmed settings for each product we run. The operator simply enters the product code into the color touchscreen control panel and the accept/reject thresholds for that specific product are defined, almost on the fly. Then, to add a layer of assurance, our quality control group checks each system throughout the run. The x-ray systems have three levels of password-protected access, so we're sure that an operator isn't changing the sensitivity of the systems. It's added security."
Along with the SmartChek machines, the company introduced seven Mettler Toledo Hi-Speed XE2 checkweighers. The checkweigher was chosen as it offered the accuracy required at a great price. The system is accurate to ±100mg so Contract Pharmacal can detect a package with a single missing tablet, and take it out of the production line.
Wolf concludes: "With the x-ray systems and the checkweighers, our measure of success is based on the accuracy of inspection sensitivity and reliability in terms of equipment durability and dependability. We're very happy with both the x-ray systems and the checkweighers. More importantly, our customers are happy with the results. We believe that producing products for the public is an important responsibility. With our Safeline x-ray systems and our Hi-Speed checkweighers, we know that we're using the best technology to assure the quality and safety of our products."