The contract packer in this instance produced and packaged unique and expensive dual-step dissolution tablets. With this specific medication, a dosage error could cause serious health risks; in this and all situations, proper and clear identification of the unit dosage is a very important quality factor.
The safest solution to ensure the identification quality of the product is to perform a 100 percent electronic inspection. The other option would be to use extensive human inspection, which is costly and not as reliable.
Optel Vision (www.optelvision.com), Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, had already provided a special off-line inspection station to measure tablet size and coating. The Optel Vision Bottle & Carton Inspection station also was installed on the packaging lines. So Optel was chosen for the unit-dosing project.
The existing Dual Lane Hartnett Tablet Printer machine was sent to Optel Vision’s facility for the integration of cameras, and for the design of a special ejection station capable of ejecting unique tablets at a rate of 2,000 tablets per minute.
The ejection was crucial, due to the high speed and specific requirements, so as not to break the tablets. After testing three different ejection set-ups, Optel Vision mechanical engineers selected an air-jet system that ejected the tablets from their cavities and directed them into a smooth, curved bin.
Return on the investment for the project was within six months, thanks to eliminating need for three to four inspectors, reduction of waste during set-up and reduced downtime due to continuous monitoring.