More safety. Better health

Flexible and reliable inspection systems for medical and pharmaceutical production processes

When manufacturing pharmaceutical products, even the smallest contaminations and defects can result in fatal consequences for the health of patients. That is why these industries are subject to the most stringent quality requirements and to strict statutory regulations. VINSPEC HEALTHCARE visual inspection systems offer a wide range of solutions for seamless quality control and reliable patient care.

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  • Efficient inspection of vials

     

    Vials are among the most frequently used primary packaging materials in the pharmaceutical industry. To ensure that injection vials are filled and sealed reliably, numerous inspection tasks are required. VINSPEC HEALTHCARE’s optical systems use inline inspection in each process step to detect the smallest defects and immediately sort out vials with flaws. This automated inspection process also includes the reading of 1D and 2D codes and lettering using optical character recognition (OCR).

  • The challenges of inspecting IV bags

     

    The inspection of IV bags is particularly challenging because of their irregular shape and also because the large imprinted areas make it difficult to recognize printed text, codes, and logos. VITRONIC has developed multistage inspection methods that reliably identify hidden particles and printed text. Additional inspections include welded and sealed seams as well as track & trace applications.

  • Fast and reliable inspection of BFS container

     

    To ensure flawless product quality, blow-fill-seal containers are inspected immediately after filling and sealing. Despite a high cycle volume of more than 14,000 containers per hour, VINSPEC HEALTHCARE inspection systems reliably identify defective containers, allowing immediate discharge. In addition to particles and cosmetic defects, the inspection also includes codes and printed text on packaging and labels.

  • Ask the expert

    Florian Krickl is Product Manager Industrial Automation for VITRONIC Healthcare. In this interview, he discusses stringent requirements, diverse challenges and the current market position of VITRONIC’s Healthcare business.

    READ THE INTERVIEW

  • Article: "The challenges of  inspecting IV Bags"

    Our editorial contribution for PDA Letter’s edition on inspection (March 2019) discusses challenges and solutions for detecting particles in difficult to inspect products, especially infusion bags. This approach is based on innovative inspection methods, harmonized hardware and software as well as many years of project experience. 

    READ MORE

  • Intelligent Software

    All VINSPEC HEALTHCARE systems have a standardized user interface with real-time display of inspection results and images, as well as an editor for creating and modifying recipes. Each system is controlled by intelligent software that can be operated via a touchscreen. An offline evaluation tool and results database are available for saving each location's data and analyzing it from a statistical point of view. It is also possible to connect to an external IT infrastructure.



Reliable product quality is the focus



Comprehensive and modular inspection
Process support through fast inspection cycles
Easy inline integration in the packaging process
Reliable reading and verifying of texts, 1D and 2D codes including OCR
Comprehensive track & trace solutions
Compliant with GAMP and 21 CFR Part 11


At a Glance

Increased efficiency through automation and digitization

Competitive edge

More efficient processes and reduced costs while maintaining a high level of quality

Intelligent data

All inspection data is automatically captured, displayed, archived and analyzed

Part of the production chain

Automated end-to-end solution and user-friendly tools

„Our Main Goal Is Reliable Patient Care“

Florian Krickl is product manager of industrial automation for healthcare at VITRONIC. In this interview, he discusses stringent industry requirements, exciting challenges and VITRONIC's current market position in the healthcare industry.

Florian Krickl:
There are three topics of importance to us: The first is ensuring product quality. We want to make it possible for manufacturers to offer the healthcare market high-quality products so they can provide patients with safe and reliable care. Further industry requirements are highly efficient and stable inspection processes.  And finally, inspection solutions must be tailored to the individual packaging process.  Each process has special aspects about it that require customization of the visual inspection system so that the customer can achieve optimal results.


Florian Krickl:
There are many. On one hand there are high demands on safety and quality of the visual inspection, on the other hand there are extremely fast cycle rates during filling and production processes. In order to reproduce them as faultlessly and smoothly as possible, a high-performance inspection system is required. This includes harmonized hardware and software which fulfill every inspection requirement. In sensitive clean room areas, various inspection components need to reflect the requirements of the room. For example, we use smooth, easy-to-clean surfaces made of stainless steel that are extremely well suited for typical disinfection and sterilization processes. Moreover, the geometric configuration of the filling processes is optimized for laminar flow. Furthermore, our systems are optimized for assembly spaces and have very small footprints so that they can be easily integrated in mechanical workflow, which saves space in cost-intensive production areas.

Florian Krickl:

Our most important goal is reliable patient care. This can only be ensured by products that are fully inspected. This means the inspection process must detect all of the defects defined in the filling and packing process. Undetected particles in the medical solution can, for example, pose serious risks to the health of the patient.  Products known as difficult to inspect products are particularly challenging. These can be containers that make the optical inspection for particles difficult due to their geometry, size, and material characteristics.

Florian Krickl:
VITRONIC places great importance on excellent defect detection combined with the goal of achieving minimum false reject rates. Our experience is based on, above all, numerous installed inspection systems with demanding inspection requirements, such as BFS containers, IV bags, and vials. Our systems support the entire filling and packaging process and we offer special solutions for inspecting products for particles in the solution or cosmetic defects in the packaging, to name a few. These systems are based on our innovative inspection software accompanied by ideally configured hardware components, as well as our extensive understanding of packaging processes and the implementation of systems according to guidelines, e.g. GAMP.

Florian Krickl:
In the healthcare unit, we are working closely primarily with companies operating at a global level, whose production systems around the world are equipped with VITRONIC automatic inspection systems. Currently, we are strengthening our local presence in the US-market, where we already have numerous installed inspection systems for vials and other medical products. We will expand sales and service there. This means we will be able to respond quickly to our customers’ needs and quickly implement modifications to the inspection system as required, based on changes to the production plant.

Florian Krickl:
Product development is very important to us. In addition to our focus on innovative inspection solutions, we are working diligently on making our systems as user-friendly as possible with the goal of shortening the amount of time needed for retrofitting and teaching-in where required. In addition, we can use important findings from other VITRONIC development areas, such as automated inspection systems for the automotive and photovoltaics industries, and new implement them successfully in the healthcare industry. Furthermore, we are exploring applications for deep learning methods in specific inspection environments so that we can continue to improve processes and defect detection results. 

Florian Krickl:
In the future we want to use large quantities of data obtained during the inspection process more intelligently. One promising application is what is known as closed loop, which can be used to help us draw conclusions about machine parameter settings based on findings from the inspection process. In the automated application, data from the inspection is fed back directly to the machine control unit, which can automatically adjust machine parameters. This means manual adjustments can be automated and ideally, introduced earlier in the process to reduce unwanted waste. 

Mr. Krickl, thank you for your time.

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DIETMAR KAREPIN

Business Development Manager Healthcare

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ALAN KOTNIK

Vice President of North America Industrial Sales

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