In no other industry is the need for product quality and process reliability as critical as in the pharmaceutical industry. Sanofi-Aventis is the global leader in core medical areas, such as diabetes/metabolism, the cardiovascular system, thrombosis, the central nervous system, internal medicine, oncology and prevention through progressive vaccines.
Garvens checkweighers check vital insulin: In the Injectables division, where liquid drugs such as different types of insulin or drugs for emergency medicine are produced, the packaged medical compounds are subjected to final checks using a dynamic checkweigher from Garvens, a member of the METTLER TOLEDO group. The XS2 checkweigher separates packages with missing or empty vials. The smallest vial has a net capacity of just 1ml with a fill weight of just 1g. Over 20 different drugs in a variety of package sizes are packed on this production line with a throughput of up to 400 packages per minute with an accuracy of 0.3 grams.
Defective product packages which have been under or overfilled, as well as packages that are not correctly aligned or askew, are sorted by two separate air jets into separate collection containers.
Standard checkweigher components add to process reliability
A good product countercheck (“good philosophy”) is performed by a downstream light barrier to ensure that all bad products have been successfully sorted. At this point the downstream drop down conveyor is lowered to guarantee that only good products are sent down the line for further packing. In so doing, all products located on the checkweigher are removed from the transport path and any incomplete drug packages are thus safely removed from the production process. The checkweigher then triggers the conveyor belt to stop by means of a time delay, thus enabling operating staff to perform an additional check. The checkweigher is operated via the user-friendly touchscreen terminal. Here an individual user profile can be set up for each operator. Gliding limits are based on the nominal weight of the pharmaceutical products
As the weight of all the individual package components can vary from batch to batch, the “gliding limits” function is used to take these fluctuations in weight into account by defining variable upper and lower limits. This enables medium- and long-term fluctuations against the mean value to be recorded and remedied. Long-term tare fluctuations can therefore be compensated using these newly calculated tolerance limits. The removal of the defective products under the “gliding limits” option is based solely on the nominal weight of the pharmaceutical product.
Optional automatic IPC check (in-process check)
The Garvens checkweigher also supports the IPC check required in the pharmaceutical industry. Quality control spot checks must be performed on a regular basis for documentation reasons. These “spot check products” are sorted by the checkweigher at the touch of a button.
Extensive product tracking between the checkweigher’s in and outfeed conveyors is an X-Series standard feature. This allows the active, continuous tracking of products which is required in the pharmaceutical industry.
“Process reliability plays an extremely important role in the production of pharmaceutical products. Our medicines save lives. Insulin is a vital substance and market demand must be met. It is essential, therefore, that the availability of our products is always guaranteed”, says Stephan Koll, responsible for production in the Injectables division. “We opted for the Garvens checkweigher because it meets our standard component requirements in full” continues Stephan Koll. Through the use of many standard components METTLER TOLEDO Garvens can always guarantee the availability of spare parts.
Furthermore, the stringent service demands of a modern and critical pharmaceutical company are fulfilled thanks to the efficient METTLER TOLEDO service network, which can be contacted 24 hours a day.