Counting is an application that should not be underestimated, particularly in a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) clean room. A counting mistake can lead to a failed audit or to a recall of a whole batch for recounting. That is why it is essential to have a system in place which ensures correct vials counting.
When filling vials in a GMP clean room it is important to count and document how many vials enter empty and how many leave filled. The empty vials that enter the room are filled and statistical quality control (SQC) ensures that the right volume of pharmaceutical preparation is dispensed to each vial.
However, a problem may occur when the count of incoming empty vials does not correspond to the outgoing count of filled vials leaving the room. Discovering a counting mistake too late may cause a major recall to unpack and recount the whole batch. Manual operations, such as counting, handwriting or reading, can often be the source of a mistake.
A popular solution is to use counting scales to accurately and quickly record how many vials enter and leave. In choosing such a weighing system, the main focus is often on its hygienic capability. But have you ever asked yourself what really counts in such a situation?
The weighing capacity of the scale and its accuracy are extremely important. More important though is the ability to determine the average sample weight of a vial. It is a complex problem that needs professional attention.
You can find detailed information about how to optimize the counting and choose the appropriate equipment at www.mt.com/counting
To select the correct weighing solution, the right capacity, the right accuracy and the right minimum weight need to be calculated. Read more about the minimum weight www.mt.com/minweigh
Unfortunately, many users fail to recognize the complexity of the task and opt for the wrong scale. This can result in weighing or counting errors as well as problems during audits.
For instance, when counting large lots of very small objects it might be necessary to use a two-scale system:
- Reference scale: a small-capacity and high-accuracy scale to determine the average sample weight of the vial.
- Counting scale: a scale with the appropriate capacity and accuracy to weigh the lot of vials entering/leaving the room.
Choosing the right weighing (counting) system is not only dependent on the weighing task. Often other requirements influence the selection to ensure that the weighing system meets more than just the weighing needs. The capabilities of modern scale systems offer a full range of possibilities:
- High level of ingress protection (up to IP69k)
- Hazardous areas approvals
- Integration of a bar code scanner and a local label printer
- Communication to ERP
- SQC functionality
All this (and more) is possible - without conceding to the initial hygienic requirement. Discover the unlimited range of possibilities offered by the combination of high-resolution scales from METTLER TOLEDO’s K-line and 4-series weighing terminals with embedded counting or SQC software.