Like any precision instrument, moisture analyzers require regular calibration and servicing in order to maintain peak performance. In addition, some companies are required to test their moisture analyzers in accordance with the relevant regulations (e.g. ISO). It is typically the job of the Laboratory, Production or Quality Manager to ensure that all instruments are under control.
Periodic testing of a moisture analyzer should be carried out using certified weights and a temperature calibration kit in order to confirm the correct functioning of both the weighing and heating units. In many companies, this is carried out only on a yearly basis by a service technician. In between such tests, however, it is not easy to tell if the moisture analyzer has drifted out of tolerance or even if it is malfunctioning. Companies, therefore, must consider a more comprehensive testing approach involving more frequent in-house performance checks.
METTLER TOLEDO offers a total routine testing solution incorporating frequent routine testing with SmartCal and periodic testing of the heating and weighing units using CarePac weight sets and a temperature calibration kit.
Overall Performance Verification with SmartCal
SmartCal is an innovative, granular substance specifically designed for verifying the overall performance of moisture analyzers on a regular basis. Each sachet of SmartCal contains a defined amount of moisture. Its high sensitivity reliably indicates any small variation in the functioning of the moisture analyzer witha large change in the moisture result. Regular testing with SmartCal quickly confirms the moisture analyzer is working correctly and supplying valid results. It also provides an early indication of drift or malfunction.
The SmartCal test takes just 10 minutes and is performed in the same way as a regular measurement. Simply pour SmartCal into the sample pan and start. The moisture analyzer is working correctly if the result lies within the SmartCal control limits. All results can be documented in measurement protocols which are available with formal validation documentation according to GMP/GLP guidelines.
SmartCal also fulfills the quality management system requirements of the food sector (BRC, IFS), the pharmaceutical industry (GMP, USP <1058>) and meets ISO 9001.
For more information: www.mt.com/smartcal
Testing the Weighing Unit with CarePacs®
In conjunction with a temperature calibration kit, CarePacs are the ideal package for periodic moisture analyzer testing. Each CarePac contains specially selected weights with nominal values and weight classes to meet the specific characteristics of the weighing unit in the moisture analyzer. Testing the moisture analyzer with external traceable weights ensures the weighing unit is working correctly.
All weights are calibrated and certified which guarantees traceability of weighing results (ISO/IEC 17025). Containing just two weights, which is all that is needed to reliably check the weighing unit, a CarePac is just a fraction of the cost of a conventional weight set. Recalibration costs are also significantly cheaper.
Each CarePac is supplied with tweezers, weight forks, clean-room approved gloves and a cleaning cloth for correct weight handling. Manufacturer recommended SOPs provide clear guidance and ensure consistency of the weighing unit tests.
For more information: www.mt.com/carepacs
Testing the Heating Unit
The temperature calibration kit ensures the heating unit of the moisture analyzer is functioning correctly, and is typically used in conjunction with external weights to calibrate and adjust the moisture analyzer. Testing the heating unit takes time and hence this task is often undertaken by service technicians.
Peace of Mind and Quality Results
Today’s customers are looking for the best overall benefits and savings through process optimization. Routine testing with certified and traceable tools such as SmartCal and CarePacs ensure optimal and documented instrument performance, for reliable moisture results. Trust is good, control is better!