Position Verification for Vial Filling

Position Verification for Vial Filling Image

Challenge

Liquid injectable or lyophilized (freeze dried) pharmaceutical products are usually packaged in aseptic environments. Typically, an automated liquid filling machine performs filling, stoppering and crimp capping of vials continuously at rates of 100 to 200 vials per minute depending on fill rate and vial size.
Stoppers are either applied with full insertion for liquid injectable or partial insertion for lyophilized products onto the glass vials.

Solution

It is critical to verify the position of the stoppers since improperly sealed or positioned stoppering can compromise the product's integrity. Vision inspection offers a flexible, powerful, and effective method to inspect for seal quality and stopper position for the vial
filling process. For stoppers with full insertion, we are looking for the minimal amount of gap between the bottom of a stopper relative to the top of a vial. Whereas, for stopper with partial inspection, we are looking for a specific separation range between the stopper and the vial.

Banner Engineering's PresencePLUS P4 Sealed OMNI vision sensor provides an excellent solution for stopper position verification. It is rated IP68, which is suitable for aseptic and industrial cleanroom environments. A backlight is typically used to project a silhouette of the vial and stopper profile for the vision sensor to perform analysis on.

The sensor is fully equipped with vision tools that can easily LOCATE the region of the inspection, EDGE detect the stopper position, TEST the positions against the acceptable pass criteria, and COMMUNICATE all the relevant inspection results and images to the filling machine's PLC, PC or HMI. There are also configurable discrete outputs available
directly from the vision sensor.


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