X-ray vision system checks tablets in blister packs

To protect their brand and maintain their reputation, pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer installed a machine vision system incorporating x-ray imaging to ensure the quality of their tablets at their manufacturing facility in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico.

To protect their brand and maintain their reputation, pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer installed a machine vision system incorporating x-ray imaging to ensure the quality of their tablets at their manufacturing facility in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico. The facility is Pfizer’s largest, with 800,000 sq ft operating 13 production lines.

Francisco Collazo, Technical Service Specialist responsible for managing all floor operations, noticed that one of their over-the-counter blister packaging inspection lines had a problem with broken tablets and occasionally crushed or folded blister packs inside the packaging.

Neither the visible-light machine vision system nor checkweigher was finding these defects. Pfizer turned to Mettler Toledo Safeline to address these issues. They chose a PowerChek x-ray inspection system that detects, rejects multiple contaminants, and verifies product and package integrity.

Tablets are dropped into formed plastic blisters and sent through a vision system, which checks that all tablets are present. After the printed foil seals the package, the blister pack goes through a perforator, and are then cut into desired pack sizes and dropped into a sorter that can be set into stacks of one, two, or four.

Running at up to 300 packs per minute, the pack then is put into the final packaging and passed through the PowerChek x-ray unit where packages with broken, damaged, or missing tablets or crushed blisters are air-jetted into a separate lockable bin for analysis.

For more information, contact Mettler Toledo.

Posted by Vision Systems Design

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