End of line (EoL) inspection is a showdown of sorts in pharmaceutical manufacturing: filled vials, ampoules, syringes and cartridges are checked one last time for container and closure integrity (CCI), cosmetic defects or product contamination before leaving the production area. The main player of EoL inspection: integrated vision systems that are tailored to both the fill-finish equipment and the product. Syntegon is a pioneer in this field and is continuously expanding its services to support customers in developing and fine-tuning their inspection processes. European customers can now leverage Syntegon’s inspection expertise right at their doorstep: a new R&D Inspection Lab opened its doors at Syntegon’s headquarters in Waiblingen, Germany. Dr. Wolfram Schindler, Global Product Manager for Inspection Technology at Syntegon, gives a glimpse of what customers can expect.
Syntegon has more than 50 years of inspection experience under its belt. How can pharmaceutical manufacturers benefit from this?
Several factors can influence the inspection accuracy and rate of an EoL system: from the equipment in place, the product’s formulation, the type of defect and container to the camera’s position and angle. It is no easy task to identify the ideal EoL inspection set-up in view of all these parameters. However, this is exactly where our expertise comes into play. In our four inspection labs we can run extensive tests to determine the optimal configurations for any type of product while taking the above-mentioned criteria into account. Whether it is about developing or performing extensive vision and Container-Closure-Integrity Testing (CCIT) or delivering proofs of concept, our goal is to help manufacturers find the ideal solution for their inspection requirements – even when difficult-to-inspect products, so called DIPs, are involved. No matter the scenario, we subsequently deliver a comprehensive report to our customers with detection rates for varying EoL inspection configurations and products.
Caption: With its new R&D Inspection Lab Syntegon further expands its inspection expertise
So, it’s all about enabling manufacturers to make data-based decisions?
Exactly. Acquiring data first is key to ensuring high EoL inspection accuracy and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) in the long run – both during the R&D phase and commercial production. For example, if manufacturers are still developing their product, we advise them on the optimal configuration of their test kit based on the data we collect. Before commercial production, we also conduct representative feasibility studies to help customers ensure steady market supply. Additionally, our findings help them determine ideal machine equipment and process parameters for the fill-finish of their products before and after large-scale manufacturing. Sample testing, another key element of our portfolio, helps shorten validation times in the event of changes in product formulation or container type. For manufacturers who are looking for retrofit solutions to optimize the efficiency of existing production lines, we offer a data-based approach to find the right equipment.
Syntegon forges close relationships with customers. How does the latest Inspection Lab tie into this approach?
Close collaboration is essential to our business, which is why we keep expanding our service network globally. We already run inspection test labs in Japan, China and the US to offer support on a global scale. Our new facility in Waiblingen, joined the mix. This will allow us to collaborate even closer with our European customers and offer new services. We look forward to sharing our training and workshop know-how and providing solutions that exactly fit their individual inspection needs.