5 solutions to industry challenges using checkweighing
The blockbuster era is drawing to a close and shorter runs and batch sizes are becoming commonplace, largely due to growth in emerging markets and the increased demand which this brings for a wide range of pharma products. This demand has shifted the focus somewhat, from production speeds to the ability to effect fast and efficient product changeovers and start-ups. One constant remains, however – products entering the supply chain must be 100% safe for patient use.
Manufacturers both large and small must look to optimise their production lines to ensure production quotas are met in a timely, profitable, and above all, safe manner. Larger producers running single product batches seek outstanding reliability and accuracy in checkweighing, whereas smaller contract manufacturers — who are likely servicing multiple clients — need the flexibility to effect quick changeovers to keep throughput to a maximum.
Downtime is the enemy of any manufacturer; therefore identifying areas that affect this directly is important when looking at Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). The net effect of reduced machine downtime is that higher production levels can be achieved using the same amount of resources and a faster return on investment with regard to capital purchases such as checkweighers. Advanced checkweighing systems such as the SADE SP range from CI Precision can minimise downtime by handling all shapes and sizes of tablets, capsules and soft gels without requiring additional change parts.
As manufacturers need to remain certified to produce pharmaceutical products, compliance is critical. Products entering the supply chain that do not meet the required standard threaten patient safety, retailer confidence, and in the worst-case scenario a company’s ability to continue production. All are damaging to profit margins to varying degrees and the risks can be mitigated with a well-executed product inspection program. Pharmaceutical checkweighers in particular are designed to meet the regulatory requirements of the pharmaceutical industry. 100% checkweighing demonstrates to regulatory bodies a commitment by the manufacturer to Good Manufacturing Practice.
Product Handling Challenges
Checkweighers designed specifically for pharmaceutical applications are built to overcome the challenges from environmental factors, such where vibrations or mechanical shock can occur, which can have a detrimental impact at the point of weighing. Static build-up is also a common problem in pharmaceutical manufacturing areas. The build-up of static charge occurs when differing materials rub together and this is amplified in moderate to low areas of humidity. As a result, the side-effects of static build-up are a common problem in pharmaceutical manufacturing areas. In order to reduce the risk of static in the weight sorting process, CI Precision has integrated a static elimination system into the SADE SP range of weight sorters.
Process Control Challenges
In order to optimise process control, it is possible to use statistics to improve process performance by studying variation and its source. By making process improvements more consistent performance can be achieved at a lower cost and at a higher effective capacity. Checkweighers are high-precision instruments that weigh and document each product you produce in order to secure your process quality. When you need to check the weight of every single item, SADE SP weight sorters and checkweighers automate the process, taking accurate readings and separating out non-conformant items. Every weighing is recorded and saved in a tamper-proof electronic record.
Using Checkweighers to Address Challenges in Industry
A high-quality checkweigher doesn’t just ensure accurate weighing in production, it can also give your business a competitive advantage by addressing industry challenges. In this article, we’ve highlighted the ways a robust checkweigher can help your business operate more efficiently and effectively whilst addressing some common challenges in industry:
- Productivity Challenges – ensure production quotas are met
- Downtime Challenges – more production from the same resources
- Regulatory Challenges – remain certified to produce your products
- Product Handling Challenges – overcome the challenges from environmental factors
- Process Control Challenges – drive process improvements
We hope our article has helped shed light on how checkweighers can help you address industry challenges. For more information on our range of precision weighing solutions, please reach out to our expert team here.