10 ways to save money using checkweighing
Delivering consistent quality products is essential to protect your brand and your bottom line. A checkweigher weighs every product — it sorts and rejects products that are off-spec, which helps you meet throughput and legal requirements while providing reliable weight control. In this article, we have put together a list of ways that checkweighers can help to save you money — read on to find out more.
Making Better Use of Limited Resources
An accurate checkweigher will ensure tighter production tolerances that yield less waste and enable more final products to be produced from the same amount of inventory. Raw materials can be very expensive, so checkweighers are an integral part of an overall programme that enables manufacturers to make the most of existing resources.
An accurate checkweigher also eliminates the errors that can occur during manual checkweighing. It automates the weighing process, ensuring that each product is weighed accurately and consistently. This would have been a time-consuming process if carried out manually, especially when dealing with large batches of products. Precision weight sorters reduce the time needed for quality control, freeing operators to focus on higher-value tasks —increasing productivity and efficiency across the production line.
Ensuring Uniformity in Clinical Trials
Accurate and precise weight control is essential to ensure uniformity in clinical trials. The physical characteristics of a tablet or capsule are good early indicators of deviations from specification. This is why, for an effective trial, it is essential to weigh every capsule or tablet to ensure that each dose precisely matches the required specification.
This data also needs to be evidenced to support the results obtained in the trial process and ensure compliance. Failure to maintain good manufacturing protocols or follow FDA guidance, as highlighted in a study published by the National Library of Medicine, are some of the key factors associated with clinical trials that fail. Weight sorters and checkweighers, such as the SADE SP series, help ensure uniformity in clinical trials by accurately verifying and recording the weight of every dose — ensuring the reliability of the data.
Avoid Costly Fines and Tarnished Brand
One of the main reasons for using a checkweigher is to ensure compliance with government regulations and industry standards. Audit results are publicly available for anyone to read, and in a global market with global media, even one misstep can have a dramatic and costly impact on a company’s market position and brand.
Repeated non-compliance can result in substantial fines, and there is also the risk of lawsuits and damages that could result from patients taking an incorrect dose. In addition, there are also other potential violations to look out for in the pharmaceutical industry. These can include consumer protection violations, controlled substances violations and violations related to drug or medical equipment safety. Employing 100% weight inspection in a coordinated quality and process control programme helps eliminate many of these issues.
Failed Batch Recovery
Failed batch recovery is a critical aspect of modern pharmaceutical production. Although in-process machines are often fast, they have poor accuracy, which can lead to the rejection of good product that sits at the periphery of the distribution curve.
If a faulty batch is detected, this rejected product can be run through high-precision weight sorters, which can reclaim most if not all the valuable, weight-acceptable products that may otherwise need to be discarded. This provides a cost-effective solution for minimising waste and reduces the cost of discarded batches. Because of this, weight sorters deliver a rapid return on investment, as the cost savings from improved efficiency and reduced waste can quickly offset the initial investment.
In addition to recovering failed batches, weight sorters also play a critical role in quality control. Through 100% weight sorting, manufacturers can detect abnormalities or defects in their products to achieve complete quality assurance.
Save During Press Run-In/Run-Out
There are considerable savings to be made from sorting valuable product made at the start and finish of batch production during the press run-in and run-out.
Press run-in and run-out times are periods when the tablet press machine is warming up or cooling down. During this time, the first and last tablets produced are often discarded due to variations in weight and hardness. This leads to not only a loss of valuable product but also wasted time and resources. By using a checkweigher during these periods, acceptable tablets are recovered, reducing the amount of waste generated.
Guaranteeing consistency in the production of Investigational Medicinal Products (IMPs) is critical to ensuring the validity and reliability of clinical trials. The Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), highlights that because IMPs are more complex to manufacture and dispense than marketed products, IMP manufacturers must have robust quality control and quality assurance procedures in place to ensure consistency during the manufacturing and dispensing processes.
One way to guarantee consistency in the manufacture of IMPs is to ensure that the product-filling process is accurate and precise. Over-encapsulation involves putting a product into a capsule to disguise the product being trialled. A weight sorter can be used to verify that each capsule has been filled with the correct amount of product by checking its weight. This helps to ensure that each patient receives the correct dose and that the results of the clinical trial are not compromised by variations in dosing.
Reducing Weight Variations
Managing weight variations is crucial in pharmaceutical production. Failing to do this can result in inaccurate dosing and can lead to medication errors that can harm patients. Some products are more prone to weight variation than others, such as triple-layer tablets, which can be more difficult to manufacture consistently.
Checkweighers can be used to deliver 100% weight sorting to ensure the quality of every tablet or capsule, reducing the risk of weight variations and ensuring accurate dosing. This level of quality control is especially important for high-risk products, where even small variations in dosing can have serious consequences for patients.
Protect the Export Market
Many foreign regulatory agencies require adherence to GMP guidelines and compliance with FDA regulations as a prerequisite for market access. Meeting these requirements also ensures consistent and high-quality products as customers in export markets would expect the same level of quality and consistency as domestic customers.
Companies that can demonstrate a commitment to quality and regulatory compliance are more likely to be trusted by foreign regulatory agencies and customers. This trust can lead to increased market access and a stronger reputation in international markets. With 100% weight sorting, manufacturers can ensure product quality and consistency, and also demonstrate compliance with global manufacturing standards, including GMP.
Reliable R&D Formulation
R&D formulation is a crucial stage in the development of new pharmaceutical products, and accuracy and consistency in this process are critical for success. The use of static scales for manual weight checking can be slow, laborious and error-prone, which can lead to inconsistent results and wasted materials. On the other hand, precision weight sorters offer a rapid, reliable, and unattended process that ensures every item is checked automatically. This means that R&D teams can achieve accurate and consistent results quickly — essential for successful product development.
Quality Assurance for Contract Work
Contract customers require 100% quality assurance to uphold their reputation. Powerful and positive product branding gives the end consumer a strong assurance of safety and quality — a powerful driver of repeat business. For these reasons, a contract manufacturer’s responsibility is not only related to the protection of the end consumer but also to the brand and reputation of their customer.
Weight sorters can help CMOs prove to their contractee that the product consistently meets the required specification. The batch reporting feature available on precision weight sorters, such as our SADE SP range, can easily provide the necessary documentation and data to demonstrate compliance with global standards. The high accuracy of our solutions also minimises wastage and ensures cost efficiency — this is critical in fixed-cost delivery contracts.
Checkweighers Help Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Save Money
Investing in a high-quality checkweigher not only provides accurate weighing in production but also helps your business save money and gain a competitive edge. In this article, we’ve highlighted the ways robust checkweighers can help pharmaceutical manufacturers improve their bottom lines:
- Make Better Use of Limited Resources
- Ensure Uniformity in Clinical Trials
- Avoid Costly Fines and Tarnished Brand
- Recover Failed Batches
- Save During Press Run-In/Run-Out
- Guaranteeing Consistency
- Reduce Weight Variations
- Protecting the Export Market
- Reliable R&D Formulation
- Quality Assurance for Contract Work
We hope this article has provided useful insight into how precision weight sorters can help you save money. For more information on our range of precision weighing solutions, please reach out to our expert team here.