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Top-down for an optimal side view

Correctly positioned, completely and perfectly filled and precisely packed: HEUFT eXaminer II XB systems ensure the quality and integrity of blister packs, the tablets they contain and their outer packaging sustainably. This is impressively demonstrated by two top-down inspectors of the series at a major Asian pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Not an easy task: they should lie exactly on top of each other and be flush with one another in several layers – none of the blisters should stick out either to the left or the right. Otherwise this could cause serious problems regarding the packaging and product integrity. Because this can lead to leaks when sealing the film which wraps the stacked blisters as outer packaging. At the worst the machine which cuts off the pieces of film from a long tube and seals them at the cut edges even "bites" into the strips and in doing so strikes one or more of the cavities and crushes the tablets in them. And even if the blisters are perfectly positioned such biting marks can occur again and again – with the corresponding consequences for the integrity of the secondary and primary packaging material and the medicinal products they contain.

Something like this should not even reach the patient. Therefore a major Asian manufacturer of generic and special medicines for rare diseases has invested in two X-ray systems which detect the products in question whilst still along the two blister packaging lines reliably and reject them in good time. And they had to be so compact that each of them fits into the narrow installation spaces between the tubular film overwrapper and the cartoner. In addition maximum detection accuracy with minimum radiation exposure was required for the safe radiometric inspection of sensitive products with active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

A clever solution

Finding an inspection system which meets these criteria was not an easy task for the pharmaceutical manufacturer. Of the few devices with dimensions that fitted between the two lines only one solution achieved the level of picture quality and picture evaluation required for the difficult application: the HEUFT eXaminer II XB top-down inspector!



However a classic top-down inspection does not always provide the necessary performance in this particular case. X-ray images from the side provide significantly better results in order to specifically check whether the blisters are correctly positioned in the outer packaging without sticking out sidewards and that they are also hermetically sealed. It is good that HEUFT not only has a wealth of problem solving expertise when it comes to quality inspection but also with regard to the conveyor environment for an optimum in-line transport of the most diverse packaging materials. Without further ado the system technicians developed a clever, effective procedure which simply turned the blister packs over.

New perspectives during the top-down inspection

Simple mechanics make the conveyor narrower just before it enters the compact HEUFT eXaminer II XB so that the blister packaging material transported on it gently hits a guide plate, is rotated by 90 degrees onto its side as a result and further transported in exactly the same way secured by special guide rails. The subsequent top-down inspection with the pulsed X-ray technology available exclusively from HEUFT opens up completely new perspectives which make both incorrectly positioned blisters as well as undesired packaging and product defects considerable more visible. The packs in question are accurately rejected by the HEUFT mono after they have been detected whereas perfect products continue directly to the cartoner. This of course in their original alignment again – they are carefully turned around once more for this whilst still inside the device.

Maximum accuracy during the X-ray based detection of threats to the packaging and product integrity has been ensured along the two blister packaging lines of the Asian manufacturer since the successful commissioning and cGMP qualification of the network compatible systems. They each examine up to 30 packages per minute there completely and precisely. Defective products with incorrectly positioned primary packaging material are identified reliably. Therefore the clever side view for the top-down inspection is exactly the right solution for the difficult inspection application on site.

New, extremly compact X-ray solution


Such not so easy tasks can now also be solved without special mechanics for turning the packaging material in an even smaller space with the new HEUFT eXaminer II XS which celebrated its world premiere at Anuga FoodTec 2018. Because the particularly space-saving stand-alone device of the new generation transmits targeted X-ray flashes directly from the side.

Either way HEUFT has the right solution for a careful, efficient and above all effective X-ray inspection available for almost every task.