PCI Pharma Services’ Hay-on-Wye site launches new 3D camera technology from Scanware
Leading pharmaceutical outsourcing provider PCI Pharma Services is installing specialist, innovative three-dimensional (3D) and high resolution colour camera technology for product inspection and fill control on three of its blister packaging lines at its site in Hay-on-Wye, Wales.
The state-of-the-art cameras represent a significant investment from PCI, reflecting a true commitment to delivering the highest quality packaging solutions for customers across the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors.
With the ability to check shape, color, size and markings, the new inspection cameras LYNX-SPECTRA 3D and LYNX-SPECTRA HR ensure that each blister pack pocket is correctly filled with the allocated product. Most importantly, the equipment also checks the depth and product thickness via the 3D aspect of the technology, a subtle detail in the context of image processing that other systems are unable to detect.
Selected by Paul Smallman, Associate Director Technical Services at PCI, the cameras enable staff to inspect products that are invisible to conventional two-dimensional black and white and colour systems – such as a grey capsule in a grey / cold form blister pockets, due to the contrast between the two grey colours being insufficient for the systems to detect.
Scanware’s smart technology is able to identify and evaluate previously ‘invisible’ poorly contrasting product, using a combination of 3D and high resolution colour hardware, in conjunction with the proprietary scanware inspection software. The cameras also enable PCI to check that the product is in the correct pocket, is of the correct thickness, and is not damaged in any way.
Commenting on the new technology, Paul Smallman said: “PCI Pharma Services is delighted to introduce the new 3D cameras to three of our existing blister lines at our Hay-on-Wye site, one of which is located in our dedicated high potency packaging suite, with additional lines receiving upgrades in the future.
“Most camera technologies on the market inspect for shape, size and markings on entry-level black and white systems, and shape, colour, size and markings on higher level colour systems. It is very rare that a CMO will utilise 3D systems such as ours, as this type of customised and innovative high-end technology tends to be very product and line-specific. By working in close coordination with PCI, scanware managed to adapt its existing concept of a dedicated system to ensure a wide range of possibilities – both for current product designs and future requirements.
“As a market-leading packaging company, it is important that all of PCI’s packaging processes are continually refined and improved to ensure that all our products are filled and processed to the highest quality standards for our clients, and that we remain ahead of the curve with innovative technical solutions. We are proud to be using this exceptional technology to benefit our customers, offering blister packaging for products that could not previously be blistered.”
Harald Mätzig, scanware Managing Director, also commented: “The scanware LYNX-SPECTRA 3D and LYNX-SPECTRA HR technologies are unique in mastering utmost security with real 3D and high resolution colour inspection. The high recognition power enables the most challenging of inspection tasks, such as geometry and volume of solid pharmaceuticals and packaging material.
“Additionally, the high resolution colour inspection system provides the highest available colour separation for the most complex packaging tasks. Multicolored products and packaging units can be controlled and distinguished at a maximum of pharmaceutical safety, above any market standard. This combination of PCI’s 50 years of packaging excellence, with scanware’s 25 years of expertise and innovations in vision inspection, will be a real success-driver for Hay-on-Wye’s specialist Technical Services Department.”