CI Electronics offers customised weight sorters for pharma applications

CI Electronics, based in Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK, develops customised tablet and capsule weight sorters for the pharmaceutical industry. Two recent examples involved receiving product from IBCs (intermediate bulk containers) and depositing the weight-sorted good product into a second IBC.

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CI Electronics, based in Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK, develops customised tablet and capsule weight sorters for the pharmaceutical industry. Two recent examples involved receiving product from IBCs (intermediate bulk containers) and depositing the weight-sorted good product into a second IBC.

The first customised unit was based on a Sade SP200. Modifications to the standard design included a raised stand so that extended outfeed tubes could deliver product to a single IBC at floor level and repositioning of the controller to allow the weigh units to be placed closer together. A special hopper divided the output from the infeed IBC equally between the two weighing units.

While CI Electronics concentrated on developing the weight sorter, the customer provided a lifter to raise the infeed IBC above the hopper, together with a means of operating the valve at the bottom of the IBC. To prevent the weight sorter's hopper from overflowing when the IBC valve was opened, a self-regulating feed tube was devised to fit the IBC valve. This feed tube is a flexible, disposable component that extends into the weight sorter's hopper. As the level in the hopper rises up the outside of the tube, gentle back pressure is created inside the tube to breach the inflow of tablets.

The customised weight sorter provided the exact function required by the customer - tablets come off the production line in IBCs and, on those occasions when weight sorting is required, the IBCs can be lifted above the weight sorter and the system left unattended to sort the entire contents of the IBC. There is no need for manual lifting or filling of the hopper, and the good product from the weight sorter is delivered to the packaging department in an IBC as if it had come directly from the production line.

CI Electronics developed a second customised weight sorter around its SP220, which operates 50% faster than the SP200, for the other customer. This was able to achieve a sort rate of 9,000 capsules per hour. It featured a bespoke stand and a twinned hopper with a single entry point, together with extended outfeed tubes serving a single IBC.

Both of these customised weight sorters run for long periods without any operator intervention. In common with the standard CI Electronics weight sorters, an alarm is raised in the event of the sorter becoming blocked, jammed or running empty.

Customised units can typically be delivered to anywhere in the world within 12-14 weeks of the initial enquiry being made.

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