IMA Swiftpack, the UK-based division of the Italian multinational, IMA SpA, has recently supplied a number of pharmaceutical tablet and capsule counting machines to the contract packer Wasdell Packaging Group, explains Dominic Walker, Product Manager, IMA Swiftpack
Wasdell has expanded its capacity to manufacture and package both pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products at its Swindon, UK, and Dundalk, Ireland, sites. To facilitate this growth, the company needed to invest in new tablet counting machinery.
Ayo Sotannde, Group Validation Manager at Wasdell, explains: “As a provider of contract manufacturing and packaging services to the life sciences sector, we had a requirement for a specialist tablet and capsule counting machine that was capable of delivering high levels of accuracy with no under or over counts.”
A key decision-making criterion when assessing available technologies was a requirement for 100% count accuracy and the complete reliability of the tablet bottle packaging process. After exhaustive product testing with solutions from a number of potential equipment manufacturers, Wasdell selected IMA Swiftpack as the best performing supplier.
After much consideration, Wasdell’ s tablet counting machine of choice is the latest in IMA Swiftpack’s long-established Swiftvision range — the Swiftvision MK III or SVIII for short.
Delivering unrivalled tablet counter design, build quality, performance and an unbeatable counting accuracy of 100%, as well as unique tablet counter functionality, the SVIII also offers electronic tablet flow, separation control and invalid tablet detection with reject.
“The IMA Swiftpack SVIII EFS tablet counter is simply a reliable and efficient tablet and capsule counter,” notes Ayo, adding: “It met all our expectations and provided a number of benefits including consistent output with short changeover and set-up times.”
IMA Swiftpack’s Product Manager, Dominic Walker, comments: “The SVIII is the product of more than 25 years of pharmaceutical multichannel tablet counting experience, stemming back to the early days of electronic tablet counting and the introduction of the original Swiftpack’s SVI infrared optical counting sensors."
"The new SVIII now comes with the latest version of our unique non-optical counting sensors, which use electrostatic field sensor (EFS) technology to learn and identify the size and shape of tablets whilst they are counted. In doing so, the EFS counting sensors can detect invalid products such as small chips, broken tablets or under-filled capsules. Any bottles containing out-of-specification product is rejected in a controlled and easy-to-validate way.”
“To further ensure 100% tablet counting accuracy, the new SVIII has IMA Swiftpack’s latest electronically controlled tablet feeding system. This flow-control system automatically monitors the flow rate of tablets through the counting sensors, ensuring perfect product separation whilst maintaining the fasted possible feed rate for maximum tablet counter output,” he adds.
“Counter accuracy was the main reason that Wasdell chose the SVIII counter,” continues Dominic: “They’re an established IMA Swiftpack customer and have bought many machines from us in the past. It’s a competitive market, though, so we’re very pleased that they’ve put their trust in us again."
"The excellent result of the factory acceptance test (FAT) was further justification of their continued faith in our equipment. In total, we produced and 100% checked 10,000 containers during the FAT — all with the correct count.”
“We had a very strict yet simple criteria for the selection of our new equipment, which consisted of complete count accuracy whilst being efficient in handling a variety of different batch sizes, from just a few hundred units to hundreds of thousands. After a very thorough selection process, the IMA Swiftpack SVIII was the superior choice. We have been so pleased with its performance that we’ve already placed an order for a second machine,” concluded Ayo.
Contributing the final word, Dominic notes: “Our latest SVIII counter is designed, built and priced for both contract manufacturer and nutraceutical packers, which is why this business means a lot to us as we relaunch the Swiftvision counter range.”