The pharmaceutical industry is held to incredibly high packing standards due to the nature of medicine. Even the slightest mistake can place lives in danger and result in any number of lawsuits. To ensure that bottles, vials, and syringes are filled correctly, fill volumes absolutely must match what is written on the label and meet regulatory compliance for safety and convenience.
Filling machine containers appropriately becomes even more important when taking into consideration the potent and expensive nature of so many pharmaceuticals. The focus of filling to exact container tolerance is more critical than it has ever been. Overfills and underfills need to be minimized and altogether eliminated in order to maximize profits and reduce patient safety risks.
Air is actually a leading cause of misfills when it is allowed through any type of connection and misleads weighing results. A constant laminar air flow speed and direction is necessary for the best measurement accuracy and also useful to consider when purchasing a capping machine.
In addition, vibration of weight cells needs to be prevented since any form of vibration can move liquid within a container and deceive the accuracy of scales. Supply tanks can also raise issues if levels are too low to produce an adequate amount of head pressure for sticky products. Ultrasonic sensors are the best option rather than float-type sensors to attain the required plus or minus ½ percent accuracy mark.
Lastly, stoppages in peristaltic pumps have been known to cause silicon tubing to stretch and lose accuracy. This is why it is so important to ensure continuous runs without any stoppages, or else the first two fills in each run will have low volume fills until the stoppage is resolved. Since product can build up in any tube similar to the way that plaque can build up in a person’s arteries, any filling equipment operator needs to use the proper diameter for each formulation.
After taking all of these things into consideration, labeling machines and filling can become a quicker and more efficient process.