Supporting pharmaceutical glassmakers to maximise productivity

The race is on around the world to produce adequate quantities of glass vials for a potential coronavirus vaccine, making high quality packaging available as soon as the vaccine has been perfected. To accommodate the vast levels of demand involved, it is anticipated that global production of pharmaceutical vials needs to be ramped up by 5-10% within two years.

IRIS Inspection machines is supporting glassmakers in their drive for additional productivity, working closely with such customers as Bormioli Pharma, Gerresheimer Group and SGD Pharma at their various manufacturing location throughout Europe, the Americas, India and China. Few industrial sectors have such stringent quality requirements as the pharmaceutical industry and to meet these exacting specifications, companies are increasingly utilizing intelligent inspection solutions.

The specialist inspection technologies developed in France by IRIS Inspection machines provide essential solutions for the identification of dimensional, finish and low contrast surface defects. These technologies have been perfected in close consultation with the world’s leading pharmaceutical glassware manufacturers.

Evolution DIM NEO

Evolution DIM NEO non-contact inspection equipment is designed to perform a series of critical dimensional inspection tasks, for example, measuring height, minimum and maximum diameter, roundness and barrelling. Among the defects identified are tiny body deformations, non-round sidewalls, diameter deformations and other minor geometric defects in the body, bulged or sunken sidewalls, as well as ware with an out-of-specification height. 

Improved verticality inspection is provided with 3D, the Evolution DIM machine calculating the verticality of each container to measure the body or finish shifting via precise, 360° verticality detection. Verticality defects detected with this solution include lean articles, offset finish and bent neck.

 A dedicated module provides a series of accurate finish measurements, identifying minimum and maximum external finish diameter, finish height and flatness, plus the height of the finish ring. The deformation defects encountered include bulged finishes and unfilled ware. 

The Evolution DIM NEO equipment features a compact design, with up to three body cameras, up to two finish cameras and a dedicated light source.

Also available from IRIS Inspection machines is the Evolution 5 NEO finish inspection module. This solution has been developed to identify such sealing surface defects as a chipped finish, LOF or an unfilled finish.

Another of the company’s developments is the EVO Ultimate NEO machine for the identification of transparent surface defects, including surface blisters and small laps.

Governments and drug companies worldwide are placing huge orders worth hundreds of millions of dollars and encouraging the makers of glass vials and syringes to add manufacturing capacity. Although this initiative requires immediate preparation, the glass industry is confident that it is a surmountable challenge. IRIS Inspection machines and its innovative ware inspection technologies are available to support the world’s specialist pharmaceutical glassmakers to meet these challenges.