German China India

Automation/Image Processing

How to save Costs through Automatic Granulate Inspection

| Author / Editor: Dipl.-Ing. Maik Ritter, Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Waldleben, Dipl.-Ing. Yavuz Baykara, Dr.-Ing. Gunter Feddern / Anke Geipel-Kern

Operational Experience Acquired fromAutomation Trials

Since system commissioning more than five years have passed and extensive operational experience has been acquired. Since the initial optimisation phase addressing granulate lots with variable quality relative to particle size, color grades, and fluidity properties combined with the respective image processing requirements the installation has performed in an excellent way. The initial target to relieve employees from a physically demanding visual control step through an automatic control system with a high level of precision combined with improved economics was fully reached. This way product quality was secured consistently at the highest level combined with the fact that significant savings could be achieved. The pay-back time was below five years. A contribution to the savings achieved comes also from the largely reduced need for clean room areas (ISO 7/ ISO 5).

In the meantime improved reliability and availability allow system operation during 24 hours a day during 365 days a year, with the exception of limited service intervals.

Looking into the Future of Pharmaceutical Production

Based on the good results achieved Geistlich Pharma is considering the procurement of a second inspection system in order to meet the increasing demand for Geistlich Bio-Oss product expected in the coming years. When realising this project the prevailing good results will be integrated with the most recent developments in image processing based on faster camera and data processing technology.

* Thomas Waldleben is Head of Engineering and Validation, Dipl.-Ing. Maik Ritter is Senior Project Manager, both Geistlich Pharma AG, CH. Yavuz Baykara was Project Manager at NNE Pharmaplan AG, CH, and is now General Manager of NNE Pharmaplan SA, BE. Gunter Feddern was General Manager of NNE Pharmaplan AG until 2009, he is now active as Consultant to the company.

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