Machine vision applications in the pharmaceutical industry have broadened considerably over the last two decades, according to consultant Nello Zuech, president of Vision Systems International. Since the first system to perform filled ampoule inspection was introduced more than 20 years ago, machine vision suppliers have added application-specific systems for solid dosage inspection and blister pack inspection, on-line date and lot code verification, 2D matrix code or bar code reading and proofreading of labels/inserts/packages. As pharmaceutical packaging and associated FDA regulations have become more complex in recent years, drug manufacturers expectations of vision systems have risen. Driving their growing adoption of these systems have been technological advances in the cameras themselves and the emergence of an infrastructure that supports machine vision, so that it is no longer an island of automation, Zuech points out. Line information systems . . . seamlessly integrate the data into management information systems that optimize line performance, minimize downtime and yield productivity and quality improvements, he says. These systems are also responsive to FDA requirements for Good Manufacturing Practices. Many suppliers now offer both single-purpose sensors and integrated systems, systems that can see in full color and/or 3D, and sensors that operate reliably at extremely fast line speeds. In addition, connectivity to hardware such as PCs and PLCs (programmable logic controllers) has become commonplace. Software to collect, record and manipulate data from vision systems has proliferated, as both vision systems suppliers and packaging software providers have developed packages to help manufacturers meet FDAs 21 CFR Part 11 requirements, increase line efficiencies and improve supply chain management. Below, we provide descriptions of selected vision sensors and systems. Visit to read more about x-ray inspection systems and other equipment used in pharmaceutical packaging that will be featured at Pack Expo. The PresencePLUS P4 AREA & AREA1.3 Series includes application-specificand
Products & Services
Machine Vision Systems
Machine vision systems are used for automated inspection and measurement in production environments.
Vision sensors are industrial products that automate decisions and processes by the use of video cameras linked to application-specific software on a user interface. These are also known as machine vision systems, and are useful for measurement, pass/fail decisions, and inspection.
Smart cameras are stand-alone camera systems that contain an image sensor, integrated processor, and communication interface. They can be programmed for machine vision, security, and other imaging applications.
CMOS Image Sensors
Complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors operate at lower voltages than CCDs, reducing power consumption for portable applications. Analog and digital processing functions can be integrated readily onto the CMOS chip, reducing system package size and overall cost.
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By Heidi Parsons, Managing Editor With this years Pack Expo (Las Vegas) coming up in a few short weeks (Oct. 15-17), a look at the latest in packaging technologies is in order. Within the finite...
By César Hernández, PE, Packaging Engineer, Pfizer, Inc. The machine vision systems used to automate pharmaceutical packaging processes stand right at the intersection of science,...
This quick, one-time registration gives you access to members-only site benefits. By Doug Bartholomew, Contributing Editor Most pharmaceutical manufacturers use machine vision in one or more...
By César Hernández, PE, Packaging Engineer, Pfizer, Inc. As long as the URS and DDS are properly documented, the vision systems validation cycle is quite simple, says...
This quick, one-time registration gives you access to members-only site benefits. Aiding QC with a PC Manufacturers that want to further investigate quality issues can elect to save the last 100...