Symetix® Introduces New Cruise Control and Counting Capabilities on VeriSym® Optical Inspection Systems
August 11, 2015 – Symetix® expands the value of its VeriSym® optical inspection systems for solid dose pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals with the introduction of two new features – Cruise Control and Counting. Cruise Control precisely regulates VeriSym’s throughput, optimizing the inspection system to accurately remove defects and foreign softgels and tablets. The Counting tool eliminates the need for a weigh scale by enabling VeriSym to fill bulk boxes/containers to the desired count, which reduces capital costs, better utilizes floorspace and improves the accuracy of the count.
These software-driven capabilities are available as an option on all new VeriSym systems, including the compact VeriSym SE, mid-size VeriSym SL and full-size VeriSym. The upgrade can be installed on any VeriSym in the field, with the addition of Symetix’s infeed shaker on select models.
VeriSym verifies product color, size and shape, identifying and ejecting defects and foreign softgels and tablets from the product stream to ensure product quality while reducing labor costs. Ideal for product manufacturers and co-packers, operating continuously inline or in batch mode, the compact VeriSym SE inspects up to 300,000 softgels or tablets per hour and the full-size VeriSym inspects up to 1,000,000 doses per hour. When inspecting softgels, it removes foreigners and defects such as spots, color variations, air bubbles and misshapen capsules. When inspecting coated tablets, it removes foreigners, broken tablets and tablets with major chips and missing coating if the coating is a different color than the tablet’s core.
While VeriSym’s camera ‘sees’ each dose for the purpose of analyzing product characteristics and making accept/reject decisions, the intelligent Cruise Control and Counting software calculates the throughput and counts the number of conforming doses. This flow rate and count are used to control the system’s vibratory infeed shaker.
With Cruise Control, the optimal throughput for each softgel or tablet is programmed into the password protected user interface (UI). It increases and decreases the amplitude of the infeed shaker to maintain optimal product flow from the hopper to the inspection belt, eliminating under-feeding and overdriving the system. Product is evenly distributed for presentation to the camera and ejection system as a monolayer of singulated softgels/tablets at a consistent speed and without clumps, which maximizes the removal of foreign doses and defects and minimizes false rejects.
With the Counting tool, the user sets the target count for each product, typically from 5,000 to 10,000 doses per box/bag. The software controls the infeed shaker to run at its full preprogrammed speed until the bulk package gets close to the desired count, then the amplitude of the infeed shaker is reduced and, in dribble mode, softgels/tablets are slowly added until the target count is reached. The system then stops the product flow until an operator replaces the full box/bag with an empty one or the automated indexing table swings an empty box into position, and the cycle repeats.
Compared to weigh scales, which are inherently inconsistent at hitting a target count because of normal fluctuations in the weight-to-count relationship caused by variations in moisture, ribbon thickness and fill levels during softgel manufacturing, VeriSym achieves the target count with a +/- 0.5 percent accuracy. Minimizing under-fills and over-fills of bulk packages helps manufacturers and packers maximize yields while satisfying their customers’ expectations. Improved accuracy also enables better assessment of productivity and better planning of downstream bottling processes. Compared to a weigh scale, Symetix’s Cruise Control and Counting upgrade is half the cost, and it improves floorspace utilization while achieving superior accuracy.
Symetix designed VeriSym for nutraceuticals and regulated pharmaceuticals. The system is FDA 21 CFR Part 11 compliant with secure and encrypted logs, secure password management, parameter histograms and guided changeover. VeriSym meets FDA requirements and complies with GAMP guidelines.
Designed for fast and easy product changeovers, VeriSym can be cleared, cleaned and set-up to handle the next product in less than 10 minutes, with no tools required. Product settings, including accept/reject criteria, Cruise Control flow rates and targeted in-the-box Count, can be stored in the system’s memory for quick and easy recall. VeriSym can inspect oval, round and oblong softgels ranging in size from #3 to #40 as well as coated tablets.
About SymetixSymetix is the pharmaceutical group of Key Technology. With over 60 years of experience in the food and pharmaceutical industries, Key is a leading manufacturer of best-in-class process automation systems. Symetix offers worldwide sales representation and maintains demonstration and testing facilities at Key’s headquarters and manufacturing divisions in Walla Walla, Washington, USA, and at Key Technology BV in Beusichem, the Netherlands.
About Key Technology, Inc.
Key Technology (NASDAQ: KTEC) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of process automation systems including digital sorters, conveyors, and processing equipment. Applying processing knowledge and application expertise, Key helps customers in the food processing and other industries improve quality, increase yield, and reduce cost. An ISO-9001 certified company, Key manufactures its products at its headquarters in Walla Walla, Washington, USA and in Beusichem, the Netherlands; Hasselt, Belgium; and Redmond, Oregon, USA. Key offers customer demonstration and testing services at five locations including Walla Walla, Beusichem, and Hasselt as well as Sacramento, California, USA and Melbourne, Australia; and maintains a sales and service office in Santiago de Queretaro, Mexico.