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Symetix: Inspection system

VeriSym optical inspection systems feature new cruise control and counting capabilities.

VeriSym optical inspection systems feature new cruise control and counting capabilities.
VeriSym optical inspection systems feature new cruise control and counting capabilities.

Symetix expands 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. According to the vendor, this reduces capital costs, maximizes 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. Suitable 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/hr, and the full-size VeriSym inspects up to 1,000,000 doses/hr. When inspecting softgels, it removes foreign matter and defects such as spots, color variations, air bubbles, and misshapen capsules. When inspecting coated tablets, it removes foreign material, 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 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 or bag. The software controls the infeed shaker to run at its full preprogrammed speed until the bulk package gets close to the desired count, at which point 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.

VeriSym achieves the target count with ±0.5% accuracy. Minimizing underfills and overfills 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.

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 min, 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.

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