Pharmaceutical and health product specialist group Wasdell has invested more than £640,000 in equipment.
Among the group’s new purchases are a vision inspection system that is able to spot if essential information is missing from labels, a highly accurate counter that ensures dosages in containers are precise, and a system that automatically identifies any anomalies in tablets and capsules, so that any that are damaged or incomplete are immediately withdrawn from the production line.
Ayo Sotannde, group validation manager, is responsible for ensuring that the integrity of the product being packed is checked and retained throughout the process.
“It is all about putting quality first, above anything else,” says Ayo.
“For example, the label on a box or bottle needs to have a clear, accurate use-by date, as well as a batch and lot number so that its provenance can be traced back to the time it enters our facility. The risks of using people to do that task are well understood – after some time of staring at labels, fatigue tends to set in and the accuracy can begin to suffer. So we have worked with pharmaceutical inspection specialists Jekson Vision and label machines manufacturer Premier to produce two bespoke machines with inbuilt vision systems that eliminate the risk of human error.”
One of the machines will run in Swindon, while the other will be used in Wasdell’s facility in Dundalk, Ireland.
Ayo Sotannde has also purchased pharmaceutical grade counting equipment that is produced by Warwickshire-based electronic counting specialists IMA Swiftpack.
“We chose Swiftpack’s Swiftvision MK III, which is a highly versatile counting and filling system that packs at speed,” says Ayo.
“The key benefit of this machine is that it is extremely accurate and once any anomaly is perceived – for example, perhaps two capsules stuck together or a tablet missing – the MK III picks it up via its electrostatic field sensor (EFS) and automatically moves it to a reject station. This machine is so good that we’ve bought two – one for Swindon and, again, one for Dundalk.”
Further recent investment by the Wasdell Group include Cap Coder liquid filling machines that can cope with filling bottles with very small quantities of medication, such as eardrops, a Biopharma Group portable powder filler to prevent cross-contamination, and a Precisa scale with a traffic light system that warns operators if an incorrect amount of powder has been inserted into a container.
“Demand for new products and services is constantly increasing, and we are continuing to source the very best equipment to maintain our reputation for superb quality and flexibility,” says Ayo.
“I consider myself to be very fortunate to be responsible for validation in a group that not only prides itself on quality and accuracy but also has the resources to keep on investing in state-of-the-art machinery.
“Working very closely with some of the world’s best developers and suppliers of specialist pharmaceutical packaging equipment we are able to ensure that we remain fleet of foot in responding to the changing needs of our customers, whoever and wherever they are.”