How to Save Money With Non-Destructive Package Testing For Blister Packs

The traditional Blue Dye package testing method is a huge waste of your company's money as every tested pack, even good packs, being thrown away. Just imagine - if you use the Blue Dye test on about 20 packs every 15 minutes, you will test approximately 150,000 blisters per year. If each pack costs more than $1 each to produce, this means your company must be throwing away an incredible $150,000 every year. And that is just on one blister line alone. Now multiply the $150,000 loss by the number of blister packing lines you company runs to calculate the total losses.

BUT - Imagine if you had a clean and dry test which was able to protect the blister packs from any damage during testing. With non-destructive leak test methods, such as machines using vacuum & lazers or vacuum and camera imagery, you could save all of the blister packs which don't have leaks and put them back into the blister packing line rather than throwing them away. These methods may even allow you to make savings when packs do have leaks. In some of the hi-tech non-destructive leak testing machines, even if a fault is discovered, the product inside may still be undamaged because it has not been contaminated by liquid. Therefore this product could be deblistered and returned to the blister line for repacking. Multiply these savings by the number of blister lines you run and you can quickly see how you could revolutionize blister packing in your company.

You can Reduce Costs on your Re-work by Testing every 2 minutes... 
The Blue Dye Test is usually only carried out every 15 minutes or so due to the amount of waste it produces. Therefore, if a leak is discovered it is entirely possible that every blister that was packed during the 15 minute period since the last test could also be faulty. The entire 15-minute production lot has then to be re-worked (emptied from the blisters and re-packed). This in itself can be very expensive, if you are not using an automatic deblistering machine which empty tablets from blister packs at significantly higher rate. With the more hi-tech lazer-based test machines, you can test every 2 minutes. So, even if there is a reject, the rework quantity is much less.

Other Important benefites include removing the subjectivity of operator interpretation. Unlike the Blue Dye test, the non-destructive methods can often be validated, so the results produced are objective and no specialist skills are required to operate or interperate. Also, as these non-destructive machines are clean and dry, they can be placed at the end of lines so there is no need to move packs away from individual blister lines.

It seems clear that the traditional destructive leak testing methods are not right for today's pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. Many of the world's top pharmaceutical manufacturers have already moved to these new lazer and camera based methods of non-destructive leak testing which are set to revolutionize the quality systems throughout the industry.

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