SPINE FIBO is the first machine in the world that combines 100% visual inspection and sorting with counting and bottle filling. In short, it is the first machine to visually inspect all surfaces of each product, sort out defective products and then immediately fill bottles with good product only. Bringing together two individual processes provides a solution that considerably reduces costs and risks of overall pharmaceutical production.
About innovative counting and bottle technology of SPINE FIBO
Inspection of SPINE FIBO is based on existing technology of SPINE machine and can achieve the same high-end performance in applicability, quality of inspection and throughput. SPINE has proven to be the most versatile machine on the market for more than 10 years. It is still the only machine, which can 100% visually inspect and sort any kind of tablet, hard-gel capsule or softgel. SPINE technology has been recognized all over the world with references in Europe, US, Asia (India, China, Japan). Check SPINE video.
The first counting of SPINE FIBO is performed while inspecting the product with multiple cameras. Simply described, SPINE technology already inherently counts products very accurately.
The second counting of SPINE FIBO is performed instantly before the product is released from inspection manipulators into bottles. For the second counting, an optical sensor is used, similarly as on conventional bottle fillers, where the counting is performed during product free fall. The counting in free fall causes errors in counting, e.g. two products fall through the optical sensor together and the optical sensor detects only one. Furthermore, smaller bits of products, that are not sorted beforehand, can add to the count. These risks are eliminated with SPINE FIBO, as the products are still in defined position during second counting, which is a major advantage. Moreover, all defected products are sorted out before the second counting, meaning smaller pieces will not cause count triggers.
Bottle filling of SPINE FIBO is done with lanes of bottles in pairs. In a single pair, one lane is being filled with good products, while the other lane is getting the empty bottle ready for filling. Once the first bottle is filled, the manipulation switches to filling of the bottle on the second lane. Since each product on inspection manipulators is controlled individually, SPINE FIBO requires no flaps for the change of bottles, which is another major advantage over competitors. Check SPINE FIBO video.
SPINE FIBO impact on cost reduction
Less rejected bottles and products: conventional bottle fillers can be also equipped with inspection systems. These inspection systems inspect the products (often from one side only), but do not sort out the defects, meaning, a defect will cause rejection of a full bottle.
Less needed space: combining different processes is always welcomed in pharmaceutical production, since space in clean room facilities is always scarce. SPINE FIBO brings two processes under one footprint and there is no need of dedicated rooms for inspection.
Staff cost reduction: SPINE FIBO is simple to use, and requires only one operator for machine setup and cleaning, which is done in 30 minutes.
Product handling and storage cost: by reducing number of processes, there is also less material handling equipment and storage facility required.
SPINE FIBO risk management
Typically, inspection process and bottle filling process are not performed in the same room. SPINE FIBO eliminates risks of the inspected products getting damaged after inspection due to material handling (stress on product in containers or transport, emptying IBC into bottle filling machine, etc.) or due to human factor (operators can access the product).
100% visual inspection of SPINE FIBO reduces risks of having any type of defected products in bottles.
Defective products are sorted out before bottle filling. SPINE FIBO eliminates risks of smaller product pieces (e.g. broken tablets) being counted as one product count.
Bottle filling on SPINE FIBO uses no flaps, which eliminates risks of products getting stuck or damaged after inspection.
One machine instead of two is not only more economical from operation point of few, but also from investment and maintenance point of few, which has been confirmed by 3 sold units in the first six months since the launch of the product.
This article was originally published in Manufacturing Chemist: