A leader of the pharmaceutical industry has mandated BLUMORPHO to identify its innovation partner in the detection and classification of particles in liquid drug products.
The objective is to define a process to detect and classify particles in 3ml glass containers in the final steps of the production line.
In the current state of the art, the inspection technique is based on line camera and image analysis. 100% of the production is inspected with a minimum speed of 600 containers per minute. Each container is filled with 3ml of a water-based drug product.
The ambition is to find all kinds of material in the liquid as small as is 50µm (glass, aluminum, fibres…). Detecting smaller sizes can be interesting but is not specifically required.
This highly performant technique has however 2 main drawbacks.
- The machine footprint:
At rest, the particles to be detected tend to be either at the bottom of the container or at the surface of the liquid. To make sure that all the particles are seen by the cameras, the containers are spun at 10 000 RPM. This spinning approach leads to a machine with a very large footprint (typically 6m x 2m).
- Opaque products:
Even though the majority of tested products are transparent, the new approach should be capable to handle opaque products.
We are looking for radically new approaches that can be implemented in a compact system and/or could work with opaque liquids.
The proposed process must guarantee the integrity of the product and container (e.g: X-Ray not allowed).
In the first step we will start with a feasibility study aiming at the demonstration of the detection capability. Classification will be addressed at a later stage?
For this specific call, we are targeting Research Organisations or start-ups that can suggest an innovative process, out of the box solution.