Pharma Packaging Companies Urged To Think Smarter Than Blue Dye Testing

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Independent study proves non-destructive leak testing reduces cost and improves quality on the packaging line... Specially commissioned research being undertaken by packaging experts at the University of Ulster's School of Engineering on behalf of the specialist machinery manufacturer, Sepha Ltd., has revealed that technology-based non-destructive leak detection is significantly more accurate in detecting weak seals in blister packs than blue-dye test methods. The initial results of the research which form part of an in-depth study to be to be published as a White Paper later this year, have found that a laser based detection device, Blisterscan, is capable of detecting 50% more holes at 10 micron and 20% more defects at 15 micron than traditional blue dye testing. The study is looking at blister packs using different tablet sizes, foil thickness and pack formats in order to demonstrate that global pharmaceutical companies who embrace technology-led testing procedures will reduce cost and improve quality on their packaging lines.

Dr Dorian Dixon & Sepha agents discussing initial results of his study into packaging leak testing

These initial results highlight that Blisterscan is much more reliable, accurate and capable of detecting 15 micron leaks than blue dye.

Specialist machinery manufacturer, Sepha Ltd, is urging pharma packaging and pharmaceutical manufacturers to start think smarter about packaging leak testing procedures in advance of a major, academic White Paper to be published later this year. The in-depth study into the accuracy of the technology-based leak detection device, Blisterscan, verses traditional blue dye test methods is being carried out by Professor Dorian Dixon of the University of Ulster's School of Engineering.

Initial results of the study were presented to Sepha's worldwide agent & distributor network at a major global conference held in Belfast recently. Dr Dixon said: " These initial results highlight that Blisterscan is much more reliable, accurate and capable of detecting 15 micron leaks than blue dye." Further tests on 10, 15, and 20 micron holes will be carried out as Dr Dixon moves towards the completion of his White Paper at the end of 2010. Improved accuracy and reliability of blister pack testing, combined with non-destructive cost-savings present a strong argument for Blisterscan to become the most appropriate leak detection device in modern pharma production facilities.

Agents who travelled from as far as India, China and Brazil to attend the three day conference were also introduced to three new pharmaceutical packaging machine prototypes developed in response to the economic challenges facing the global pharmaceutical industry. The new machines will offer effective yet lower cost options for detecting leaks in pharmaceutical packaging such as blister packs.

Sepha is a specialist manufacturer of non-destructive inspection equipment for inspecting the seal integrity of pharmaceutical and medical device blister packs. Sepha also designs and manufactures a range of deblistering equipment for product recovery from pharmaceutical blisters and lab-scale blister packing machines for clinical trial use.


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Sarah Hession
Sepha Ltd.
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MF Communication
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