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Minebea Intec Case Study: How load cells increase the efficiency of pharmaceutical companies

Minebea Intec Case Study: How load cells increase the efficiency of pharmaceutical companies

Minebea Intec (Germany) - Optimal weighing technology for the pharmaceutical industry.

Pharmaceutical products are developed and manufactured in a highly regulated environment. In addition to high hygiene standards, medicines require a high degree of precision. The exact dosage of active ingredients, the right mixture of ingredients and correct processing are crucial to ensure the efficacy and safety of the medicines. To meet these high demands, there are Minebea Intec's industrial weighing and inspection solutions. The experts at the company's Design-in Support also provide careful planning and advice on implementing or retrofitting high-quality components such as load cells, checkweighers, indicators, cables and junction boxes. 

Find out in this article how to determine the best possible load cells for container weighing in the pharmaceutical industry and how Minebea Intec's solutions have already brought about efficiency improvements at the customer "Pharmatec GmbH".

The pharmaceutical industry has undergone constant change in recent years. Legal framework conditions that increasingly regulate the marketing of medicinal products, a health policy that increasingly focuses on cost control and intense competition present companies with ever new challenges. A direct consequence of these market dynamics is the increasing importance of economic factors and the resulting focus on initiatives to reduce costs, improve efficiency and increase flexibility. A central aspect for improving these points is the use of weighing technology.

Why does the use of weighing technology make sense in the pharmaceutical industry?

Weighing technology enables precise dosing by providing accurate weight measurements with high resolution. By avoiding overfilling or underfilling, pharmaceutical companies can ensure that their products achieve the desired effect. Smart weighing systems offer automated functions that reduce manual intervention and speed up the production process. By integrating weighing systems into the automated production flow, lead times can be reduced and efficient mass production can be achieved.

In addition, weighing systems offer comprehensive data management, which enables traceability of the weighed materials. This is particularly important in the pharmaceutical industry, where traceability of the individual steps and components in the production chain is crucial. This allows pharmaceutical companies to improve the transparency of their processes and effectively address potential recalls or quality issues.

How to choose the right weighing technology?

When planning and selecting the optimal weighing technology for the pharmaceutical industry, it first requires a detailed analysis of the production processes and requirements. Which substances are to be weighed? Are the containers cooled or heated above room temperature? Are there external environmental influences such as air currents or vibrations? Are the load cells or wiring exposed to corrosive substances? Are there components for potentially explosive atmospheres in these areas? "We have many years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and in-depth expertise," says Yannick Salzmann, product manager at Minebea Intec. "We are happy to advise our customers on precision, regulations, hygiene, data management and scalability."

The proof: High-precision weighing solution for Pharmatec GmbH

This example from the pharmaceutical industry shows how successfully Minebea Intec's weighing technology works. The Syntegon subsidiary Pharmatec from Dresden, manufacturer of ultra-pure media systems and process plants, commissioned Minebea Intec with the implementation of six hopper scales in their production process for liquid pharmaceuticals. From tanks with a capacity of several tonnes, the smallest quantities were to be dosed with gram accuracy and the weighing results were to be reliably recorded for reproducibility. In addition to the process requirements, the local conditions also posed an extended task for the application and required several visits from Minebea Intec's specialist personnel for the design planning alone.

Pharmatec benefited here from the sophisticated Minebea Intec technologies: The Novego weighing module® offers an integrated variable height adjustment of up to 8 cm, thus enabling different installation heights. The most difficult part of load cell installation is mounting the load cells in the correct position and the associated protection against external forces, such as horizontal forces and the resulting lifting forces. Without secure mounting kits, the container could tip and fall. In many cases, mounting kits also provide overload protection for the load cell. Properly selected and installed mounting kits also have an impact on system accuracy.

For Pharmatec, the specialists from Minebea Intec chose the weighing module Novego® with integrated installation kit: 360° restraint, lift-off protection and anti-tilt protection.

Other selection criteria were the weighing module's special resistance to lateral forces and its hygienic design, which is so important for the pharmaceutical industry. In a production plant in the pharmaceutical industry, easy and residue-free cleaning must be ensured for maximum sterility. Minebea Intec's weighing modules are made of stainless steel and are therefore highly resistant to corrosion. The product design according to the EHEDG guidelines makes the weighing modules insensitive to dirt, water and even aggressive cleaning agents. 

Minebea Intec offers complete weighing technology portfolio:

In addition to a wide variety of high-quality load cells for different loads and applications, Minebea Intec has a broad portfolio of checkweighers and industrial scales, indicators, controllers, transmitters and other accessories. At Pharmatec, for example, the PR 6130 cable junction box from Minebea Intec is used as an additional component, which is sealed according to the Goretex principle: moisture that occurs inside the box gets to the outside without moisture from the outside penetrating inside. A feature that is indispensable especially in temperature-sensitive environments.

Minebea Intec accompanies project enquiries from the initial consultation through the design process to installation and calibration. "We are very happy to support the selection and implementation of the ideal weighing technology for pharmaceutical manufacturing processes," says Yannick Salzmann. "In this way, we enable manufacturers to optimise their production processes and ensure outstanding quality while meeting regulatory requirements." This ultimately leads to what is probably the most important success factor for the industry: satisfied patients who trust the medicines produced.

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