Multiple Sensors for Multiple Needs
Along with numerous other types of automation equipment, a variety of sensors are used in the pharmaceutical industry to help companies meet production and compliance goals. Depending on the application, these might include verifying the presence of tamper-evident seals, pharma codes, and registration or production marks. They also include detecting label placement and the level of opacity in bottles.
Whatever the requirement, an automated sensor is the ideal choice because it allows companies to improve quality control and verify other manufacturing processes more efficiently and accurately in today’s high-speed production lines. With thousands of products moving along lines every minute, it’s essential that companies seeking sensors used in pharmaceutical industry applications find the right one for their needs.
At EMX Industries, Inc., a number of our industrial automation sensors can be used in pharmaceutical production environments. Here, we’ll explore three common needs and a few sensors that can be used in each.
Tamper-evident seals are an important part of protecting consumers and your organization. There are a variety of types of tamper-evident seals ranging from plastic shrink wrap around caps to small wafer seals over bottle openings. Here are a few options to consider based on your materials.
- UVX Luminescence Sensor — Some tamper-evident seals have a luminescent tracer either applied to or mixed into the seal itself such as adhesives or coatings. The UVX luminescence sensor shoots a small beam of ultraviolet onto the seal as it passes through the spot. If that material is indeed luminescent, it will fluoresce (glow). The sensor sees this and provides a rapid response to other systems. Our luminescence sensors also feature 3 to 6 times the operating range of competing sensors. Multiple models are available depending on your needs. Learn more about the reliability gained with the UVX sensor.
- CNTX Contrast Sensor — If your tamper-evident seal doesn’t feature a luminescent tracer, our contrast sensor is an ideal alternative. It can detect a marking on the seal, such as wording or some other small graphic, and detect differences in surface finish with extreme precision and speed. This allows greater flexibility for companies manufacturing pharmaceutical products to use one sensor for multiple seal types. As our fastest sensor, the CNTX operates with a lightning-fast 40kHz switching speed. Learn more about switching speed and why it matters.
- ColorMax Color Sensor — If your tamper-evident seal features an opaque marking or a transparent color material, the ColorMax sensor can be used to identify the presence of the seal on bottles or other containers. If the color itself is an important part of the process, ColorMax sensors can also be used to understand color intensity and determine whether a seal’s color falls within an acceptable threshold. Learn more about how the ColorMax sensor is used in pharmaceutical industry applications.
Labels are an essential part of virtually every pharmaceutical product. As a manufacturer, you’re not only required to verify that labels are present but are also required to meet key industry standards on those labels. Below are two high-speed sensors used in pharmaceutical industry applications pertaining to labels.
- CNTX Contrast Sensor — Similar to detecting and verifying the presence of tamper-evident seals, the CNTX contrast sensor can be used to identify the placement of labels on pharmaceutical products. Examples include identifying high-contrast markings such as registration marks, barcodes, or text. Additionally, the CNTX can be used to detect labels that have a distinct surface finish from the container or bottle itself. Explore other ways the CNTX can be used for pharmaceutical applications — and why it excels.
- CMYX Color Mark Sensor — Designed specifically for detecting pharma codes, the CMYX features the same high speed as the CNTX contrast sensor but can be used to differentiate between color marks and backgrounds at extremely high speeds. For example, the CMYX can detect codes measuring at only 0.5 mm at up to 2,000 feet per minute. Learn more about the CMYX — download the spec sheet now.
Some pharmaceutical products are extremely sensitive to light. If light is allowed to penetrate a bottle for too long, it can cause spoilage and reduce the beneficial properties of the medication or materials contained inside it. EMX offers a distinct sensor solution to help manufacturers understand the properties of their bottles.
- OPAX-1000 Opacity Sensor — If your bottles or containers are made with packaging materials such as high-density polyethylene, HDPE plastic, LDPE, or other opaque materials like paper and composite films, the OPAX-1000 allows for reliable and extremely accurate light transmission measurement. The unit features 99 levels of relative opacity scale and various output options, allowing for simple pass/fail measurement as containers move along your line. Multiple models are available depending on your needs. Learn more about the advantages of using opacity sensors in your production line.
Get Complimentary Testing on a Sample Material
If you’re unsure what sensor would work best for your application, or if you simply want to verify performance prior to making a purchase, EMX offers complimentary sample testing services. Simply reach out to us here, give us insight into any ongoing challenges at hand, and we’ll conduct a test using one or more sensors. You’ll receive a written report with photos (as available) detailing how the sensor performed on your material. Our expert engineers will make recommendations for a certain sensor type to ensure accuracy and reliability.