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What is a Pharmaceuticals Plant

Tablet Weight Control Results in Significant Savings 

This pharmaceutical company is committed to continuous improvement in its manufacturing operation. The Delaware pharmaceutical processor manufactures both tablet and liquid medications, as well as surgical sponges at its Newark plant. Statistical process control is now an integral part of all manufacturing operations.

Problem

Tablet weights were being recorded manually on the shop floor, but weight variability testing was being performed later in the lab. By the time the variability testing occurred, two or three batches of substandard tablets could have been produced on the floor. If too much variation was found, these batches would be reground and compressed, costing the company time in correcting errors and materials used unnecessarily for excess tablet weights.

Solution

DataMyte 953 data collectors were installed at tablet weighing stations right on the shop floor. Tablets can now be individually weighed by a Mocon automated balance. The data from the balance is collected and stored electronically using the DataMyte data collectors, which perform on-the-spot statistical analysis of weight trends based on the individual tablet weights in each sample. When the weight varies beyond certain parameters, the data collectors automatically trigger an alarm. Operators are immediately alerted so they can adjust tablet production to correct the problem and avoid the costly and prolonged errors that occurred with the manual system.

In the first year following installation of the electronic data collection system, the company improved the accuracy of the product by .3 milligrams. By eliminating the need for redundant weight testing and composite sampling, it realized significant increases in batch yields. The company’s success in improving its production and quality control processes helps produce the highest quality product and saves an estimated $250,000 per year in materials, production time, and quality lab time.

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