Helping Keep Pharmaceuticals Safe: Metal Detection Overview And GuidelinesSource: Thermo Scientific Product Inspection
By Kevin Zarnick, Pharmaceutical Sales Manager, Product Inspection, Thermo Fisher Scientific
Using metal detection as a means of identifying foreign object contamination has been prevalent in the food industry for decades. Metal detection traditionally has been the first line of defense to identify the presence of ferrous, non-ferrous, or stainless steel contaminants in food products before they have the chance to leave the processing plant.
Although in use for tablets and capsules by the pharmaceutical industry for 40 years, the application of metal detection at other points in the production process has not been widespread. One of the main reasons is that the most common forms of drug packaging—blisters, vials and plastic bottles—typically incorporate a foil component making metal detection quite challenging, if not impractical.
However, since pharmaceutical manufacturing is not immune to metal-object contamination, it is important to discuss ways to effectively incorporate metal detection into the production or packaging processes when practicable.