Untold millions of medicinal tablets and capsules are produced every year, and many of the over-the-counter varieties are encased in blister packs for protection. Existing manual methods for inspecting these packages are subjective and lack repeatability, while electronic techniques have to date been stymied by the great variation in blister packages.
In both of these cases, vision alone is not sufficient to meet the QC needs of pharmaceutical packaging, whether that vision is human or machine. To fill the gap, Packaging Technologies & Inspection (PTI) has developed a technology that combines vacuum-leak testing with electronic visual inspection, combining the strengths of both techniques in a single nondestructive test machine.
How important is the physical integrity of a blister pack? "Any permeation will affect the shelf life of a tablet or capsule," said PTI spokesman Michelle Wolf, adding that FDA recalls because of package integrity issues are very common. "That’s a very costly event."