X-line - atomatic in-line blister pack inspection

Automatic in-line blister pack inspection

The problem

Medicines in tablet and capsule form are frequently packaged in blister packs. The consequence of an unfilled blister compartment may be a health risk to the patient and is certainly a liability issue for the drug supplier.

The solution

Aluminium foil is highly inert and is therefore often used as a packaging material. Unfortunately, this material eliminates certain inspection techniques such as optical, microwave or RF. An inspection technique is required to “see through” a range of blister pack materials and yet be sensitive enough to detect the tablets. The technique also needs to be viable as a fully automated, high speed, in-line inspection tool.

The X-Line™ system is well suited to this application. It is specifically designed for inspection of smaller items in production lines, and provides image data to custom embedded image-processing software. A variety of advanced software algorithms are employed to identify, rapidly and reliably, any empty blisters giving fully automatic pass / fail decision capability. Inspection rates of 400 blisters per minute are readily achieved. When used to inspect blister packs in their final packaging, the system is also sufficiently sensitive to check for the presence of the important product instruction leaflet.

Pills in a blister

Pills in a blister

Client benefits
  • 100%, in-line blister inspection
  • Automated pass / fail decision capability
  • Inspects 400 blisters per minute
  • Works with all normal blister pack materials including aluminium foil
  • Repeatable and reliable inspection even on boxed goods
  • Minimises product liability issues

This project provides an excellent example of the diverse range of inspection problems that can be solved with 3DX-RAY Ltd’s range of modular inspection systems including the MDXi™ series, X-Line™ and AXIS-3D®