Recently acquired tech firm Sepha has launched a new non-destructive leak testing system for pharmaceutical bottles.
The Belfast firm – which has been part of US group Tasi since July – claims its new Bottlescan system is the pharmaceutical sector’s first non-destructive, multi-bottle leak testing technology.
The technology uses a principle known as “force decay” - in which a vacuum is used to create a pressure differential between the inside of the bottle and the outside - to detect down to 15 microns as spokeswoman Sarah Lamont explained.
"Force decay testing measures changes in force generated by induction-sealed bottles when they are placed under vacuum in a chamber. If the reduction of force is greater than a predetermined level set by the operator, the pack will be classed as a failure.
She went on to tell in-Pharmatechnologist.com that: "The conventional methods of testing bottles are the squeeze test and the blue dye test. The blue dye test is destructive, meaning that all tested packs and product are destroyed after testing whether they pass or fail. Both tests are subjective, time consuming and can be inaccurate.
"The BottleScan’s force decay method offers a rapid, accurate and repeatable test with objective results that can be stored and exported for audit or quality control purposes.
Lamont declined to say how much the new system will cost but did tell us that: "We have had pre-launch enquiries from large scale pharmaceutical manufacturers in Europe as well as USA and India."
She added that: "BottleScan was originally developed in response to increasing demand for a more advanced, technology based integrity test for induction-sealed bottles within the USA & Indian markets. However, there have already been enquiries from manufacturers within Europe and so we are optimistic for a more global demand."