T E C H N I C A L
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Eliminating Defects and Tightening the Quality Requirements for Packaging Could you imagine if the National Football League reduced the width of their goal posts from 18.5 feet to 2-feet how many kickers could kick a field goal? Obviously very few and even those that could would need to train differently and have the physical abilities to achieve the required results. This example is analogous to the tightening of tolerances for AQL (Acceptable Quality Levels) the pharmaceutical industry now applies to packaging. The industry is reacting to stricter regulatory requirements and the goal of minimizing the risk of packaging related product recalls. As stated in a recent article, “…quality requirements do not end as pills or vials come off the production line-they must be extended through all packaging steps, and the packaging itself can be subjected to a comparable level of quality assurance”. In light of this the sampling and inspection methodologies used by packaging companies that worked in the past are no longer acceptable and must be changed in order to comply with today’s uncompromising quality requirements. To make it more challenging packaging manufacturers are faced with shortened lead times and just-in-time production schedules that cannot tolerate line stoppages for packaging defects. At DISC we have committed the time and resources to meet these challenges and have built a workflow that incorporates advanced inline inspection technologies and quality protocols throughout our manufacturing process. From beginning to end we’ve invested in equipment and software that support our manufacturing team with the goal of shipping zero defects.
New Printing Technology with Inline Machine Vision Inspection The common sampling process used by the printing industry for print inspection is to pull a sheet during the press run at set intervals for a high probability of defect detection. At DISC, we recognized that to achieve zero defect levels in the finished cartons required real-time inline machine based inspection in addition to a sampling program. In 2013 we invested in a new Komori printing press with an integrated Print Quality Assessment System with high resolution digital cameras that photograph and inspect sheets in real time. If a defect is detected an alarm sounds and a tab is automatically inserted in the run thereby isolating the sheet or sheets within the run. Please click on the link below to access a video on this exciting new technology: http://discgraphics.com/services/printing
Investment in 100% Final Inspection Both brand owners and contract manufacturers are demanding faultless packaging that optimizes their filling lines’ performance and eliminates stoppages. Over the years DISC has invested in a quality focused workflow that combines machine operator checks with hardware and software that inspects the work before advancing through the process as illustrated below: PRE-MANUFACTURING • GLOBAL VISION’S DIGITAL-PAGE AND DOCU-PROOF PROGRAMS • 3D SOFTWARE TO VERIFY PROPER ARTWORK PLACEMENT • DIGITAL SCANNER FOR BAR CODE VERIFICATION
PRINTING • INLINE MACHINE VISION PRINT QUALITY ASSESSMENT SYSTEM FOR PRINT DEFECT DETECTION • AUTOMATIC SHEET REGISTRATION SYSTEM • AUTOMATIC COLOR ADJUSTMENT
FINISHING • DIE CUTTER SCANNER ASSURES PROPER SHEET ORIENTATION • BAR CODE READERS VERIFY EVERY CARTON • GLUE DETECTION SYSTEMS • FOLDER/GLUER INLINE VISION SYSTEM FOR 100% INSPECTION
Until recently folding & gluing cartons, the final step in manufacturing, relied on machine operators and quality inspectors to check cartons before release. This sampling process is effective for a high probability of defect detection; however it is meant to limit defects in a batch and not eliminate them to meet zero defect requirements. Although there are ancillary camera systems available for inspection of certain carton elements, there had not been an inline system to inspect the entire carton until now. Developments in high speed cameras and image processing are now incorporated in a new generation of folder-gluers from Bobst Group. The ACCUCHECK inline inspection system mounted onto a folder-gluer is able to check the print on every single carton at machine speeds and automatically ejects a defective carton without stopping the line and waiting for operator intervention. In the fourth quarter of 2013 DISC installed the ACCUCHECK system on a new Bobst Expertfold folder-gluer, which is one of only a few installed in the world. DISC is the first company in the world to combine the Komori print quality assessment system and the ACCUCHECK for 100% final inspection into a single manufacturing workflow, and makes our quality management system a perfect fit for pharmaceutical folding carton requirements. Please click on the link below to access a video on this exciting new technology: http://discgraphics.com/services/finishing For more information please click the contact button of the newsletter or email: email@example.com Quinn. (2011). Recalls Stimulate Scrutiny of Quality Assurance in Drug Packaging. PharmaceuticalCommerce.com, (November|December 2011). Retrieved March 6, 2014 from http://accelrys.com/about/news-pr/discoverantpdf/2011/pharma-commerce-recalls-stimulate-scrutiny-on-quality-nov-2011.pdf