Blogs CCIT

23
Jun 2021

Evaluating Package Inspection Solutions for Pre-filled Syringes

Evaluating Package Inspection Solutions for Pre-filled Syringes

Did you know that majority of defects in high-risk pharmaceuticals including pre-filled syringes are caused by seal defects, attributed to both process and personnel error? While micro leaks pose a risk, the primary causes of defects are larger seal related quality deviations.

As the pharmaceutical industry is constantly seeking opportunities to develop convenient drug delivery methods, pre-filled syringes have come up as practical and reliable source for unit dose medication. The demand for glass syringes faded as the industry moved towards plastic and disposable syringes. Pre-filled syringes are applied across a wide range of medical sector including vaccines, blood stimulants, and therapeutic proteins.

Convenience in use and reduced dosage errors are the primary benefits associated with pre-filled syringes. They make injections easier and safer for both doctors and patients. In addition, pharmaceutical companies are able to minimize drug waste and increase product life span- which are important factors, particularly with costly biopharmaceuticals. However, considering the fact that pre-filled syringes are complicated combination products, manufacturers face a number of challenges in terms of quality control and stability concerns. Therefore, pharmaceutical package testing demands sound knowledge of various CCI testing methods. In this blog, we will understand how Microcurrent HVLD technology offers reliable seal quality testing of pre-filled syringes.

MicroCurrent HVLD Technology for CCI testing of pre-filled syringes.

High voltage leak detection (HVLD) has been a common technology in the market for decades. The latest evolution of HVLD, MicroCurrent technology, aims to achieve a high level of CCI assurance across the entire range of parenteral products. High voltage leak detection is a method included in USP 1207 as a deterministic test methodology and is an established and reliable solution for all liquid filled parenteral products.

HVLD operates on the simple property of electrical current. The package barrier must be non-conductive and would resist voltage from passing through, while the package contents should generally be able to carry voltage. Liquid products with a conductivity of 5 microsiemens and greater meet the requirement for PTI’s MicroCurrent HVLD

The E-Scan 655 is a Microcurrent HVLD technology-based leak test instrument used to inspect vials, syringes, and other liquid filled parenteral products. It is completely non-destructive to the container and product; exposing the package and product to lower voltage than other conductivity-based solutions. The technology uses a non-contact and non-invasive test method that requires no sample preparation. E-Scan 655 can be used with a wide range of liquid-based products including low conductivity sterile water for injection (WFI) and proteinaceous products with suspensions.

Benefits of MicroCurrent HVLD technology

  • Non-destructive, non-invasive, no sample preparation.
  • High level of repeatability and accuracy.
  • Effective across all parenteral products, including extremely low conductivity liquids (WFI).
  • Lower voltage exposure produces no ozone, eliminating risk to the product and environment.
  • Listed in USP Chapter as recommended method for parenteral liquid package inspection.
  • Robust method and approximate 3x Signal-Noise-Ratio for a wide range of product classes and package formats.
  • Simplifies the inspection and validation process.
Readmore...
pharmaceutical package testing, seal quality testing, CCI, Microcurrent HVLD
176
19
Jun 2021

MicroCurrent HVLD Technology for Sensitive CCI Testing

MicroCurrent HVLD Technology for Sensitive CCI Testing

Container Closure Integrity Testing is a leak detection test conducted using non-destructive package inspection systems, to evaluate whether container closure systems can maintain sterile barriers against potential damages. CCIT plays a vital role in ensuring that the products are free from any possible contamination. Container closure systems are made up of primary packaging components and secondary packaging components. Components like glass, vials or syringes that are in direct contact with the product are called primary packaging components. Secondary packaging components include aluminum caps, cardboard boxes etc. that are not in direct contact with the product.

While there are multiple ways to conduct a Container Closure Integrity test, these methods can be broadly classified into probabilistic and deterministic test methods. Traditional methods like bubble tests, dye ingress and microbial challenge by immersion come under probabilistic test methods. Since it was found that such test results lacked accuracy and reliability, the United States pharmacopeia released guidance in 2016 stating that deterministic methods are preferred over probabilistic test methods. Let us now understand how Microcurrent HVLD technology ensures sensitive CCI testing across different industries and applications.

MicroCurent HVLD technology is a non-destructive test method capable of achieving high levels of CCI assurance across the entire range of parenteral products. It is an FDA recognized ASTM test method capable of detecting the presence and location of pinholes, micro-cracks, stopper/plunger leaks, non-visible leaks under crimping and many other defects. Additionally, MicroCurent HVLD technology is found to be effective in detecting leaks in a wide range of liquid- filled products including extremely low conductivity sterile water for injection (WFI) and proteinaceous products with suspensions. A unique feature of Microcurrent HVLD technology is that it does not require mass to pass through a defect site, requiring only the passage of electricity through a crack.

How does MicroCurrent HVLD technology work?

MicroCurrent HVLD technology functions on the simple property of electrical current. The first step is to place container horizontally on the rotating stage. While rotating the container, high voltage is applied on one side of the container and a ground probe on the opposing side. In the presence of a micro-leak or crack in one of the container walls, break-down resistance is reached and the current passes through. On the other hand, if there is no leak, the two container walls (high voltage side and ground side) provide full electrical resistance and no significant current is measured passing through the package.

MicroCurrent HVLD reduces voltage exposure to the product to less than 5% of the voltage exposure experienced when testing with other HVLD solutions. Reduced voltage exposure has twin benefits- limits any risk that the voltage may cause to the product, and greatly reduces production of ozone during operation. In fact, experiments have shown that MicroCurrent HVLD produces essentially no Ozone

Benefits MicroCurrent HVLD technology

  • Non-destructive, non-invasive, no sample preparation.
  • High level of repeatability and accuracy.
  • Effective across all parenteral products, including extremely low conductivity liquids (WFI).
  • Lower voltage exposure produces no ozone, eliminating risk to the product and environment.
  • Listed in USP Chapter as recommended method for parenteral liquid package inspection.
  • Robust method and approximate 3x Signal-Noise-Ratio for a wide range of product classes and package formats.
  • Simplifies the inspection and validation process.
Readmore...
container closure integrity, CCI, Microcurrent HVLD
193
14
Jun 2021

VeriPac UBV for Blister Package Inspection

  VeriPac UBV for Blister Package Inspection

Blister packs are popular packaging options for pharmaceuticals and consumer goods. A wide range of pharmaceutical products are packed in blister packs, ranging from capsules and tablets to high-risk hormone-based drugs and steroidal treatments. Commonly made of thermoformed plastic, these are quite useful in guarding products against external factors like heat, moisture and humidity.

However, concerns over integrity of blister packaging have increased over the years. Even a minute breach in the packaging can result in compromised package integrity. Hence, pharmaceutical manufacturers concerned about quality and shelf life of their products make Container Closure Integrity testing a crucial part of their manufacturing process. There are several methods available to test blister packs, and each has its own merits and demerits. For instance, the most common method to test blister packs remain dye ingress. However, this method is subjective, probabilistic and lacked accuracy in test results. This encouraged manufacturers to use non-destructive CCI test methods, that were accurate and produced quantitative results with measurable result data.

Blister Package Inspection with VeriPac UBV Technology

The VeriPac UBV Leak Detection System is a deterministic, non-destructive technology designed specifically for multi-cavity blister packs. The VeriPac UBV utilizes volumetric imaging under vacuum to detect the presence and location of leaks. It is a rapid test requiring no changeover or sample preparation. Operators simply input the number of blister cavities, place the blister pack on the inspection plate and press the START button. Within seconds, the operator sees a definitive pass/fail result, along with a volumetric measurement reading. The location of the defective cavity is presented to the operator with an image of the tested package. The intuitive and simple method makes it a practical solution giving rapid feedback to production line operators.

The UBV technology can provide rapid detection of defects as small as 10 microns with a fast test time, averaging 10-30 seconds depending on blister cavity volume. Test system requires no tools or test parameter changes for different blister formats. This technology is particularly advantageous for small to tiny blister cavities that are notoriously difficult to detect with a standard Vacuum Decay technology due to the very low headspace.

Technology Overview

Under this method, the sample is first placed inside the hinged test chamber. After pressing the start button, vacuum is pulled to a defined level. The blisters expand under vacuum, driving air out of the blister through any leaks present. If there is a leak in the blister, the air escapes into the chamber leaving a collapsed blister package. During the dynamic vacuum test sequence, a volumetric measurement reading is taken which determines which blister cavities are defective.

Benefits of VeriPac UBV Technology

  • Non-destructive technology
  • Accurate and repeatable results
  • Pass/fail results backed by quantitative test data
  • Completely tool-less
  • No changeover to test different blister formats
  • Identifies which cavity is defective
  • Eliminates destructive, subjective testing methods
Readmore...
container closure integrity, CCI, Vacuum Decay Technology, blister package testing
200
07
Jun 2021

Package Integrity Testing - The Next Big Technologies You Should Know

Package Integrity Testing The Next Big Technologies You Should Know

We all know that the primary function of any package is storing, handling & protecting the product. So, what is package integrity? Package integrity is defined as a package’s ability to protect its contents from potential hazards that include various physical, microbial & chemical factors. Its usefulness may have many nuances depending on the products & content. But industries like pharmaceutical, nutrition & medical device, deal with lifesaving & sustaining products that are shipped across the globe. Any discontinuity in the package can result in the contamination of the product making a life-saving product into a life-threatening one. Therefore, package integrity is imperative to ensure the safety of the products at the time of use.

The selection of the appropriate package inspection method is essential to maintain the quality standards that the regulatory bodies stand by today. Since 2016, the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) released guidance encouraging the use of deterministic, reliable test methods. Package leak test methods offered by CCIT s.a. are all deterministic, non-destructive, quantitative test methods with a specific on the reliability of the test result to assure integrity at the highest level.

VeriPac Vacuum Decay Technology

Vacuum decay is validated as one of the most reliable & sensitive vacuum-based leak detection methods that give quantitative & reproducible results with a pass or fail determination. PTI’s VeriPac inspection method is based on vacuum decay technology. It is one of the most ideal non-destructive container closure integrity testing solutions for different types of package formats that include parenteral packaging and other types of flexible and semi-flexible package formats. This method is non-invasive, non-subjective & requires no sample preparation. VeriPac 400 series can be used in various applications like stability studies, clinical trials, quality assurance testing and production statistical process control.

With PERMA-VAC, PTI redefined the vacuum-based leak detection method and addresses vacuum decay leak detection at the very core of physical test measurement & maximizing the SNR between good and defective samples.

Microcurrent HVLD

PTI has revolutionized the conventional HVLD method with the new HVLDmc – MicroCurrent HVLD, a highly sensitive leak detection method for all Parenteral and Biologic Products. The new E-scan 655 Microcurrent HVLD system exposes the product and environment to less than 5% of the voltage than conventional HVLD solutions. Referenced in USP <1207>, PTI’s HVLDmc has proven to be a highly sensitive leak detection method for applications like pre-filled syringes, vials, cartridges, ampoules, BFS, bottles, pouches.

Airborne Ultrasound

PTI’s proprietary Airborne Ultrasound technology is one of the most reliable seal quality inspection methods that characterize the overall quality and uniformity of the seal. This technology can be integrated for 100% online leak detection of pouch seals. Airborne ultrasound can be used for many material types such as Tyvek ®, paper, foil, film, aluminum, plastic & poly. This technology is referenced in the new USP <1207> Chapter guidance as a deterministic test method for seal quality testing. It is also an ASTM Test Method and FDA-recognized standard for seal quality testing.

Automated Inline Solutions

CCIT provides automated package inspection solutions across all PTI technology platforms – Vacuum Decay, Airborne Ultrasound and MicroCurrent HVLD. The Automated Systems are designed using PTI’s VeriPac, MicroCurrent HVLD and Airborne Ultrasound technologies for applications that include automated statistical process control (SPC) testing and 100% inline testing. The configurations are equipped with the capability of fully automated inspection with robotic pick and place. HVLDmc and Vacuum Decay overlap in capabilities, but more importantly encompass the full parenteral market range. The Airborne Ultrasound Technology for the 100% inline inspection of pouch seals has been an efficacious solution to verify final pouch seal quality.

Helium Leak Testing

Helium leak testing can be used for packaging tests quantitatively using helium as a tracer gas. Helium-based leak testing systems allow comparison between multiple packaging materials and forms production line settings and stability storage conditions, supporting the entire lifecycle. This method is also effective for various package types including cold form blister cards, foil pouches, parenteral vials, syringes, pre-filled syringes and unique medical devices.

The package systems of complex drug and biologic required to be stored at below -20°C, and needs storage and distribution environment that include dry ice (~-78.5°C), or even liquid nitrogen (~-200°C) can be quantitively and accurately tested using helium leak detection technology. This one technology has many applications for container closure integrity testing of pharmaceutical and medical device products.

Readmore...
package integrity testing, vacuum decay technology, cci. airborne ultrasound technology, helium leak testing
181
03
Jun 2021

Vacuum Decay Technology-A Novel Solution for Nutritional Packaging Inspection

Vacuum Decay Technology-A Novel Solution for Nutritional Packaging Inspection

In today's world, with the popularity of health products continuing to rise, manufacturers must ensure products are packed properly. Because of this reason, the universal health-wise regulation has set a fixed standard for nutritional products packaging process. This is for the elimination of defects happening due to innate chemical reactions within the nutritional products. Such defects can expose products to oxygen, moisture or bacteria- compromising its quality and reducing shelf life.

Nutritional products including dairy products and protein powders are mostly shelf stable in nature. The high fat content in dairy products including cream, butter and ghee is prone to deterioration in its storage process, causing auto-oxidative reactions. The defects in the dairy products can be eliminated through proper nutritional packaging inspection only. Similarly, protein-based powders including soy and casein are extensively used as energy sources. Inefficiencies in packaging of such products can have an adverse effect on consumer’s health. Therefore, conducting package integrity testing of nutritional products are vital to eliminate defects in packaging as well as possibility of product contamination.

Vacuum Decay Technology – The Ideal Nutritional Packaging Inspection Solution

Vacuum Decay technology is a deterministic Container Closure Integrity test method for evaluating quality of nutritional product packaging. The non-destructive testing method improves quality of packaging and reduces wastage compared to destructive test methods. Cost-effective non-destructive testing results in higher return on investments and ensures quality of products.

Vacuum Decay technology operates by placing sample packages in a closely fitting evacuation test chamber, with an external vacuum source. A single or dual vacuum transducer technology monitors the test chamber over a predetermined test period. The changes occurring in vacuum levels are analyzed to identify leaks and defects within the package. CCIT’s VeriPac series helps in detecting small leaks before it becomes critical in quality abbreviations.

Benefits of Vacuum Decay technology

  • Non-destructive package inspection technology
  • ASTM Test Method F2338, FDA Consensus Standard and referenced in USP 1207 Guidelines
  • Accurate, reliable and repeatable test results.
  • Pass/fail results backed by quantitative test data.
  • Completely tool-less with no changeover to test different packaging formats.
  • Eliminates the need for destructive, subjective testing methods.
Readmore...
container closure integrity testing methods, vacuum decay technology, package integrity testing, ccit
186
02
Jun 2021

Evaluating Relevance of Seal Quality Inspection in Medical Device Industry

Evaluating Relevance of Seal Quality Inspection in Medical Device Industry

Talking about medical devices, ensuring seal quality or seal strength of sterile medical device packaging are extremely crucial as well as highly regulated. Medical device package seal contains a flexible barrier which is joined to the rigid container through an advanced adhesive. A defect in the seal such as an incomplete or weak seal can initiate leaks, contaminating the product and reducing its shelf life. Hence, for quality control purposes, seal quality inspection of medical device packages is mandatory.

Historically, manual inspection was the most popular method used to inspect seal defects. Although this is covered by an ASTM method (ASTM F1886), it lacked accuracy and reliability in terms of test results. “There is a huge shift in the industry towards deterministic and quantitative test methods,” comments Oliver Stauffer, Chief Executive Officer at PTI - Packaging Technologies & Inspection. “This includes Vacuum Decay and Airborne Ultrasound for medical device applications. The industry is currently moving away from dye ingress and manual visual inspection because there are so many blind spots in applying them and there’s a huge false sense of assurance.”

Airborne Ultrasound technology is a non-destructive seal integrity test method capable of advanced seal quality inspection of pouches and flexible packaging. Seal defects can be of two types- leak defects and non- leak defects. While it is easier to detect a leak defect, detecting non-leak defects can be a challenge for manufacturers. However, Airborne Ultrasound technology allows non-destructive Container Closure Integrity testing of multiple seal defects including visible and invisible, leaking and non-leaking, process-related and random- making it a practical solution for medical device seal quality inspection.

Technology overview

Airborne Ultrasound technology utilizes ultrasound waves to detect defects in package seals. Ultrasound waves are passed through the material as the package seal moves along the sensor head. This causes reflections of sound waves. In the presence of a leak, the signal strength is either eliminated or reduced. Such variations in signal strength are analyzed to identify the defects. Seal scan testing is a practical solution to recognize defects, such as inconsistent seals or areas of seals that fail to meet minimum width requirement. Seal-Scan® and Seal-Sensor utilize non-contact airborne ultrasonic testing technology for advanced seal quality inspection. Seal-Scan® technology has been proven in the field by several online and offline units installed.

Benefits of Airborne Ultrasound technology

  • Deterministic seal quality inspection method that produces quantitative results.
  • This method works for any material type and combinations regardless of color, transparency, print, surface finish or porosity.  
  • Non-destructive and non-subjective test method that requires no sample preparation.
  • Technology can be integrated for 100% online defect detection of the final pouch seal.
  • Repeatable, reproducible and reliable results for seal quality inspection.
  • Cost-effective solution for seal integrity testing and seal analysis that characterizes overall quality and uniformity of the seal. 
Readmore...
container closure integrity testing, seal integrity testing, seal quality inspection, airborne ultrasound technology
360

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