Peptides play a critical role in the modern physician's toolkit. But peptides and related substances present unique manufacturing challenges.
(PM) Switzerland, 14.12.2011 - Manually, sale weights ranging from 1 mg to several-100 mg often require 2 to 3 minutes per fill to achieve a within-tolerance fill. Substances such as peptides and proteins require multi-step synthesis, making them quite expensive—and not the kind of thing any processor or distributor relishes giving away for free.
Overfilling to ensure minimum standards are met can reduce already thin profit margins. But magnify the giveaway concern: Repeat the operation 30, 100 or 1,000 times in one batch. Manual dosing becomes a fulfillment quagmire—tiring for operators, costly for companies.
Automated cost savings
One Swiss biochemical company faced the unenviable logistical challenge of supplying a catalog of more than 4,400 chemicals on a timely basis to pharmaceutical industry buyers. After evaluating how much money they were losing to overfills, and to meet increased demand for their products, the company began seeking ways to enhance productivity.
METTLER TOLEDO determined Quantos with an auto-sampler offered an ideal solution to this manufacturer's bottling challenge.
The Quantos doses 30 target vessels of differing target weights without operator interaction, taking 30-to-60 seconds per vessel—four times faster than a manual fill. Auto-generated labels simplified filled vial tracking. And, specialized vial-fitting adapters reduce electrostatic effects, which can be a concern with automated solutions.
The company's productivity increased more than four-fold in just ten months. Overfilling has also been reduced from 9% to just 2%, contributing to significant monetary gains.
Added benefits of exact fills
Automated exactness is critical: over- and underfills risk unintended side effects, and underfills particularly run afoul of strict biochemical regulation. EU Regulation 76/211/EWG alone states that "the actual mass of the contents of a flask can vary to maximum 9% compared to the written label."
When considering these production pressures, the cost of implementing an automated system to enhance dosing precision pales in comparison to the potential costs of not doing so—particularly when handling small amounts of expensive and potentially volatile materials in the highly competitive—and highly regulated—pharmaceutical arena.
For more specifics on METTLER TOLEDO solutions for automated dispensing of weights between 1mg and 250mg to improve productivity and reduce costs, visit: www.mt.com/quantos