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Exova, which offers laboratory and related services to the pharmaceutical and biotech markets, has invested in a Sade SP Benchtop weight sorter to check capsules are within weight tolerances.

Any that are outside the tolerances are rejected automatically to ensure that only acceptable products are shipped to customers.

Gill Clarke, head of development at Exova, said: ‘Typically batches consist of 6000 size 2 to size 0 capsules, though we are anticipating processing a batch of 12,000 in the near future.

‘Manual weight sorting is clearly unfeasible for these quantities, plus the automated sorter gives us high accuracy and added confidence from eliminating the scope for human error.

‘The Sade has a high bowl capacity and high sorting speed, yet it is still a compact instrument that sits comfortably on a benchtop.’ The Sade SP benchtop weight sorter has the capability to be connected to a computer network, but Exova currently uses it as a standalone instrument with a locally connected printer.

Amit Wagadia, a formulation scientist, said he finds the weight sorter is very user-friendly: ‘It only takes a few minutes to strip the instrument down for cleaning, less than 10 minutes to work through the menus to set it up, then a couple of minutes to calibrate it.

‘This ease of use is important to us as a contract manufacturer, because every batch run on the instrument is different.

‘The fact that no two batches are the same also explains why we have not yet used the built-in product/method library.’

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