For Lek Pharmaceuticals, a member of the sandoz Group, we developed an innovative system or measuring the force needed to close the cap on a bottle. They came to us with a problem they encountered in automated bottle filling and placement of caps. Because of varying force they had problems assuring the quality of the seal. This sometimes resulted in a broken cap or a broken bottle.

They had a clear set of requirements for a system to measure force: 

  • testing performed on the machine itself, to establish the “actual” force of capping; 
  • testing performed while the machine is in operation to establish dynamic force; 
  • easy to use so that every employee can perform the measurement; 
  • fast and not requiring major preparation of system; 
  • accuracy within 10%.

We were able to meet all their requirements with a simple system, which mimics the functioning in practice and enables them to establish the amount of force at capping and to adjust this amount before the actual capping takes place. on the basis of the measurement data anyone anytime can adjust the force and therefore assure that capping takes place with adequate force. thus, in just five minutes, the user can prevent irregularities before the bottle reaches the consumer.

''The system for measuring the force of closing at the packing machine is built according to traits we value here at Lek: speed, simplicity, consumer focus and orientation toward quality, trust, and efficiency. It enables us to quickly and efficiently identify the source of the problem when bottles break and also provides confirmation of correct settings for our machine. By developing and using these systems, we are setting new benchmarks in quality for our consumers.''

Marko Scortegagna, Pharm. Process Engineer Packaging, Site Solids Ljubljana, Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d.