“This instrumented 'touch' sensor technology is truly like extrasensory perception,” says Nancy Mathis, president and CEO of Mathis Instruments. This launch and first shipment of a Mathis ESP to to a Cardinal Health site in Somerset, N.J. completes a 30-month development cycle at Mathis.
Before this release, the effusivity sensors operated in a wired manner that required equipment to be stopped before taking a measurement. Users were quick to demand wireless capability to allow the technique to be used seamlessly in manufacturing.
Richard Creekmore, Manager - PAT/Physical Sciences, Pharmaceutical and Analytical R&D at AstraZeneca in Wilmington was one of those voices. “The value of the technology’s unique ability to see new things, such as lubrication, was evident with the wired unit, but it just was not convenient to stop and start. We pushed hard for the wireless advancements and were a beta site for Mathis last fall,” he said. The beta testing confirmed that the most challenging design objective was met - the ability to monitor powder blend uniformity real time.
This capability will not only bring manufacturing efficiency to the producers of drugs and consumer products, but it will translate into a host of valued consumer benefits. Better understanding of processes means faster development and release of new products as well as reduced scrap and lower costs.
It is not just end users that recognize the value of this enhanced technology. Equipment manufacturers see the value as well, as it helps them demonstrate and differentiate the operational attributes and benefits of their equipment. This is evidenced by the partner activity surrounding Mathis at Interphex 2005. Nine exhibitors have come together to produce PATport, a take-off on a passport that encourages show attendees to visit the booths of the participating vendors with a passport look-alike in their hands. The PATports outline the vendors PAT offering and their connection with effusivity.
According to Normand Dubuc, Sr. Director, Invensys Validation Technologies, EMEA, "A complete PAT solution is not just the sensor, but an approach that includes the equipment, technologies, process knowledge and scientific data integrated with the on-at-or in-line sensor. PAT solutions reduce the regulatory burden but require a methodology that ensures that compliance requirements are met. We have been working with Mathis for a complete compliant Fluidized Bed Dryer Automation Solution that integrates the Mathis effusivity sensor on-line. Mathis is on the right track with the relationships they are establishing making deployment easier for the end user - decreasing development time and increasing manufacturing efficiencies."
Brock Solutions contact information:
Paul Lomelo, Business Manager, Pharmaceutical Operations
33 John Street, East Hanover, N.J. 07936
Tel: (973) 887-7952 Fax: (973) 887-7983