Antares Vision is inaugurating its new facility in Travagliato (BS) with a series of scheduled events from Tuesday 20th to Sunday 25th of October 2015, to share with clients, partners, authorities, the press and the community, in addition to the families of the staff, this key moment of the company’s growth in international markets.

Antares Vision Track & Trace solutions, inspection machines and systems are installed at the factories of most the 20 major pharmaceutical multinationals, where said systems help guarantee product safety, and therefore the safety of patients. During the inaugural week of the facility, Antares Vision is organising an Open House, allowing visitors to observe the most advanced tracking and inspection solutions for pharmaceutical products.

Two demo stations will be running during the Open House, offering a "live" demonstration of how two different Standard Inspection Systems models work: UPI (Universal Packaging Inspector) and ART (Artwork Tutor).

UPI is a suite of high performance cameras and software modules designed to guarantee total control of the packaging process in the pharmaceutical industry. UPI architecture is completely scalable in order to satisfy the inspection requirements that can grow over time, thereby offering a long-term investment.

Supported by a broad range of camera models, UPI control functions range from the traditional barcode and OCR/OCV verification of variable data, such as expiration date and batch number, to complete packet inspection, such as correctly closed carton flaps, the presence and correctness of the information leaflet for the patient, the correctness, presence and position of the labels and seals, checking the in-line printing of the aluminium sheet.

The ART system, on the other hand, checks the entire printing process: it compares the original PDF files with the real print; it automatically identifies printing defects and errors; it is simple, quick and reliable.

A number of pharmaceutical product serialisation, aggregation and inspection machines will be on display at the Open House: Print & Check 3T, Matrix Station, VRI (Visual Rotating Inspectors) and TCI (Tablets and Capsules Inspectors).

Print & Check 3T is a serialisation machine featuring a high level of flexibility. In fact, it combines printing and inspection functions on up to three sides of the carton, with the possibility of integrating other labelling functions such as, for example, the function of applying the label of the state printing office or the French "vignette", or the function of applying tamper evident seals. All contained in an overall footprint of 1.7 metres. Separate inspection cameras check if labelling and closure operations are being carried out correctly. P&C 3T can reach a production of over 400 containers per minute.

Matrix Station is a semi-automatic aggregation module designed to optimise productivity of manual packaging operations, guaranteeing multiple reading of Data Matrix codes, managed simultaneously on many lines. The station can be used for the aggregation of cartons into bundles or cardboard cases, bundles into cardboard cases, and then onto pallets. The mechanical frame is designed to streamline efficiency and ergonomics for the benefit of the operator; it also includes a printer stand and an adjustable stand for the cardboard cases.

The window for top reading is 500mm long and 300mm wide. The camera adjusts automatically to read additional layers, in order to speed up productivity. Matrix Station warns the operator in case of codes that are incorrect or already detected, or in case of other errors, favouring greater quality of the process. As soon as the cartons are aggregated correctly, the station prints a shipping label. The intuitive touch screen interface allows the operator the quickly change product and shipping information, based on the customer order.

The machines in the VRI series, both in-line and standalone, are designed to inspect a broad range of glass or plastic bottles for liquids (including solutions, emulsions and oil-based products), powders and lyophilised drugs.

These modular and compact rotary machines achieve total, accurate and reliable inspection to ensure that the pharmaceutical products and packets fully observe the strict regulations and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) requisites. Numerous light sources and different lighting techniques (front and rear) make it possible to identify any defect. The high resolution of the employed cameras and lens make it possible to detect even the smallest defects, while sophisticated analysis algorithms reduce false errors to a minimum.

The VRI machines are comprised of four product families and ten different models, in order to cover all inspection needs. In particular, the Argo and Ankor machines are intended for the visual inspection of cosmetics, Icon is designed to control container integrity (especially for sterile products) and Evo is a combination of these functions in a single unit.

TCI is a standalone automatic inspection machine designed for a broad range of pharmaceutical products, offering high productivity, with an accuracy of up to 100 μm. A rotary, double drum system with eight channels moves the products, holding them in position by a vacuum system, making image acquisition possible over the entire surface. Detection of even the smallest defect or imperfection is guaranteed by the high resolution cameras which acquire up to 8 images per product with a resolution of 0.001 square millimetres.

Capsules and tablets are illuminated by customised white LED illuminators, which use different lighting techniques (front and side). The defects detected on capsules and tablets concern damaged edges, variation in colour, spots, dirt, rough surfaces, cracks, dents, holes, coating defects etc. The products that are found to be defective following the analysis are automatically ejected by a jet of air into a specific stainless steel container.