Filling of vials with flow-control

filling of vials

Filling of 1 ml vials

Accurate volume control at high speed

Together with pre-filled syringes and ampoules, vials are the most common packaging for liquid pharmaceuticals.
When dispensing this valuable medicine, the dose-control is important for more than one reason:
– patients must get the right dose
– each drop which is given away costs money
– a detected error will have big consequences on the whole batch

Two important process steps

Delivering a properly filled vial merely depends on two actions.
Step one is adding the right volume in the vial.
Step two is verification that the dosed volume is really within specifications.

filling of vials
Filled vials, often the result of a process with single use components

Ways to check the vial filling result

There is more than one way to verify the content of a filled vial, and the best one is a weight verification.
Another method can be visual inspection of the fluid level in the vial.
Weight verification can be done fast and accurate and is the most common -and often prescribed- verification method.

The weight-verification should be no more than a verification. In a nominal process, 100% of the vials are verified and found to be ok.
However, not all processes are nominal and deviations may happen during the filling.
Weight-verification will detect any vial which is out of range. This is good for the customer, but affects production output and leads to reduced efficiency (OEE Overall Equipment Efficiency).

Raising OEE by reducing filling errors

The OEE-figure depends on availability of liquid and vials, the filling time and verification error-percentage.
Assuming there are enough vials and liquid, influencing OEE can only be done by the filling-time and accuracy.
By establishing a fast filling-process which flawlessly doses the right volume for each vial, the reject-percentage will be -close to- zero!

A capable flowmeter will be one of the key-components of such a fast-filling process.
Such an instrument can only be capable if speed and accuracy are inline with the process values.
(next to the measuring, a good PID-control, piping and actuator-valve are key components)

Capability by design

The ultrasonic flowmeter can be considered capable, this has been proven by validation and daily practice.
Capability is good due to the below properties of ultrasonic FlowMax instruments:

  • Flowmax delivers hundreds of measurements per second
  • Instrument body-sizing starts from DN3, (500 ml per hour)
  • The length of the measuring tube is maximized
  • The sonic path is optimized for low-flow accuracy
  • Smart algoritms process the raw measured data into a robust and stable signal

Speed can be increased by filling multiple vials in parallel.
– Weight-verification will still be in place
– Rejects found are at ppm-level.
– PID, Piping and Actuator need to be capable as well

Proven and documented

It’s hard to image, accuracy within 10 milliseconds of dosing….
Field validation has proven this is still capable.
-> Ask for results, we can share them, but unfortunately not on the website.


Get in touch with Flowmeister

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Your instrument has been tested, which is certified with the delivery. Optionally, a 3- or 8-point calibration-certificate can be ordered to prove the exact accuracy.

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