Level Measurement & Control

Smart solutions for tabletting

June 2024 Level Measurement & Control

The manufacturing of pharmaceuticals is considered to be one of the most challenging production environments. It is a highly regulated industry governed by stringent regulations, and each process is part of a validated production system. Accurate and reliable process measurement instrumentation is vital. The safety and quality standards for pharmaceutical products are exceptionally high. The production of tablets and capsules involves a series of processing steps, which must take place in a potentially explosive environment, or must comply with strict production guidelines and environmental regulations. In pharmaceutical production, there is no margin for error.

Parameters such as level and pressure are crucial, particularly in storage tanks and reactors. In the encapsulation process, reliable level measurement ensures a continuous supply of raw capsules and active ingredient pellets to the filling machine. Overfill protection is provided by a level detection system in collecting vessels, underscoring the industry’s commitment to safety and precision throughout the production chain. For that reason, numerous sensors are required to monitor production. In the storage tanks and reactors, it is mainly parameters such as level and pressure that are of interest.

In the encapsulation process, the filling machine stores empty raw capsules and active ingredient pellets above it. Reliable level measurement is crucial to ensure a continuous supply to the process. The capsules are loosely stuck together and can be separated easily by a vacuum, after which the pellets are filled into their lower part. Following the filling, the capsules are transported to collecting vessels through a hose system. In these containers, a level detection system serves as an overfill protection.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers across the globe have opted for VEGA sensors in their production facilities. One manufacturer reported using mainly VEGAPULS non-contact radar sensors and VEGAFLEX guided wave radar sensors on its raw material and waste water tanks. Since the introduction of the VEGAPULS 6X, various manufacturers have started using it in their reactors.

The VEGAPULS 42 compact radar sensor can be used for continuous level measurement in both the active substance reservoir and capsule reservoirs. It is specifically designed for non-contact level measurement of liquids and bulk solids in straightforward to moderate applications. With the optional universal connection for hygienic adaptors, installation effort is reduced and inventory management is streamlined, meeting the strict requirements of hygienic processes in the pharmaceutical industry. Equipped with IO-Link, it provides continuous digital data transmission. This cost-effective solution ensures uninterrupted capsule filling thanks to its reliable measurement capabilities. Its user-friendly design allows for automatic filling through continuous monitoring of storage containers.

The VEGAPOINT 31 is a cost-effective limit switch designed for light bulk solids applications. It features a capacitive point level sensor, making it ideal for monitoring point levels in collecting containers for filled capsules. With its straightforward operation and optical switching display, it offers reliable detection of limit levels, regardless of the medium present. Its compact design is suited to tight spaces, and the optional universal connection for hygiene adaptors reduces installation effort and inventory needs, meeting the hygienic process requirements of the pharmaceutical industry. It can be used without adjustment, and offers continuous digital data transmission via IO-Link.

Pressure transmitters have diverse applications within multi-product facilities, including feed lines for transporting finished products to storage tanks. The VEGABAR 82 serves the dual purpose of controlling production processes and monitoring nitrogen neutralisation. In areas with highly aggressive substances, the VEGABAR 82, featuring a ceramic diaphragm, is paired with PVDF process fittings and FFKM seals. It is capable of measuring pressures ranging from vacuum to 15 bar overpressure. For main storage tanks, typically 8 to 15 metres in height and 2 to 3 metres in diameter, various VEGA-level sensors can be installed to monitor and control a range of products including raw materials, solvents and acids.

Pharmaceutical manufacturing processes face several challenges, including high temperatures, condensation, and vapours arising from chemically aggressive substances. Radar antennae can be prone to dirt deposits and crystallisation, while obtaining precise level measurements can be complicated by obstacles such as process vessels and reactors. The size, shape and installation environment of tanks, and mechanical factors, often pose difficulties for level sensors. Furthermore, surfaces within reactors and mixers are frequently in motion and can be turbulent, adding to the complexity.

Despite these challenges, pharmaceutical manufacturers work with VEGA to consistently achieve reliable and precise measured values. VEGA understands the complexities of pharmaceutical manufacturing, from the precise mixing of ingredients to the final encapsulation. VEGA’s reliable instrumentation and sensors provide manufacturers with the accurate measurements needed to optimise every stage of the process. This translates into greater consistency and higher quality medication for patients.

For more information contact VEGA Controls SA, +27 11 795 3249, [email protected], www.vega.com


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

VEGA handles the pressures of water treatment systems
VEGA Controls SA Pressure Measurement & Control
A water treatment system for a major metropolitan area in the Midwestern United States demands careful monitoring and management of processes across its sprawling network. Choosing VEGA for its process automation needs meant more than just obtaining precise and reliable pressure sensors.

Greener mining through water management strategies
VEGA Controls SA Pressure Measurement & Control
Water scarcity is a pressing concern in South Africa, leading to the establishment of stricter regulations on water discharge and management. To promote greener mining operations that minimise environmental impact and optimise resource utilisation, responsible dewatering practices are essential.

A new approach to milk processing
VEGA Controls SA Pressure Measurement & Control
Ensuring the quality and safety of milk throughout the production process is of the utmost importance in the dairy industry. Process instrumentation plays a vital role in this stage by providing accurate measurements of level, pressure and point level to guarantee optimal storage conditions.

Enhancing beer brewing precision
VEGA Controls SA Pressure Measurement & Control
Brewing beer is a complex process that requires utmost precision in every step. To ensure precision, it is crucial to measure and control the pressure and point levels in the wort kettle and hops dissolver. Using VEGA instrumentation can offer numerous benefits to breweries.

Magnetostrictive level transmitter
WIKA Instruments Level Measurement & Control
WIKA’s new model FLM-Tx-FLEX magnetostrictive level transmitter is used for high-accuracy, continuous level detection of liquids, including those with long insertion lengths.

Superhero vision for hazardous waste environmental control
VEGA Controls SA Level Measurement & Control
VEGA understands that in the world of hazardous waste management, ensuring both safety and efficiency is crucial. With the disposal of chemicals requiring conscientious attention to ethical and ecological standards, innovative solutions are mandatory. Among these solutions, non-contact level sensors emerge as a game changer, offering increased safety in environments laden with dangerous substances.

Copper mining powered by VEGA
VEGA Controls SA Level Measurement & Control
VEGA sensors are an integral part of the continuous monitoring and control systems across the board in mining and beneficiation processes. The robustness, reliability and precision of VEGA instruments make them a good choice for managing liquid levels and ensuring the smooth operation of the production process.

VEGA takes the pressure out of water pressure measurement
VEGA Controls SA Editor's Choice
Water treatment systems in metropolitan areas require careful monitoring and management processes across widespread networks. However, process plants choosing VEGA for their process automation know that the company offers more than just precise and reliable pressure sensors and instrumentation.

Cloud-based inventory management software
Endress+Hauser South Africa Level Measurement & Control
Netilion is an award-winning cloud-based IIoT ecosystem designed for industrial processes. It connects the physical and digital worlds to send valuable information from the field straight to your phone, tablet or other device.

Sensor technology for cartonboard machine for paper and packaging
VEGA Controls SA Pressure Measurement & Control
Paper and packaging specialist, LEIPA undertook a comprehensive modernisation project, combining three stock preparation lines into one, and making investments in new plant components and extensive automation technology. Because of the good experiences the company had already had with VEGA sensors, those responsible for planning and maintenance decided in favour of the VEGABAR 82 pressure transmitter as the standard instrument for level and pressure measurement in the new stock preparation system.