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WEIGHING INSTRUMENTS ENSURINGQUALITY AND COMPLIANCE IN THE PHARMA INDUSTRY.

The quality and safety of drugs and personal care products are key for the protection of public health. Everyone needs to be completely confident that for example, the medicine contains the right quantity of each active substance to be safe and effective. Therefore, regulatory authorities worldwide set rules that impact the design, manufacturing, installation, daily using, hygienic cleaning and preventive maintenance of weighing instruments.
Furthermore, weighing instruments used in the pharmaceutical sector are integrated in production control software to further digitize production processes. Additionally, validation is a mandatory process to be implemented before start using these instruments. It requires
dedicated operating manuals, additional verification and special training for the technicians responsible for installation and maintenance to ensure the weighing instruments are functioning correctly.

WEIGHING AS PART OF THE PHARMA PRODUCTIONS PROCESS

Weighing instruments play a key role in several stages of pharmaceutical production. Developing state-of-the-art pharmaceutical products requires high-precision scales that enable researchers to do innovative research. Once a formula (recipe) is ready for production its ingredients (solid or liquid) and the net weight percentage of each is electronically available for the dispensing / dosing area. All ingredients are stocked with an associated code, but also with an ingredient batch code. Based on quality criteria the mandatory maximum allowed percentage of error per ingredient during the batch preparation is defined. Consequently, the same formula can be produced efficiently and effectively in high quantities according to production planning. Without reliable and accurate weighing instruments, the production of pharmaceuticals is less safe and less efficient.

THE FUTURE ROLE OF WEIGHING INSTRUMENTS ON THE PHARMA INDUSTRY

Since high-quality pharmaceuticals are the result of a reliable production process and innovative research, the quality of pharmaceuticals is highly dependent on the quality of weighing instruments. The development and production process of pharmaceuticals is continuously improving and weighing instruments are an important part to enable the pharmaceutical industry to realise these improvements. Successive generations of weighing
instruments will include continuously improved sensors and built-in software to even predict any random failure or simply temporarily increase of weighing uncertainty. Additionally, robustness is increased to deal with more demanding hygienic and bacteria cleaning challenges. Also, instruments will be equipped with mandatory hardware and software to communicate with the production system software, allowing for further
digitalisation of the industrial production. For all these aspects modern weighing instruments are essential and help to contribute to safer and more effective pharmaceuticals.

About the author

CECIP

CECIP is the European association for national trade organisations representing the European manufacturers of weighing instruments.
Founded in 1958, CECIP has today 14 members. These include 11 national member associations from: Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom and three company members from Portugal, Sweden and Turkey.

The weighing industry has gone through tremendous changes in the past decades with new technologies and techniques being introduced in all sectors. Nowadays weighing instruments plays an important role in every industry, contributing to the quality of the final product.

Today, CECIP is playing its role within Europe, striving for common and harmonised standards to be adopted at European and International levels. These standards and legislation should provide safety and quality to both consumers and users of weighing instruments. CECIP aims to provide valuable contributions to improve the quality of legislation and standards.

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