At Creative Electron, it is at the core of our mission to make tools that solve problems across industries. Somehow, there is always a little additional satisfaction when we are tasked with supporting medical device manufacturing. We recently had the opportunity to tackle some of the quality control challenges associated with the manufacture of an auto-injected medication. While it challenged our creativity, in the end, we felt like we were able to make an important contribution.
Self administered, lifesaving medical devices
Auto injectors have eased the burden on many people with chronic diseases who rely on regular injections of medications as treatment. They save patients and healthcare providers both time and resources by allowing patients the ability to self-administer medication at home. In addition, perhaps, more importantly, it has made some life-saving injectable medications portable, and available on hand and immediately when needed. But these benefits are only realized when such devices are highly reliable.
Accurately inspect packaged goods
X-ray inspection is well suited to take on some of the quality challenges of auto-injectors. While visual inspection of components prior to assembly is important, opaque housings and labeling precluded visual validation of the finished product. We were able to apply our high-resolution TruView™ X-ray in resolving issues with finished, even packaged product. Inspections were designed to verify trigger shaft integrity, parts presence, as well as location, and identification of any bent needles. Particular emphasis was paid to springs, as their proper placement and coiling are critical to the function of the injector. It was also important to validate the fill level of the medication.
Packaged goods validated for parts presence/absence, fill level and needle alignment.
Automate for accuracy and efficiency
But the challenge didn’t end there, because slow, manual inspection by fallible human inspectors just doesn’t lend itself to mass production of these life-changing medications. Not only were we able to automate the process, but we incorporated artificial intelligence engines in autonomous validation of each of the established quality criteria. In the end, we provided a solution that could perform 100% inspection of auto-injectors rapidly and accurately.
We are proud of the work we do with medical device manufacturers, across a broad range of products. In the case of auto-injectors, we helped a client reduce inspection costs while improving quality metrics, all while giving ourselves a bit of the warm fuzzies. Win, win!
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