Tablet Coating and Polymeric Organic Material Inspection

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd and Kwansei Gakuin University have jointly developed a tablet coating inspection technology and a polymeric organic material inspection technology, using Sumitomo Electric's Compovision imaging system. This system enables high-speed measurement in a wide range of wavelengths and zonal measurement.

In April 2012, Sumitomo Electric and Professor Yukihiro Ozaki at Kwansei Gakuin University began a joint research programme on a tablet coating inspection technology for use on production lines, on the crystallinity inspection of polylactic acid—a polymeric organic material—and on polymer blending ratio inspection. These technologies combine the university's analysis technology and spectra acquired with the NIR camera used in the Compovision imaging system.

Tablet coating inspection has been conventionally difficult in production processes. However, the newly developed inspection technology has enabled fast, on-the-spot inspection for tablets with coating failure and different tablets accidentally contained, thus eliminating the need to dispose of intended tablets packed with rejected tablets. Consequently, this new technology is expected to improve production efficiency and reduce costs. With the capability of total inspection, it will also help improve product safety.

In polymeric material inspection, we have successfully measured an important property, the crystallinity, of polylactic acid—a focus of attention as a bioplastic—and blending ratios of blended polymers.

Following the test measurement, Professor Yukihiro Ozaki said: “Compovision is an all-new imaging system incorporating a near-infrared camera that Sumitomo Electric has developed by drawing on its comprehensive expertise in various technical fields. No near infrared cameras would compete with this camera in terms of the processing speed and the range of wavelengths. With great user friendliness, Compovision will find wide applications including the analysis of polymers and tablets as well as that of organic materials and food products.”

The research results will be presented by Dr Daitaro Ishikawa of Kwansei Gakuin University at the international symposia FACSS-SCIX 2012 held from 30 September to 5 October 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.