Intelligently networked

Roughly 100,000 data tags per minute to reach a single goal: a perfect glass tube which will eventually become the best-possible packaging of a vital drug. A unique big data approach now makes it possible to determine the tiniest of deviations in the geometry of a glass tube and sort it out, while providing a new benchmark for an entire industry.

Roughly 100,000 data tags per minute to reach a single goal: a perfect glass tube which will eventually become the best-possible packaging of a vital drug. A unique big data approach now makes it possible to determine the tiniest of deviations in the geometry of a glass tube and sort it out, while providing a new benchmark for an entire industry.

Challenge

At over 1,600 ºC an endless strand of glass is emanating from the melt. It is drawn over a mandrel at serval meters per second. While the mandrel rotates air is blown through it, turning the glass mass into a hollow vessel. Next, the strand zooms down the production line, having time to cool off. At the end of the line, a cutting tool is waiting to separate the strands into 1.5-meter pieces. This is how glass tubing is produced.

Down to one-hundreth of a millimeter...

…is how precise wall thickness and diameter can be determined. With a process that involves such meticulous examinations, even the smallest imperfections are scrutinized with a critical eye. Why is this important and how have manufacturers been handling this quality control up until now?

…is how precise wall thickness and diameter can be determined. With a process that involves such meticulous examinations, even the smallest imperfections are scrutinized with a critical eye. Why is this important and how have manufacturers been handling this quality control up until now?

These glass tubes eventually become drug containers, such as vials, syringes, ampoules or cartridges. The more precise the tubing, the better the container. The analysis of a curved tube surface at high drawing speeds, however, is difficult to perform. Up until now, manufacturers have had to rely on sample-based testing to control the quality.

Innovation

Check along the entire
production line

With the help of lasers, cameras and infrared systems, SCHOTT now has the capability to examine 100 % of the glass on-line during the production process. An integrated IT system allocates imperfections with such precision that it can later differentiate corresponding individual tubes, which can then be discarded.

With the help of lasers, cameras and infrared systems, SCHOTT now has the capability to examine 100 % of the glass on-line during the production process. An integrated IT system allocates imperfections with such precision that it can later differentiate corresponding individual tubes, which can then be discarded.

100,000 data tags… but just one name: perfeXion™

The result of this process, known as perfeXion™, is a glass tube which has been completely evaluated. The data collected helps SCHOTT to continually optimize its production while converters can benefit from the newly gained information by using it to optimally adjust their processes.

People

“Quality is the DNA
of pharmaceutical glass.”

„As a supplier to the pharmaceutical industry, we have a unique responsibility. Traceability, in particular, is a major issue.“ Dr. Patrick Markschläger,
Executive Vice President SCHOTT Tubing

„As a supplier to the pharmaceutical industry, we have a unique responsibility. Traceability, in particular, is a major issue.“ Dr. Patrick Markschläger,
Executive Vice President SCHOTT Tubing

„As a supplier to the pharmaceutical industry, we have a unique responsibility. Traceability, in particular, is a major issue.“ Dr. Patrick Markschläger,
Executive Vice President SCHOTT Tubing

„By collecting data for every single glass tube, we are able to make an important contribution to ensuring quality at the beginning of the value chain, providing vital information which can be
leveraged downstream.“ Dr. Folker Steden,
Director Product Management & Scientific Services

„By collecting data for every single glass tube, we are able to make an important contribution to ensuring quality at the beginning of the value chain, providing vital information which can be leveraged downstream.“ Dr. Folker Steden,
Director Product Management & Scientific Services

„By collecting data for every single glass tube, we are able to make an important contribution to ensuring quality at the beginning of the value chain, providing vital information which can be leveraged downstream.“ Dr. Folker Steden,
Director Product Management & Scientific Services

Next

Zero defects is both: the aim –and the path forward

Making intelligently linked data available to others not only optimizes processes – it creates new innovative potential for product and process development.

In the future, every SCHOTT FIOLAX® glass tube will undergo the perfeXion™ quality process. This100% online inspection of every individual tube will serve as the cornerstone for improved pharmaceutical packaging of the future.

Let’s set the benchmark together for tomorrow’s quality standards.

What is your next
milestone?

Contact

Suzann Erben
Tubing
SCHOTT North America, Inc.

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