The system is designed for testing products in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, such as tablets, gels or creams, and is fully automated, allowing measurements to be taken continuously as the production line runs. This feature speeds up the testing process and also frees up technician time to work on other tasks.
The system has a modular design and can typically comprise of a robotic arm and specimen grippers, as well as a probe-cleaning unit. It is specially designed for use with Stable Micro System's TA.XTplus and TA.HDplus texture analysers, and makes use of the firm's Exponent software, which executes all instructions to automatically analyse each specimen and generate accurate, reproducible results.
Exponent can, for example, send a message to the robotic arm and adaptable vessel gripper to place the sample in the test area for analysis. Once the testing is complete, dry products such as tablets are then removed by the robotic arm and replaced by the next sample for analysis. For wet products such as gels or creams, a probe-cleaning device - which the firm says is a unique feature of the product - is activated immediately following testing to remove all residue, dry the probe and prepare it for the next sample.
Jo Smewing, applications manager at Stable Micro Systems, said that the system "allows manufacturers to increase productivity and reduce costs during quality control and testing procedures."
Texture analysis is a vital part of both R&D as well as quality analysis of liquids and creams for cosmetics and pharmaceutical applications. Obtaining the correct texture for gels, creams and other liquids can help improve both the efficacy and product appeal.