Inspection system for visual and “forensic analysis”.

Nowadays, literally all machines used in pharmaceutical packaging are equipped with some type of vision system for product inspection. These systems are capable of checking products for presence, position, color and geometry parameters.

VisioNIR AS system on a blister packaging machine

Today’s modern production is designed for more flexibility, batch sizes are smaller and as a result, many different products are run on one and the same packaging equipment. Besides economical advantages with this flexible operation on one side, there is an increasing potential for a product mix-up on the other: Similarity or even optical sameness of products in color or geometry to name two.

To mitigate any potential risk of a rogue product, there was little one can do using traditional vision based inspection technology.

A more “forensic” approach such as NearInfraRed (NIR) technology, which has been successfully employed in the laboratories of the pharmaceutical companies over years, can be the answer.

The development of VisioNIR AS is the result of the considerations described above. The outstanding feature of VisioNIR AS is its dual function which is also revealed by its name: Visio stands for traditional optical inspection, NIR stands for near-infrared spectral analysis (AS meaning Area Scan).

NIR is particularly interesting for spectral comparisons and, in analogy to criminal investigation it can be referred to as molecular “fingerprinting” or “forensic analysis”. With both technologies built into one system, it can support packaging operations to safely maintain highest inspection standards by evaluating both: product content on a spectral basis in addition to visual (i.e. cosmetic) product features.

VisioNIR AS can be implemented directly into the host packaging machine. The system can run in intermittent or continuous motion. As a result of using diode array technology, the system is robust towards outside influences such as vibration.

Visiotec has an excellent team of NIR experts to support you with your application. Our long term experience in method calibration helps to find the best correlation between your process data and your critical quality attributes (CQA). We provide consultancy for the design of experiments (DOE), design space calculation and process calibration & validation.

Application examples

NIR scanning process: close-up of light spot moving at high-speed from tablet to tablet in order to acquire spectral product information

Functional Principle

Conceptual operating mode of system

The vision system takes a snapshot of the format area and performs its optical inspection (color, geometry, etc.) using a high-res camera and LED illumination. It also provides the coordinates of each tablet to the NIR system. The NIR system has a separate light source (halogen) which provides NIR radiation. This radiation is bundled and transported via an illumination fiber through a galvo mirror system, which targets each tablet with a light spot. On the same pathway back, the reflected NIR radiation with spectral information is then coupled into the collimation light fiber. The collimated NIR radiation is transported to the diode array NIR spectrometer and converted into a spectral chart. Evaluation is performed via software so the information of these spectral charts can be classified in order to distinguish tablets based on their physical-chemical characteristics resp. their “forensic fingerprint”.


  • Sophisticated in-line technique combining vision inspection and NIR technologies
  • 100% inspection of individual tablets by state-of-the art high-resolution vision system for cosmetic defects and with NIR for product chemical composition
  • High-speed capable system
  • Rapid and robust diode array technology
  • Integrated or stand alone solution
  • Applicable for intermittent or continuous motion 
operating machines
  • Applicable for clinical trial and commercial packaging 
  • Retrofit-able into existing processes
  • GMP design and 21 cfr part 11 capable


Contact person

Christoph Lehmann

Head of Sales

Phone +49 7392 702-8712
Fax +49 7392 702-8539