GEA BUCK Digital Canary protects operators

Published: 23-Aug-2022

A little bird tells me that there’s a new way to protect the health and safety of your containment material handling system operators

Based on the traditional concept of a live coal-mine canary, the 21st century equivalent from GEA Pharma & Healthcare is a continuous real-time monitoring system that’s been designed to detect containment breaches from contained pharmaceutical production lines and eliminate the need for routine occupational health monitoring.

On display for the first time at ACHEMA (Hall 4.0 Booth G66), the patented innovation comprises an aerosol spectrometer-based sensor that provides a constant reading (compared with a baseline) of any product exposure at the sampling point.

Programmed to accommodate a specific particle size distribution if required, the information is relayed to a control system that initiates an alarm and corrective action if out-of-specification data is received.

Modern pharmaceutical equipment is designed to operate in a completely dust-tight manner; but, it’s absolutely critical to be fully prepared for worst-case scenarios, such as an unexpected containment breach.

As the level of potentially dangerous airborne particles is often far below what can be seen with the naked eye, the Digital Canary is designed to be a fully integrated and reassuring part of your production line.

When the sensor detects powder levels that are above the allowed limit, a warning is sent to the operators. This enables them to leave the contaminated area as soon as possible. Once the concentration of airborne particles has returned to an acceptable level, the system will inform the operators.

Compatible with a wide range of new and existing solid dosage applications, the Digital Canary reduces the need for industrial hygiene testing. It also provides an audit trail in terms of cross-contamination risk and regulatory compliance, and can trigger preventive maintenance activities — potentially reducing the need for secondary personal protection equipment (PPE) — by offering real-time containment monitoring.

Product loss and downtime can be costly. More seriously, exposing personnel to toxic or highly potent dust could be catastrophic. The GEA BUCK Digital Canary is designed to prevent this.

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