Stevanato Group launches AI platform for accurate visual inspection


The product reportedly yields up to 99.9% accuracy, both for particle inspection and cosmetic defects detection

Stevanato Group has launched an AI platform that reportedly leverages the benefits of human-like decision-making in automatic visual inspection equipment. The platform is designed to allow pharma companies to overcome the traditional trade-off between detection rate and false rejection rate. The product reportedly yields up to 99.9% accuracy, both for particle inspection and cosmetic defects detection.

Deep learning is particularly beneficial when applied to difficult-to-inspect and high-value biotech drugs, the company alleges, as it allows pharma companies to achieve higher productivity while preserving drug integrity. Drugs in the form of suspensions or lyophilised cakes frequently challenge available vision tools, causing misinterpretations of supposed defects. Traditional systems can, for instance, misclassify cosmetic defects or air bubbles as particles. The use of AI aims to mitigate misclassification and reduce the cost of reinspection.

The company has partnered with Microsoft, adopting its Azure platform, and intends to deliver smart equipment compliant with strict pharmaceutical data management and security requirements, while improving inspection performance and reducing costs related to production reparametrisation. The certified cloud-based platform is compliant with US CFR 21 Part 11 and EU GMP Annex 11, meets data integrity needs, and offers monitoring tools such as heat maps and confusion matrix for model performance evaluation.

Incorporating technologies can be challenging for pharma companies, as it can require adaptations to internal processes in addition to time and resource investment. Stevanato Group assures however, its team of vision and AI engineers offer a data analysis service with continuous support for tasks from image collection to model validation.

Raffaele Pace, Engineering Vice President of Operations at Stevanato Group said: "We are glad to provide our customers with inspection machines equipped with the latest AI technology, which are able to substantially increase defect detection accuracy even with the most challenging drugs. Choosing Microsoft Azure as our technology platform allows us to offer a proven solution while delivering the highest standards in terms of data security. Thanks to our skilled visual inspection engineers and experts in big data analysis, we can support clients from the implementation of artificial intelligence to ongoing support during operations."

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Earlier this month, Stevanato Group contributed to an ISPE paper on container traceability.