In modern society, many of the great leaps forward in healthcare, and overall quality of life, can be attributed to the biopharmaceutical industry. Many formerly debilitating or fatal diseases have been brought under control thanks to vaccines and therapies developed in biopharmaceutical labs.
Because these products are developed from organic materials, absolute precision in measuring is vital for ensuring a safe, effective, and consistent product. Until recently, digital scales for measuring weights in biopharmaceutical labs and production facilities were only available from specialty metrology manufacturers, and at great expense.
Fortunately, at Arlyn Scales, we’ve created a line of Ultra Precision Scales that are accessible to demanding industries, even while exceeding their exacting standards. Employing their expertise as industry leaders for over 30 years, our team harnessed Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology to deliver optimal productivity for the biomedical sector.
Ultra Precision Scales: a Biopharmaceutical Necessity
The very first biopharmaceutical was made in the 1940s and surely you’ve heard of it — does Penicillin ring a bell? However, the biopharmaceutical industry didn’t really take off until the 1970s and 1980s.
Today, there are more than 200 biopharmaceuticals, or biologics, in existence. If you are broadly unaware of how biopharmaceuticals are made, then you can only really imagine how challenging the process is to create them.
Also, they are often administered to patients by injection, not in pill form. The first thing to know about biopharmaceuticals is that they may be larger and more complex than other types of pharmaceuticals.
Biopharmaceuticals vs. Pharmaceuticals
The main difference between the two is that biopharmaceuticals are manufactured within living systems, like microorganisms or plant and animal cells. Alternatively, standard pharmaceuticals are created through a series of chemical synthesis steps.
Biologists create biopharmaceuticals using biotechnology processes and bioengineering. They modify the DNA in cells by programming them to fight specific diseases, such as:
- Rare blood disorders
Because of their nature, the biopharmaceutical manufacturing process requires 250 quality control checks on average. Meanwhile, only 50 are necessary for the creation of small molecule drugs (pharmaceuticals).
The manufacturing process for creating biopharmaceuticals is extremely complex and it demands time, knowledge, and attention. It involves sophisticated machinery and other equipment, and it requires constant monitoring from biologists and technical experts.
Creating identical cells is nearly impossible; therefore, after 1 original cell is created, it is used to make every dose of that medicine forever. Clearly, it’s a tough task in itself to create original cells capable of fighting diseases.
However, once that’s accomplished, biologists must make copies of the original cells, amplify their effects, and create drugs that can benefit sick patients. Every step of the manufacturing process — from cell creation to distribution of prescribed medicine — is critical, so mistakes and inconsistencies must be avoided at all costs.
Where Industrial Scales Come Into Play
If something goes wrong at any stage of the process, then it could mean thousands or even millions of dollars lost in research and production costs. Consequently, exceptionally accurate and reliable pieces of equipment are required for the biopharmaceutical manufacturing process, and this includes industrial scales.
Anywhere accuracy is a necessity, industrial scales can serve a purpose. In fact, many biopharmaceutical companies currently use industrial scales for biopharmaceutical manufacturing.
For example, Spectrum Labs, a manufacturer of biopharmaceutical chemicals and a client of Arlyn Scales, incorporated our Ultra Precision Scales into their own operations. These use our own Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology, which guarantee extreme accuracy, and represent a superior alternative to other high-resolution scales currently on the market.
Spectrum Labs and Ultra Precision Scales
Finding a scale that can display small changes in weight for light loads is not very difficult.
However, when it comes to determining small changes in weight for heavier loads, finding a scale that is capable of doing this is not the easiest thing to do.
For example, a decent 100kg high-resolution scale might measure loads in increments of 20 grams, with an accuracy of 1/10 of 1%.
But what if your biopharmaceutical company needs to measure to a greater level of accuracy?
Fortunately, 100 kg Ultra Precision Scales by Arlyn Scales measures units in increments of 1 gram. If the same biopharmaceutical company uses an Ultra Precision Scale instead of a regular scale, then the risk of error is reduced by a factor of ten, from 1/10 of 1% to 1/100 of 1%.
Spectrum Labs uses Ultra Precision Scales from Arlyn Scales with maximum capacities of 440,000 grams.
How Arlyn Scales’ Products Empower Biopharmaceutical Companies
As you can see, industrial scales are useful in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing process. They can be used to accurately measure materials, whether the materials are being added to or removed from mixtures.
This scale allows the company to measure high capacities of materials while simultaneously regulating small changes in weight. Consequently, the equipment is able to produce consistent and effective biopharmaceuticals.
Enhance Quality Control
Biopharmaceuticals must be manufactured consistently. Otherwise, undesirable health consequences could arise.
Therefore, biopharmaceutical manufacturing is a precision science, and consistent and reliable performance is the key to manufacturing success. Ultra Precision Scales makes it possible for biopharmaceutical manufacturing companies to create consistent and effective medications again and again.
Moreover, other Arlyn Scales’ products, like bench scales, can be incorporated into the manufacturing and distribution processes for biopharmaceuticals.
Improve Inventory Management
With increased accuracy comes enhanced inventory management, and inventory management goes hand in hand with a company’s checkbook.
So, if your business has a better grasp on inventory management, then you can more accurately price your products and bill customers accordingly.
Furthermore, Arlyn Scales can help biopharmaceutical manufacturing companies achieve advanced data acquisition, which can assist with inventory management.
Decrease Production Costs
Arlyn Scales understands the importance of accuracy in the biopharmaceutical industry. That’s why our extremely accurate scales improve every aspect of business for biopharmaceutical manufacturing companies.
In addition to enhanced quality control and improved inventory management, Arlyn Scales’ products can also help biopharmaceutical companies decrease production costs.
Increased accuracy means fewer mistakes! Fewer mistakes mean fewer do-overs, which means less money spent on overall production.
Set-Up System Automation
Our extremely accurate industrial scales save biopharmaceutical manufacturing companies time and money. Better still, Arlyn Scales can also help biopharmaceutical manufacturing companies create automated systems.
For example, we can set up programs that control filling or batching operations. System automation helps companies reduce human error, minimize complexity, improve productivity, and lower costs.
Surface Acoustic Wave Equals Unbeatable Precision
The Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology built into each of our Ultra Precision Scales is the “secret sauce” that delivers unmatched precision to biopharm labs and manufacturing plants.
The most commonly used scales employ strain gage load cells that are based on a spring element. Typically aluminum or steel, they include thin sections that are very fragile, and that are susceptible to temperature changes, which can lead to undesirable variations in results.
Another type of high-accuracy scales, the force restoration scale, has platforms directed by a flexure system. These take very precise measurements, but this flexure is very fragile and expensive.
SAW Measures Displacement, not Strain
Our scales use SAW technology to measure displacement instead of the strain on the spring or flexure element. A surface acoustic wave is a bulk wave traveling along a piezoelectric surface, such as lithium niobate.
This displacement results in the scale load cell operating at 10 percent of the strain levels found in strain gage scales, with none of the errors that affect the traditional spring element load cell. SAW scales provide accuracies of about 1/100 of 1 percent, which is 10 times more accurate than strain gage scales, and as accurate as force restoration scales, but at a less expensive price point.
Since no biopharmaceutical lab or production plant can afford to be bogged down by scales requiring frequent maintenance, another advantage is their durability. SAW load cells are 5 times as rugged as typical strain gage cells, due in large part to the thickness of the load cells compared to strain gage scales.
Load Cells are Thicker than Strain Gage Scales
This thickness enables the Ultra Precision scale’s load cell to withstand common occurrences, such as:
- Shock Loading: dropping items on the scale from height
- Overloading: placing items that exceed the scale’s rated capacity on the platform
Strain gage load cells are considerably thinner and less resilient to this type of treatment over time. This means they require more maintenance and provide deteriorating levels of precision.
Resolution and Capacity: No Longer a Tradeoff
Users of strain gage scales grew accustomed to having to make a choice about which was more important to them in a scale: high resolution or high capacity. The conventional wisdom was that the higher the capacity of a strain gage scale, the lower its resolution.
For large quantities of bulk materials (e.g. food or fertilizer manufacturing), accuracies to 1/100 of 1 percent are inconsequential, while the ability to measure heavy weights is critical.
Alternatively, many industries live or die by their ability to measure out the minutest weights. The biopharmaceuticals industry is prominent among these.
With Ultra Precision Scales, This is No Longer an Issue
Thanks to SAW technology, these scales’ resolution at greater capacities exceeds that of strain gage scales. In fact, Ultra Precision Scales are more accurate than strain gage scales, even when capacities increase exponentially.
For example, Arlyn Scales’ 620X strain gage model has a 10-pound capacity and a resolution of two thousandths of a pound (0.002). Arlyn’s Ultra Precision SAW-X model also has a 10-pound capacity, but it has 20 times the resolution of the 620X at one ten-thousandth of a pound (0.0001).
Another Ultra Precision model, the SAW-C, has 10 times the capacity of the 620X strain gage, but twice the resolution.
Much More Rugged & Practical Than Force Restoration Scales
Force restoration scales are the only scales that can match an Ultra Precision Scale’s precision, but only at extremely low capacities (25-50 pounds). SAW scales offer capacities of up to 500 pounds, more than 10 times that of a force motor restoration scale.
Not only do force restoration scales become unusable at high capacities, but they are also extremely susceptible to a variety of environmental factors, including:
As mentioned above, force restoration scales are also incredibly expensive compared to Ultra Precision Scales. Our SAW scales are comparably priced to a high-quality strain gage scale, which is significantly less than a force motor restoration scale.
Variety of Connectivity Methods
In today’s technologically driven marketplace, data connectivity is extremely important. At Arlyn Scales, our Ultra Precision Scales offer a variety of connectivity methods that allow our scales to be accessed and controlled through a variety of methods.
A few of the more common connectivity methods include:
Ethernet & WiFi
Control your scale from anywhere with an Internet connection thanks to our Ethernet & WiFi connectivity.
Simply connect a USB cable to your Ultra Precision Scale to control it and access weight data from your computer.
If you’re not able to connect a computer directly to your scale, you can simply connect a USB flash drive and download weight data for later analysis.
Biopharmaceuticals and Ultra Precision Scales: Working Together for a Healthier Future
Every day, biopharmaceuticals save millions of lives and make life comfortable for many more. Arlyn Scales is proud to be a part of the biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes for many respected companies.
Just as the biopharmaceutical industry strives to find tomorrow’s solutions to today’s problems, we strive to empower these high-tech companies to meet these challenges. In fact, we’re located in Long Island, New York — the top metropolitan statistical area in the United States for the biopharmaceutical industry!
Arlyn Scales works tirelessly to understand this sector and deliver top-quality weight measurement instruments to help you realize continued success. To learn more about our selection of Ultra Precision Scales and other products, reach out to our team today.