Accuracy, efficiency and repeatability are fundamental to the success of any laboratory. For every measurement made, there is an actual value the lab professionals are trying to obtain. This is why Hersol is upgrading its laboratory technology for a more automated approach to testing and to improve efficiency across the board.
Over the years, Hersol Manufacturing Laboratories (Hersol) has developed its manufacturing facility in Jeppestown, Gauteng, to include a fully-equipped microbiology lab and a quality control lab for finished products. The company specialises in developing and producing complementary medicines (CAMs), nutritional supplements and pharmaceuticals, and is one of South Africa’s leading contract manufacturers.
At the end of 2021, Hersol purchased a Bruker FT-IR to enhance current test methods used for the identification and confirmation of raw materials and finished products. This industry leading Germany made laboratory equipment has increased accuracy and productivity within the quality control lab as a simple verification of the signature or fingerprint of a chemical substance takes no more than a minute. The quality control lab will also be adding to its number of portable Raman spectrometers for the identification and qualification of incoming raw materials and packaging materials with goal of enhanced repeatability of results as well as increased productivity. Raman spectroscopy has a number of significant advantages over other techniques. Because the technique requires no, or minimal, sample preparation, the Raman spectrometer can be implemented as a portable, handheld, device allowing for a “point and shoot” spectrum acquisition.
AUTOMATED MICROBIOLOGICAL TESTING
Hersol has also invested in a CertaBlue System in the microbiology lab for rapid microbiological testing. This imported system provides accurate microbiological answers with a completely automated approach and has done away with the need to wait days for completed assays. This has allowed Hersol to reduce the number of release days for ingredients and finished products from five to two, once again improving turnaround time and speed to market for customers. Since installing the CertaBlue System, Hersol has improved efficiencies in the micro lab while consistently achieving reliable results for all microbiological testing. The efficiency will be further augmented in the near future with the purchase of an automated air sampling unit. Broad-spectrum quality analysis of active air has become increasingly important in pharmaceutical facilities, particularly within the primary manufacturing area and secondary plant areas.
MOVING TO THE CLOUD
Another progressive development at Hersol has been the installation of UPS technology and backup generators for all computerised lab equipment, which is now backed up to the cloud. Using a cloud-based network platform not only ensures data integrity but also allows the manufacturer to move away from being a heavily paper-based business. Furthermore, the backup generators ensure that load-shedding never results in downtime at Hersol, be it in the labs or on a production line. Data integrity is fundamental to pharmaceutical product development and manufacturing, as it helps to provide confidence in the data collected and ensures the efficacy, quality and safety of the products produced by Hersol. Data integrity is also crucial to secure trust between the manufacturer, regulator, its customers and their consumers. Improvements in manufacturing and laboratory efficiencies can be directly correlated to the advances in technology that support those processes, which is why Hersol is going full speed ahead with full-scale digitalisation efforts throughout its facility.