The software, called Vision 3.20, features a number of improvements. These include reliable predictions of process parameters, graphical display of results and flexible process communications options that allow easy NIR application development at all stages of production.
Danish-based Foss also claims that Vision 3.20 also offers enhanced performance and speed for data acquisition, sample selection, library ID method development, qualification method development and data analysis. There is also a user-friendly electronic user manual with reference, theory and tutorials for hands-on method development and software operation.
The company says that these changes were largely driven by hardware development, 21 CFR Part 11 regulatory compliance and most recently the FDA's Process Analytical Technology (PAT) initiative. The goal of this initiative is to better understand and control the manufacturing process. The FDA says that quality cannot be tested into products; it should be built-in or should be by design.
The PAT framework is also designed to help manufacturers develop processes that can consistently ensure a predefined quality at the end of the manufacturing process. Such procedures, says the FDA, are consistent with the basic tenet of quality by design and could reduce risks to quality and regulatory concerns while improving efficiency.
This is the latest piece of analysing technology to be launched by Foss. The company also recently unveiled a new oil and fat analyser, designed to improve production efficiency.
The quality of oil and fat is a vital consideration in a number of food applications. As much as 25 tonnes or so of edible oil can flow through a typical vegetable oil refinery plant every hour, which is why frequent information about the oil in the production process is so important. Any abnormality in the production flow can mean a lot of re-work and ultimately, lost time and profit.
Most plants have an on-site laboratory and run frequent spot checks on oil quality. But using traditional analytical methods, it can take up to an hour and a half to get such critical information. By which time, a lot of oil can have flowed through production. The Foss Oils and Fats Analyser aims to tackle such challenges by delivering results within two minutes.
According to the company it can even provide a continuous stream of results fed directly to a PLC system. The analyser thus provides more power to control production. Plant managers and operators can respond quickly to fluctuations in the content and quality of oil in production - effectively avoiding re-work and associated losses. Not least, plant managers can help to improve customer satisfaction by consistently meeting production specifications, Foss claims.
The Oils and Fats Analyser measures key parameters of edible oils. These include Free Fatty Acid (FFA), Phosphorus (P), Moisture (H20), Iodine Value (IV) and a number of other parameters of vegetable oils including sunflower oil, rape seed oil, palm oil, soybean oil and many others.
Results are presented in exactly the way needed to be in full control of production. According to the company measurements are simple to do and take as little as two minutes - allowing a quick decision on quality and storage should this be necessary. No chemicals or solvents are involved and no special training is required to operate the instrument.