Continuing our tradition of innovation in the tablet manufacturing industry, Thomas Processing spearheads the development of virtual factory acceptance testing for tablet coating equipment, streamlining the approval process and ensuring customer safety.
As an innovative leader in the tablet manufacturing industry, it’s no surprise that when the COVID-19 pandemic began, Thomas Processing didn’t hesitate to adjust to the times of mask wearing and social distancing.
A significant part of adjusting to the pandemic was turning the standard, in-person factory acceptance test (FAT) procedure for tablet coating machinery into a virtual testing process that delivers the same quality assurance and supports customer safety.
By developing a virtual factory acceptance test plan for tablet coating equipment qualification, Thomas led by example and set the standard for virtual FAT testing procedures in 2020 and beyond.
By implementing modern technology advancements into our factory acceptance test plan, Thomas’s experienced team of engineers walk you through test protocols virtually and in real time.
We start our virtual factory acceptance test process by initiating a web conference. The virtual conference includes key decision makers who played a significant role in determining the design specifications that have been applied to the customized tablet coater machine.
Hosting the testing process virtually expands the number of personnel who can attend the FAT. From project managers and automation professionals to mechanical engineers, all of your employees who were involved in the project can participate in the virtual factory acceptance test.
Prior to the acceptance test, you are given a pre-FAT protocol package. The package includes acceptance criteria, qualification protocol, and pharmaceutical requirements that the machine must support for equipment validation and acceptance.
Our pre-protocol package also allows you to review the material to determine which production tablet coating machine is a good fit for your specific needs, eliminating the need to travel to our facility to purchase equipment.
Our team has a detailed list of pre-FAT qualification protocols that we test on the machine prior to the testing process. You can review the list and discuss questions or concerns with our engineering professionals, giving you a deeper understanding of how we conduct a successful virtual factory acceptance test.
All of Thomas’s production tablet coater machines pass the factory acceptance test eventually. We design and manufacture our tablet coating equipment with high performance and industry standards in mind, so your tablet coating equipment will only require some minor adjustments, if any at all, to pass the virtual factory acceptance test.
Since implementing our virtual FAT testing procedures early in 2020, we’ve gotten rave reviews and positive feedback about our new and improved process that streamlines efficiency, reduces costs, and supports customer satisfaction and safety.
CEOs and project managers said they were hesitant about how efficient a virtual testing process could be, but the Thomas team exceeded their expectations by providing them with a quality process validation where equipment was inspected properly and successfully. Our customers also said that by implementing a virtual testing plan, we expanded employee participation while streamlining the approval process by eliminating the need for travel, resulting in a more efficient acceptance process that prevents overdue machine approval.
Thomas’s new, innovative virtual factory acceptance test is available indefinitely. While we look forward to the day when we can return to traditional testing procedures at our new facility in Elgin, we’re making the virtual factory acceptance test plan available to our customers who prefer a more modern way of equipment qualification approval.
Factory acceptance testing isn’t the only process that’s gone virtual at Thomas. We’ve also implemented a virtual testing process for our other qualification services:
- Site Acceptance Testing (SAT): We virtually perform SATs to ensure machine functionality after it’s installed at your facility.
- Installation Qualification (IQ): Our team includes documented verification of the hardware installation process, ensuring results comply with codes and pharmaceutical regulations.
- Operational Qualification (OQ): We provide documentation confirming that the system or subsystem performs as expected throughout representative or anticipated operating ranges.
Our team of experienced engineers also offer virtual targeted training courses, custom tailored to provide your employees with machine-specific training. We include the course materials ourselves and offer anywhere from two to five-day virtual training courses.
With our detailed courses, you’re trained on common tablet coating operations, including:
- Coating process parameters and recipes
- Mixing procedures
- Operating procedures
- Maintenance procedures
- Cleaning procedures
- Condition of the coating equipment
- Potential equipment upgrades and improvements
The pharmaceutical industry demands constant changes and improvements, and we rise to the challenge every time. Our virtual factory acceptance test plan and equipment deliver the highest levels of quality and efficiency. Our vision for innovation and improving processes goes all the way back to 1959, when we were first manufacturing precision tablet press tooling.
We continue to push ourselves forward, never settling for less than quality and high performance. Thomas was the first to make many of the modern industry advances that led to the processing standards we are a part of today. Our mission revolves around delivering innovation for our industry, value to our clients, and quality machines and equipment for the tablet coating process. Contact us today to learn more about our newest innovative improvement: the Thomas virtual factory acceptance test.