Pharmaceutical Instruments:The Ultimate Guide for Importers

Pharmaceutical instruments play a critical role in the medicine manufacturing process.

For instance, you must know the number of excipients, active ingredients, mole, humidity content, etc.

In fact, some ingredients are determined in small quantities such as milli (m), micro (µ), nano (n) or pico (p).

But, how do you achieve these?

You need high quality, accurate and reliable pharmaceutical instrument.

That’s exactly what you’re going to learn here – let’s dive right in.

Taking measurement
Chapter 1:

What are Pharmaceutical Instruments?

As a medical student, pharmacist or anybody who has an interest in pharmaceutical instruments, it is important to know the definition.

To get a clear understanding, I am going to break the topic into two parts and explain them differently.

It is because many of the people who describe pharmaceutical instruments tend to confuse them and include pharmaceutical machines.

Pharmaceutical instrument

Pharmaceutical instrument

Pharmaceuticals are substances that you will use in diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases that occur in human beings.

Doctors prescribe the pharmaceuticals for correcting, restoring and modifying the normal functions of the organs in the body.

They are the most significant components of both traditional and modern medicine for safe, effective and rational use.

Instruments, on the other hand, are devices, implements, gadgets, apparatus or tools that human beings use for precision works.

These devices communicate, detect, denote, measure, indicate, record, observe, and signals quantities and manipulate or controls other devices.

And, by the way, this is where some professions like pharmaceutical analysis come in hand.

You can have a look at this:

Many people tend to confuse machines and instruments and it is important to get a clear difference between them.

Pharmaceutical instruments are, therefore, devices that you can use to determine certain rational factors of the drugs and medicines.

It encompasses a great variety of equipment and products that you will find in the medical laboratories.

Every instrument will play a unique role in determining the variations in quality and quantity in the pharmaceutical industry.

Pharmaceutical instruments should have the highest mode of reliability, precision to come up with the best quality of drugs.

Drugs are the best option for fighting complications in the organs of the human body.

It is the reason why you have to use instruments with the highest precision as it will a life saver.

Chapter 2:

Uses of Pharmaceutical Instruments

You can use pharmaceutical instruments in many applications in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals such as drugs and medicines.

They are the instruments that you will employ in measuring different quantities and quality of pharmaceutical substances.

The most common uses of the pharmaceutical instruments are as follows.

1. Pharmaceutical Analysis

This is the process which involves different processes such as determination, identification, purification, and quantitation.

You can use pharmaceutical analysis instruments for separating contents from mixtures and determining the compound structure.



Basing the process on the type of determination you will go through qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Qualitative analysis of pharmaceuticals is the method of identifying the chemical compounds in the pharmaceuticals.

Quantitative analysis involves the process of determining the number of samples available in a particular combination.

They will help you determine the right combination factors to include in making the drugs you want.

Pharmaceutical analysis and testing instruments include many things such as reciprocating cylinders.

You can use the reciprocating cylinders to perform the following:

i. Study the dissolution of the product with a release extension.

ii. Test the solubility of the pharmaceuticals by measuring the solubility of the solid drugs in different liquids.

The different types of pharmaceutical instruments for analysis will help in reducing validation timeliness and save the industry some money.

Just in case you have an interest in this subject, here is a good book for you: Pharmaceutical Analysis (A Text Book for Pharmacy Students and Pharmaceutical Chemist.)

2. Pharmaceutical Testing

Pharmaceutical testing is a significant step in the pharmaceutical industry as the regulatory processes evolve and expand regularly.

Pharmaceutical testing

Pharmaceutical testing

Different testing processes are available and they also have varied challenges.

The testing process includes many things such as:

i. Analytical validation and development

ii. API analysis

iii. Biological testing of samples

iv. Clinical management of different trials

v. Depending on the needs of the test, you should choose the testing equipment that:

vi. Complies to the relevant regulatory requirements

vii. It is cost-effective

viii. It is convenient in saving the time available for analysis

ix. The throughput is up to the quality standards

High-quality instruments will allow faster regulatory approvals under short periods leading to a reduction of cost.

The process you will go through when doing pharmaceutical testing includes Pharmaceutical chemistry and Pharmaceutical Microbiology.

Pharmaceutical chemistry involves different processes of testing such as:

i. Stability testing and storage

ii. Accelerated studies of aging

iii. Leachables and extractables testing

iv. Method validation and development

v. Residual solvent testing

vi. Water analysis

vii. Testing for heavy metals

viii. Pharmaceutical microbiology testing includes:

ix. Sterility testing

x. Testing of Antimicrobial Efficacy

xi. Testing of the microbial limits

xii. Determination of bioburden

xiii. Testing of Endotoxins

xiv. Environmental Identification and monitoring

xv. Water analysis

3. Quality Control/Quality Assurance

Quality control refers to every procedure that you will undertake in ensuring purity and identity of pharmaceutical products.

The procedures range from doing chemical experiments that will help in determining the identity of certain pharmaceutical products.

Quality Control Process

Quality Control Process

It can also involve screening to determine the presence of pharmaceutical substances and requirements of pharmaceutical monographs.

It also covers other processes of product development in verification and fulfillment of different design specifications and inputs.

Quality assurance, on the other hand, is batch sampling or testing to validate the use and performance of the final product.

Different experiments using different instruments will help in determining the issues that might arise in the performance process.

The manufacturers of different pharmaceutical instruments require to look at the quality requirements of different countries all over the world.

They will then manufacture the pharmaceutical instruments in accordance with the quality standards set by that country.

The quality of the instruments should also comply with the standards of the Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP).

The requirements manufacturers should adhere to involve conducting appropriate checks that will ensure instrument efficacy and safety.

Chapter 3:

Advantages of Using Pharmaceutical Instrument

The process of validation such as testing, analyzing and ensuring that pharmaceuticals are of the right quality is tedious.

It is also time-consuming and many of the technicians waste time to do different measurements and quantitation.

In the end, many people in the pharmaceutical industry end up wasting a lot of money in research and development.

Pharmaceutical laboratory

Pharmaceutical laboratory

It is, however, proper that many scientists have come up with different instruments that will help in certain functions.

These instruments offer assistance in different fields making the working of technicians very simple.

Some of the major advantages of using pharmaceutical instruments are:

i. It saves on time that many technicians waste when doing other tedious duties such as measuring. Saving on time will, therefore, improve the timeliness of production and reducing the long wait for new products. It will lead to the transformation of the market as there will be different products available in short periods.

ii. It improves the accuracy of the measurements thus improving the quality of the final products. Unlike other techniques, using these instruments improves accuracy and the overall quality of the products. It eliminates the errors that might not be visible to the human eye.

iii. It is less costly to use such devices in the pharmaceutical industry this saving on a lot of money. It might be costly to purchase the instruments but it is worthy in the long run. You will save money that you can channel towards developing other research projects.

iv. It increases the confidence of the technicians as they will be producing efficient and effective products for the market. It simplifies the jobs that the technician involves in thus improving the morale and a better working environment.

v. Better pharmaceuticals in the market will also mean a healthy population who are strong enough to build the society.

vi. It also simplifies the process of validation in comparison to other microbial validation techniques.

The advantages of using the pharmaceutical instruments also come with a series of demerits.

Basic laboratory equipment

Basic laboratory equipment

The demerits, however, vary according to the type of equipment you will be using and the activity it will perform.

Chapter 4:

Types of Pharmaceutical Instruments

There are many pharmaceutical instruments that are available for different functions in the pharmaceutical industry.

Most of the pharmaceuticals instruments you will need are available in different pharmaceutical laboratories.

You will find different instruments for use in drug discovery, different clinical trials, processing and producing drugs and other applications.

1) Dissolution Test Apparatus

Dissolution is a physiochemical process where a soluble substance is put into a solvent and forms a solution.

Drug dissolution tests are done to provide critical drug information for drug development and quality control.

It helps in the assessment of the batch to batch consistency in oral dosages such as tablets.

Dissolution apparatus

Dissolution apparatus

The information you will acquire from these tests will help in determining the safety and efficacy of the drugs.

The dissolution apparatus will help in conducting dissolution tests and provide reproducible and accurate results.

There are quite a number of dissolution apparatus available which include:

i. USP Dissolution Apparatus 1 which is the Basket (37 °C)

ii. USP Dissolution Apparatus 2 which is the Paddle (37°C)

iii. USP Dissolution Apparatus 3 which is the Reciprocating Cylinder (37 °C)

iv. USP Dissolution Apparatus 4 which is the Flow-Through Cell (37 °C)

You will partially immerse the vessels you will use in the dissolution method in water bath solutions.

Apart from that, you can as well heat the vessel using a jacket for a predetermined period depending on the drug.

The heat should be at around 37 degrees Celsius with an allowance of plus or minus 0.5 degrees Celsius.

The dissolution apparatus depends on hydrodynamics because of the nature of the dissolution tests.

The designs and modes of operation of the dissolution apparatus have huge impacts on hydrodynamics and performance.

Dissolution tester

Dissolution tester

The first step of the procedure involves putting a degassed dissolution medium into a dissolution vessel apparatus.

It is important to remove the gasses from the dissolution medium as they might affect the final results.

You will place the drugs in the dissolution medium after reaching the right temperatures and then operate the apparatus.

Advantages of using the dissolution apparatus include:

i. It helps in the evaluation of bioavailability

ii. It helps in developing dosage forms that are more therapeutic and effective.

iii. It helps in the minimization of human beings as the main test subjects.

iv. It ensures that the final products are of high quality.

v. Correlates between bioavailability and dissolution results for the products between different batches.

vi. It assists in the screening of formulations during the process of developing the products.

2) Disintegration Tester

A disintegration tester is used to in testing how a drug or drug pellets will disintegrate in a solution.

The help medical practitioners and researchers in analyzing in vitro breakdown of compounds in powder form.

Disintegration tester

Disintegration tester

You will place tablets in disintegration tester baskets and left for a while to confirm if they will disintegrate.

The time it will take for the drug to disintegrate depends on the type of drug but it should relatively be the same.

It is the apparatus that you will use in testing if the drug can disintegrate fully or not.

You can judge the disintegration apparatus by relative compactness, precision, and quality of temperature control system and result from the display.

The technical characteristics of the disintegration testers are:

i. Temperature reading and control using sensors

ii. Temperature microprocessor and runtime controls, LCD displays, and alarms for the end of test indications.

iii. An acrylic water bath which has a frontal drain

iv. Immersion heaters with circulator modules that guarantee stability and no vibration of the water bath.

v. The lift outs on the baskets are either automatic or manual depending on the type of model.

vi. It is easy to operate and clean the components of the apparatus.

There are different types of disintegrator models available in the market.

Disintegration tester

Disintegration tester

The different models have different technical specifications but they all perform the same functions.

The types of disintegration testers that you will find are:

i. 301/AC: involves manual lifting out of the basket on the 01, 03 and 06 baskets

ii. 301/AUT: involves automatic lift out of the baskets on the 01, 03, and 06 baskets

iii. 301/IND: involves independent lift out of the baskets on the 03 or 06 baskets

iv. 301/AUT IND: involves both automatic and independent lift out of the 03 or 06 baskets.

You will find the instruments in use in the IPC and QC laboratories where most of the equipment is stainless steel.

There are also many models of disintegrators in the market that you can choose from but with the same function.

3) Bulk and Tapped Density Tester

The bulk and tapped density tester is an instrument that you will use in the density (bulk density) of powders.

You can describe bulk density as being the density of the powder when you pour it into the measuring vessel.

It is inclusive of the pore volume, powder volume and the volume of the inter-particle void.

Tapped density tester

Tapped density tester

Technicians usually compare the bulk and tapped densities of different powders to have an indication of the interaction type.

It will indicate the interactions present between various particles that make up the mass of the powder.

In the process, it assists in providing the index of the flowability of different pharmaceutical powders.

There are basically two different machines where one measures the bulk density while the other measures the tapped density.

The principle of operation is basically the same and one can get the required densities depending on the machine they use.

The dimensions of the bulk density are in grams per milliliter and depend on arrangement and density of powder particles.

There are two main methods for calculating the bulk density of different powders which are:

i. Bulk method 1

ii. Tapped method 1

The standard features of the tap density testers are:

i. They have modern microcontrollers with software that is user-friendly

ii. It has an alphanumeric keyboard that is slash proof that allows you to enter sample number or name. the entries by the splash keyboard allow the instrument to authenticate the data.

iii. It is compliant to the GLP requirements for selective report printouts.

iv. They have real-time clocks for time and date displays and also for authentication of the printouts.

v. It is able to indicate errors so that you can easily identify and solve the problems.

vi. It calculates the results giving you the tapped density, Hausner ratio, complexity index, and bulk density.

vii. It meets different specifications for ASTM, IP, and USP among others.

There are two types that can hold one cylinder and the other that can hold two cylinders.

The two cylinder holders are capable of holding a 100 ml cylinder and 250 ml cylinders.

i. It has a balancing interface for transferring the sample weight

ii. It is also compatible with personal computers to enable the downloading of data.

4) Tablet Hardness Tester

Tablet hardness testing is a technique for testing structural integrity and breaking point of a tablet in the pharmaceutical industry.

The test of the tablet is under different conditions such as storage, handling before use and transportation.

You might confuse it with friability testing but they are very diverse.

The shape of the tablet will determine the breaking point of the tablet.

You can use two main methods to test the breaking point of the tablet or the hardness of the tablet.

The main processes are the three-point bends testing and compression testing.

Compression testing involves squeezing the tablet by two jaws after aligning it in a repeatable manner.

Tablet hardness tester

Tablet hardness tester

The machine squeezes on the tablet at different strengths and when it breaks, there is a record on the sliding scale.

The technician will read the record on the sliding scale and record it for further tests.

The most common hardness testers available in the market include:

i. Monsanto tester which the oldest hardness tester in the market. It has a barrel with two compressible springs between two plungers. You will place the tablet on the lower plunger then lower the plunger at the top to squeeze the tablet.

ii. Strong-Cobb tester which consists of an anvil put against a platform that does not move. You will be able to see the results of the tablet hardness on a hydraulic gauge. It will, however, produce results that are similar to that of the Monsanto tester.

iii. Pfizer tester which compresses the tablet between a gauge that reads the force and a holding anvil. It has plier-like handles for gripping the tablet and applying the necessary force.

iv. Erweka tester which places the tablet o the anvil on the lower end and a weight transmitter moving along the tablet.

v. Dr. SchleunigerPharmatron tester that operates in a horizontal position.

vi. Kraemer Elektronik tablet testing system

The units of measurements you will use in tablet hardness tester are kilograms, Newton, pounds, and kilo-pounds.

5) Tablet Four Usage Tester

This instrument can measure four different types of parameters of the pharmaceutical tablets.

The main areas that the instrument tests are:

i. The hardness of the tablet

ii. Abrasion or friability of the tablet

iii. Dissolution rate

iv. Disintegration rate of the tablets

It is an instrument that many people know for its multi-purpose abilities.

Tablet four usage tester

Tablet hardness tester

The main features of the multi-purpose instrument are:

i. Auto-detection, auto-control, auto-alarm and auto diagnosis. It means that most of the functions of the instrument are automatic.

ii. It also has an automatic temperature control system and high precision of temperature controls.

iii. It has an automatic time control that will shut down automatically when the test is complete.

iv. Apart from the above factors, it has an automatic display, latching, reset and cyclic tests.

v. It is also able to automatically control friability and precision for the speed of cylinder rotation. At that point, it is also able to control the number of turns that the cylinder makes as it rotates.

Tablet four usage tester

Tablet four usage tester

vi. It has a sensor of very high precision that detects hardness and digitally displays the value of hardness.

6) Transparency Tester

It is an instrument that technicians in the pharmaceutical industry use to test the transparency of gelatin.

The technical specifications of the transparency tester include:

Transparency tester

Transparency tester

i. All the operations of the transparency tester are under the control of the MPU.

ii. The performance is highly reliable and the results that you can get are very accurate.

iii. It is an automatic instrument that is able to calculate transparency using precise transducers and standard test tubes.

iv. You can use keys to help in operating the instrument conventionally.

v. The results of the measurements are on light emitting diodes.

vi. It has an appealing outward appearance due to its simple structure.

7) Friability Tester

Friability is the tablet tendency to crumble, chip, or break when you try to compress it.

Technicians confine this tendency to surfaces and tablets that do not have coats when handling or storing the tablets.

Tablet friability tester

Tablet friability tester

Many factors can lead to friability of the tablet including the design, insufficient binder or moisture content among others.

Tablets should be strong enough so that they do not break in the storage containers.

They should also be friable enough so that they can easily disintegrate in the intestinal tract.

The friability tester determines the resistance of tablets without coats to shock and abrasion during manufacture, storage, and transport operations.

The design of the instrument does not change even though the ease of usage and reliability is improving rapidly.

The process of friability involves dropping the tablet repeatedly over a particular period in a rotating drum.

You will then inspect the tablets to see if any is broken and check on the mass of the other tablets.

Friability tester

Friability tester

There are different types of friability instruments including:

i. PTF 100 single drum Tablet Friability Test Instrument

ii. PTF 200 double drum Tablet Friability Test Instrument

iii. PTF 300 triple drum Tablet Friability Test Instrument

iv. PTF 600 six drum Tablet Friability Test Instrument

v. PTF 10E and PTF 10 ER single drum Friability Test Instrument

vi. PTF 20E and PTF 20ER double drum Friability Test Instrument

vii. PTF 30ERA which automatically discharges samples at the end of the test run

viii. PTF 60ERA which discharges samples automatically at the end of the test run

ix. PTF 1DR

x. PTF 3DR

8) Fluorometer

It is a pharmaceutical instrument that you will use in measuring the fluorescent parameters of pharmaceuticals.

The parameters that you will be looking at are wavelength and intensity distribution of different emission spectrums under different light spectrums.

It helps in detecting the amount and presence of certain molecules in different pharmaceutical media.

How flourometer works

How flourometer works

Modern equipment can detect fluorescent molecules in concentrations as low as one part per trillion.

There are two main types of fluorometer available in the industry which are the filter fluorometer and the spectrofluorometer.

They select wavelengths of incident light differently prompting the main difference between the two.

Filter fluorometers use filters while spectrofluorometers use grating monochromators.

The filter fluorometers are less expensive and also less sensitive than the spectrofluorometers.

9) Flame Photometer

The flame photometer is an instrument that you will use in detecting the presence of certain metals in different pharmaceuticals.

The metals that you can easily detect in the pharmaceuticals are potassium, sodium, calcium, and lithium.

Group 1 and 2 metals are very sensitive in flame photometry because of the low excitation of energies.

Flame Photometer

Flame Photometer

It is a test that uses flames to control the outcome.

It looks at the flame color intensity that you can quantify under photoelectric circuitry.

The color intensity depends on the amount of energy available in the atoms and is sufficient for vaporization.

You will introduce the sample that you want to test in the flame at a rate that is constant.

Filters will select the colors that the photometer will detect wile excluding influence by other ions.

Before you use the device, calibrate it with different standard solutions of the ion that you want to test.

It is a cheap but crude method in comparison to other methods such as ICP-AES, or flame emission spectroscopy.

In the other processes, the light emissions are under the analysis of a monochromator.

10) Moisture Tester

Moisture control in the pharmaceuticals is important as it assists in extending the shelf-life, API effectiveness, and tablet performance.

Moisture tester

Moisture tester

The moisture tester should be precise, rugged and flexible to assist in testing moisture content in the laboratories.

You can use the instrument to assist in different applications such as:

i. Fluid-bed granulation

ii. Fluid-bed drying

iii. Agglomeration

iv. Compaction of the tablets

v. Coating of the tablets

vi. Blending

vii. Testing the moisture content of the raw materials

The moisture content of the granule is very important as it affects the purpose of the tablet.

High moisture content may result in excess granule transfer thus affecting the quality of the tablet.

Low moisture content can lead to the delamination of the tablets affecting the appearance and efficiency of the tablet.

There are three main categories of instruments that you can use for testing moisture content:

i. Pharmaceutical moisture sensor

ii. Pharmaceutical lab moisture analyzer

iii. Pharmaceutical moisture meter

There are many moisture testers available in the market and you should choose the one that will fit the pharmaceuticals.

You can explain to the shop attendant the type of moisture tester that you need and the purpose.

He will help in making the right decision on the type of moisture tester that you need to have.

Please note that the moisture tester is for testing moisture content in pharmaceuticals and you have to be very careful.

Do not involve the devices that may give you negative results that will affect the life of the user.

11) Karl Fischer Moisture Titrator

Karl Fischer titration is a process of volumetric or coulometric titration that determines traces of water in a sample.

Karl Fischer Moisture Titrator

Karl Fischer Moisture Titrator

You can do the process of Karl Fischer successfully using the Karl Fischer Titrator.

The main features of the Karl Fischer Titrator are:

i. It is an apparatus that is very simple to operate just like plug and play.

ii. It has many standard interfaces to enable smooth operations. The interfaces include a computer interface, printer and balance interface.

iii. You can view the measurement results as they are highly repeatable.

iv. The Karl Fischer reagent dispenser is of standard value and eliminates all the replacements that are problematic.

v. You can use one component cell to reduce the level of maintenance and cost of operation.

vi. You can increase the number of titration cells to two units.

You can use the apparatus in a variety of applications that require moisture analysis.

In this case, the main application is in the pharmaceutical industry.

Let us look at the two main processes of titration in the Karl Fischer apparatus.

Coulometric titration involves passing the agent through the main compartment of the titration cell.

The titration cell contains anode solutions consisting of bases and alcohol plus analytes.

The main type of alcohol that you can use is ethanol, and the base in use is imidazole.

There are other compartments of the titration cell with a cathode inside the anode solutions.

There is an ion permeable membrane that separates the two sides.

You can detect the end point of coulometric titration by the potentiometric method.

Volumetric titration, on the other hand, draws the same principles as that of the coulometric titration but with some exceptions.

It uses the anode solution as the main titration solution.

The titrant in this process has alcohol, SO2, a base such as pyridine, and other concentrations of I2.

The Karl Fischer Titrator is more efficient in moisture determination in terms of selectivity, speed, and accuracy.

You will also need very little preparation for the samples by directing it directly using a syringe.

The machine is automatic and can perform some of the main functions by just pressing a button.

12) Leak Test Apparatus

This is an instrument you can find in a pharmaceutical lab and use it for testing the integrity of packages.

The packages of important combinations may not be strong enough and may let the content out under pressure.

The instrument will come in handy and assist in detecting if the packages are strong enough to hold the content.

Leak test apparatus

Leak test apparatus

You can use it in testing the package integrity of blisters, pouches, and tablets.

The instrument is able to detect any holes, breakages or seal imperfections that you cannot detect with the naked eye.

They have polycarbonate plastic transparent desiccators that cannot be broken and is light in weight.

The main features of the instrument are the alphanumeric digital display and a keypad that is soft to touch.

Apart from that it also has a compact vacuum gauge and vacuum pump.

The main advantages of using this type of instruments are:

i. It is ideal for all rigid and flexible packages.

ii. It does not require any form of calibration and produces very accurate leak test results.

iii. It has a microprocessor base for a circuit and a vast memory for storing data.

iv. The instrument is easy to operate and maintain thus saving a lot of money.

There are three main methods that you can use in detecting leaks on the packages.

The methods include vacuum leak method, internal pressure method, and gas detection method.

13) Melting Point Apparatus

This instrument helps pharmaceutical technicians to detect the melting point of different substances.

Different pharmaceutical substances have different melting points and it is important to know for the purposes of processing.

The main melting point apparatus include the Thiele tube, Gallenkamp MP apparatus, Fisher-Johns, and automatic MP apparatus.

Melting point apparatus

Melting point apparatus

Most of the apparatus use sample loads in seal capillaries that is then put under a heating agent.

The heating agents include heating blocks or oil baths that heat the samples while the technician observes.

He will then record the point where the sample changes from a solid state to a liquid state.

The temperature records will include records from the initial phase of change till the solid changes completely.

He will find the average of the records and declare it as the melting point for that sample.

The apparatus should have control panels allowing the starting and ending temperatures.

It should also allow for temperature gradients in for programming in units per minute.

Some of the apparatus has more than one channel that gives an allowance for testing more than one sample simultaneously.

The control panel should also allow for the recording of the start and stop temperatures.

14) Pyrogen Tele Thermometer

This is the instrument that you can use in Pyrogen testing in the laboratories.

It is very easy to use and you can use it for rabbit Pyrogen tests to qualitatively detect Pyrogen.

Pyrogen Tele Thermometer

Pyrogen Tele Thermometer

It is a benchtop apparatus and has six Pyrogen probes to assist in its operations.

It is also very convenient and can measure the temperature of six rabbits at the same time.

It has 6 inbuilt channels that you will use in testing the six Pyrogens.

It is also an accurate instrument and provides accurate temperature results.

It is an instrument that you can use continuously to measure the temperature of different Pyrogen.

You can also connect it to your personal computer to assist in observation.

It is also very fast in giving accurate results of the Pyrogen under study with the manual and automatic modes.

The software features allow for the graphical presentation of data.

You can also convert the data into simple excel files for further analysis.

15) Powder Flow Tester

The apparatus delivers easy and quick analysis of the behavior of powder flow in the pharmaceutical industry.

It is a brilliant machine in the pharmaceutical industry as it is fast in its operations.

It is efficient enough and will save you a lot of financial resources.

Powder Flow Tester

Powder Flow Tester

The main features of the powder flow tester are:

i. Compact design with tiny footprints that can fit well on the workbench

ii. It has various choice test options such as flow function, bulk density, wall friction, and time consolidation tests.

iii. The data output features flow indices for the flowability of powder, arching dimensions, and a rat hole diameter. It also exhibits a wall friction angle or the hopper half angle and a bulk density curve.

iv. It also has real-time displays on the clock through every step indicating the remaining completion time.

v. It has captured for sharing algorithms that will indicate the stress value at the peak. It will also indicate subsequent stress values and recognize slip-stick materials.

vi. It offers function tests such as that of choice of flow including demo, standard, and high precision.

vii. It also has assessment services for samples.

There is a powder flow pro software that assists in relaying the information for analysis.

It is a combination of the main screen, stress data output screen, and flow function curves.

They are available in different outlets at different prices.

16) Scott Volumeter

You will use this apparatus to test the apparent density of different powders that flow freely.

It has a wooden base support, two stainless steel funnels, glass baffles, and a brass density cup.

You will use the pharmaceutical Volumeter in determining apparent density in microcrystalline cellulose.

Gardco Scott Volumeter

Gardco Scott Volumeter

The upper funnel of the Scott Volumeter for pharmaceutical applications has 10 mesh wire supports.

The density cup in use for this application is 25 cubic centimeters.

You can also use it for other caustic powders that flow freely and other pharmaceutical products.

The material in use for making the instrument is brass and glass because they are easy to maintain and clean.

The operating instructions for the Scott Volumeter are:

i. Weigh and record the weight of the empty cup for reception

ii. Place the reception cup under the top funnel and pour powder through the top funnel. Make sure that the powder overflows the reception cup and use powder with a minimum volume of 35 cubic centimeters.

iii. Make sure that the cup is full completely by leveling the top with a spatula. Avoid shaking the reception cup or compressing it.

iv. Weigh the reception cup again with the contents and calculate density in grams per milliliter. Divide the weight of the powder with the volume of the receiving cup.

17) Penetrometers

It is a device that you will use in testing the strength of the pharmaceuticals.

Apart from that, you can also use it for testing the quality of the pharmaceuticals and also for qualification processes.

It requires a 4 ml sample size resulting in intervals of short temperature stabilization.

You can use to perform different tests outside the laboratory using 16 different programs for running the device.



You can use different sizes of the penetrometer in the analysis of food, ointments, creams and also other drugs.

Penetration is a method of testing resistance of a material against certain piercing agents.

It also attaches basic importance on certain factors including temperature, load and time in the diverse testing methods.

They are also available in different designs depending on the type of application.

18) TNP Digital Torque Meter

This instrument is for measuring the opening and closing torque in various pharmaceutical applications.

It determines the value of closure of the bottle and the torque of break away.

It also has a vast memory that is capable of storing around 1000 data points.

TNP Digital Torque Meter

TNP Digital Torque Meter

You can use an HI-GO-LO test for testing the torque values of a higher batch of containers.

It ensures that pharmaceutical products are of high quality.

It has a USB port for easy transfer of data and you can connect it to a personal computer.

All these combinations together with a Digi-torque software enables efficient analysis of data.

It has an internal battery and an AC adapter charger for charging the battery.

It has a footprint that makes the transfer from the shop to the laboratory a simple process.

The measuring units are in Nm, Ncm, Kgcm, and Libin and is a device that is easy to set up.

It is an automatic instrument with various digital capabilities such as LED displays.

It has chuck pins that you can easily remove when adjusting the diameter with measuring modes that are selectable.

The material of the device is durable such as aluminum that is able to withstand wear and tear.

19) The Fineness of Grind Gage

Many of the technicians will describe it as a continuous variable screen in the simplest form.

It uses the principle of gauging the size of a particle by spreading it all over the screen.

You will gage the size by looking at the protrusions on above the depth of the variable screen.

Fineness of grind gauge

Fineness of grind gauge

Using a straight edge scraper will assist in pushing off the particles that are bigger in size.

The particles that are protruding from the surface will fall from the surface leaving you with uniform particle sizes.

You can use it in checking the size of particles in a paste.

You will take a sample of the paste from a grinding machine and allow it to cool down to room temperature.

Allowing it to cool will make the job simpler and you will need to observe and see the protruding particles.

It will help you identify definite scratches in the matrix of the paste.

Many of the pastes will dry up when in a thin fluid thus making it difficult to gauge the fineness.

Many people often confuse the readings when the paste gets to the dry state.

The main materials for making the grind gage are steel, chrome plates, scrappers and stainless steel.

Make sure that you take good care of the instrument by cleaning it using a soft cloth and a solvent.

Cover or encase the gage when you are not using it and protect them for a longer period of use.

It uses various specifications such as paint club scale, mils scale, microns, and NPIRI scale.

20) Fluid Tensiometer

It is a device that you will use in measuring the surface tension of fluids in the pharmaceutical industry.

You will find them in research laboratories to know the surface tension of fluids such as adhesives, lacquers, and coatings.

You might also find it huge pharmaceutical industrial applications such as electroplating or cleaning of parts.

Fluid Tensiometer

Fluid Tensiometer

There are various types of fluid Tensiometer depending on the application.

The main types of fluid Tensiometers are:

i. Goniometer or Tensiometer

ii. Du Nouy rig Tensiometer

iii. Wilhelmy plate Tensiometer

iv. Bubble pressure Tensiometer

It uses a maximum bubble pressure and viscosity compensated methods to measure static and dynamic surface tension.

All the methods are under the calibration of known standards and are independent of probe depth.

It is also free from effects of ambient pressure, surface contamination, and foaming.

The main features include:

i. Compatibility with computer applications and software

ii. It has an automatic calibration

iii. Viscosity compensation

iv. It has automatic measurements of the surface age

v. It allows for pressure tests from ambient to 225 psi, including reactors and vessels

vi. It has automatic mass flow controllers

vii. The flow rates are under the control of computers for definite measurements

21) Spatula Balance

This is the type of spatula that will scoop material and display the weight of the material on the scoop.

The digital display of the weight of scoop is on the handle of the spatula balance.

It can weigh scoops ranging from zero to 300 grams.

Spatula Balance

Spatula Balance

It has a tare button, hold function, measuring in both ounces and grams.

It has two plastic scoops that you can easily detach when cleaning.

The color of the balance varies and uses replaceable batteries.

22) Falling Ball Viscometer

The falling ball viscometer uses the Doppler principle to measure the viscosity of certain pharmaceuticals.

It measures the time a ball would take to fall through a particular sample of fluid under test.

You will have to incline the tube with the fluid sample as you observe and record the results.

You will repeat the process three times then find the average of the results.

You will convert the results into a viscosity value using a formula.

Falling ball viscometer

Falling ball viscometer

There are two models of the falling ball viscometer available including the KF30 and KF40.

The KF30 has an angle of 80 degrees while the KF40 can tilt at different angles of 50, 60, 70 and 80 degrees.

The benefits and features of the falling ball viscometer include:

i. It has a pivot bearing that allows for easy and quick rotation

ii. It has a connection to the circulating bath that controls the temperatures of the system

iii. It has six balls which you can use in testing many varieties of samples.

iv. You will find the apparatus that is complete with a temperature probe.

v. It is very accurate with the ability to read 0.5 to 2% readings depending on the type of ball in use.

23) Force Gauges

It is a device that you will use to determine the amount of force on a push or pull test.

You will use it in different applications such as laboratories, external environment, research and production of pharmaceuticals.

There are two main types of gages available which are the mechanical and digital force gages.

Force Gauge

Falling ball viscometer

The digital force gauge is the most common instrument in modern applications.

It is an instrument that has a load cell, display, electronic part and you can easily hold it in your hands.

The load cell converts the force into electronic signals.

The force you on the load cell will deform a strain gauge though mechanical arrangements.

The strain gauge will then convert the deformation into electrical signals.

It will then convert the electrical signals into the value that you will see on display.

The most common units of measurements are pounds or newtons.

The peak force is the most significant example of results that you can easily find.

It will be the determinant to show if a part is bad or good.

24) Bloom Viscosity Tester

It is an instrument that you will use in testing the bloom viscosity of gelatin.

It uses the MPU in controlling all the operations of the device.

Bloom viscosity tester

Bloom viscosity tester

It functions in the bloom mode and displays all the data on the LED.

It is sufficient with accurate temperatures of the liquid and bath.

It automatically calculates viscosity and time using precise and capillary transducers.

The components are of very high quality thus prompting accuracy of the device.

You can use keys to operate it conveniently and it is very pleasing to the eye due to its simple structure.

It produces low noise in operation, slight shocks, no pollution, reliable performance and a longer period of life.

25) Hand Hold Thickness

It is an instrument that you can use to measure the thickness of materials in the pharmaceutical industry.

You will use it to test the thickness of capsules and tablets in the pharmaceutical industry.

The instrument meets and matches the high quality of the products in accordance with the regulations board.

Hand hold thickness

Hand hold thickness

There are four main types of handhold thickness testers which include:

· HD-1 Tablet Model Capsule Thickness tester

You will use this instrument to measure the thickness and peak thickness of a capsule.

It has a very high accuracy test and the most precise dial indicators.

Direct and simple construction makes it have an appealing outward appearance.

· HD-2 Table Model Combination Thickness Tester

You will use this type of instrument in measuring the thickness and peak thickness and diameters of capsules, pills, and tablets.

It is also very accurate and precise in indicating the test results.

It is appealing to the eye due to its simple and direct construction.

· HD-3 Handhold Capsule Thickness Tester

You will use it to measure the thickness and peak thickness of capsules.

It has the most precise indicators giving us the best and most accurate results.

It is attractive and pleasing to the eye due to its model and design.

· HD-4 Handhold Combination Thickness Tester

It measures that thickness and peak thickness of different capsules.

Apart from that, it measures the diameter and thickness of pills and tablets.

Just like the others the accuracy test is very high and has a dial indicator that is precise.

26) Test Stands such as Manual Test Stands and Motorized Test Stands

The manual test stand is important for measuring the force on different applications.

You can use it together with Chatillon force gages for it to function properly.

Motorized test stand

Motorized test stand

The motorized test stand is important for enhancing the processes in floor operations.

They have a constant speed of test and work in conjunction with the force gauge.

There are different types of test stands which include:

i. Test stands that you can control using a computer

ii. Friction tester

iii. Budget Direct Drive Manual Test Stand

iv. Budget Lever Operated Test Stand

v. MultiTest-dV Test Stand

27) Digital Moisture Balance

The instrument is for determining the moisture content in different pharmaceutical products.

You can either use the automatic or manual balance to measure zero to 100 grams of samples.

It is user-friendly and personnel with very little experience can use it well.

Digital moisture balance

Digital moisture balance

It has a test recorder that keeps the records and results from the test and can withstand high temperature.

The high temperatures are for drying the samples under test within a range of 30 to 120 degrees Celsius.

It has rugged cast aluminum for the elimination of errors under ambient moisture drafts allowing it to dry faster.

28) Lab Porcelain and Watch Glass

The lab porcelain consists of the pestle and mortar that you can use for crashing solid pharmaceuticals.

The pestle is of a bigger size to improve the comfort of use glazing it to a grinding surface.

The other type of porcelain is the spot plate with 12 depressions with glazes except at the bottom surface.

Lab watch glass

Lab watch glass

The watch glass is student grade and you will use it together with a beaker.

It is circular in shape with a concave design that you can use as a surface for evaporating liquids.

You can use it to hold solids as you weigh them, and also as a cover for a beaker among other applications.

29) DV3T Rheometer

It is a type of rheometer that you can program with accessories such as a touch screen and graphical data display.

You can use it to measure the viscosity of a fluid in the pharmaceutical industry.

It has the capability of having broad measurements, such as yield stress measurements, viscosity tests and characterization of flow curves.

DV3T Rheometer

DV3T Rheometer

Apart from viscosity it also remits information on temperature, shear stress, spindle, torque, speed, and status of the step program.

You can customize the device to fit your personal requirements thus enhancing security.

It has a USB interface that enables you to transfer data or connect it to a computer system.

30) Texture Analyzer

You will be using the texture analyzer to measure the physical and virtual characteristics of tablets.

You can measure features such as hardness, adhesiveness, fracturability, and gel strength of the pharmaceuticals.

Apart from that, you can use it to analyze the texture of the pharmaceutical in general terms.

31) SAC-i Auto Saccharimeter

You can use the instrument in measuring a wide range of parameters in the pharmaceutical industry due to its touch screen.

The instrument complies to the standard regulations by the regulating bodies making a complete device for your laboratory.

Gardco SAC-i Auto Saccharimeter

Gardco SAC-i Auto Saccharimeter

You can use it to measure the sugar scale and optical angle of rotation for the pharmaceuticals.

It has measurement stability of fewer than 13 seconds with a resolution of almost 3 decimal places.

It can do around 999 consecutive automatic measurements and display all the average values.

You can program the whole system to perform measurements at the time you set for it.

32) Tox Screening System

The tox screening system is an instrument that you can use in screening toxic substances in the pharmaceuticals.

The system is able to provide MRM transitions, retention times, separation conditions, and spectral libraries before reporting the files.

It enables a faster mode of screening toxic substances that may be present in the pharmaceuticals.

Chapter 5:

How to Choose the Right Pharmaceutical Instruments

As a pharmaceutical technician, there are various factors that you have to look at before considering an instrument for use.

There are many instruments in the market but many of them may not fit the specifications that you need.

Some of the instruments may not have the kind of efficacy or accuracy that you need for your job.

The pressure to comply with the regulations and standards of producing pharmaceuticals will force you to get the right equipment.



Using the right instrument will not only help in respecting the rules but also ensures your customer is safe.

When choosing the right equipment for your job, some of the factors that you will have to look at include:

i. Choosing an instrument that is highly reputable in terms of accuracy and stability in measuring a wide range of parameters. The parameters will depend on the type of machine that you are looking for as different machines measure different parameters. Make sure that the machine is able to measure a wide range of the specific parameter.

There are three methods that you can rely on when determining the type of instrument for use.

These are wired thermal systems, wired combination temperature, and wireless data loggers.

ii. Select an instrument that has sensors which you can easily check against a credible form of reference. The machine should also allow you to adjust the calibrations while you are in the field. It will help you in determining and adjust any issue that may arise in terms of calibration.

iii. The components of the instrument should be durable enough to allow for transportation to different places. It should also be durable enough to allow you to use them for a longer period.

iv. In the modern world, the instrument should be digital and automatic making work easier for you. A digital instrument can be set to perform specific functions at the time that you will specify. Apart from that, it should make the work of transfer and analysis of data simple.

v. The instruments that you will need to use will also depend on the type of application you need it for. Different types of instruments perform different functions, so choose the instrument that will fit the type of job you intend to do.

vi. Choose an instrument that will fit the budget of the research that you are working on. The instruments vary in terms of prices so you have to look at your budget first. Different companies offer varying prices for the instruments so you have to do a total survey of the market.

Other parameters that you will need to look at but this will be dependent on the type of research.

Such parameters will include the size of equipment, work rate, type of material and many other important factors.

With experience, you will be able to make the right choices for the instruments that you need.

Chapter 6:

SaintyCo: Your Trusted Pharmaceutical Instrument Supplier

SaintyCo is a pharmaceutical instrument supplier that will help you in getting the right type of instruments.

With a long period of existence in manufacturing pharmaceutical instruments, they have relevant experience in making reliable instruments.

The customer care department is always on call to advise and assist you find the right type of instrument.

They are innovative as they come up with different types of pharmaceutical instruments and better ways of operation.

The company deals in a wide range of pharmaceutical instruments making it a one-stop shop for your needs. Log in to the SaintyCo website and find the contact details so that you can make your order.


The pharmaceutical industry is very sensitive in terms of every little detail that surrounds making pharmaceuticals.

This information will guide you in making the right choice of pharmaceutical instrument for your job.

Remember that you have to adhere to set rules and regulation when dealing with these instruments for safety.