SWIR Hyperspectral imaging in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Industry: Pharmaceutical

Solution: COBRA HyperSpec SWIR

Customer Requirements

ProPhotonix recently worked with a customer in the pharmaceutical industry that wanted to move to LED lights for a blister pack inspection application. The end-user was interested in the identification of empty blisters in the packs themselves but also wanted to identify any foreign pills in the individual blister locations. The key challenge that the customer faced with alternative lighting solutions was finding one that delivered adequate intensity in the wavelength band of interest. Whilst legacy lighting solutions such as quartz halogen lamps, are known to provide good overall power levels at low cost, the intensity typically drops off significantly when moving from ~1000 to 1800m. This can lead to slow line speeds and/or inaccurate imaging. The customer wanted to improve the intensity levels through the use of COBRA HyperSpec SWIR.



ProPhotonix supplied the customer with our standard configuration of COBRA HyperSpec SWIR. The SWIR solution has six different wavelengths: 1040, 1200, 1300, 1450, 1550, and 1650nm. However, unlike other LED SWIR solutions, the ProPhotonix COBRA HyperSpec SWIR has an emphasis on the low energy side of the spectral band between 1450nm to 1650nm, which is where legacy lighting is typically at its lowest intensity. This band was of specific interest to this customer, whilst other SWIR LED lights had been trialed, with the COBRA HyperSpec SWIR the customer achieved 200 frames per second using the Specim FX17 camera at a working distance of 200mm from the sample. This was a significant distance from the target and a real improvement over the other SWIR LED lights they had tried.

In addition to performing a qualitative inspection of blister packs, it is also possible to perform quantitative inspections, which is essential for regulating the active ingredient content in individual tablets.

Overall, the customer can now use an LED solution in many applications where speed had previously been a limitation.


The Solution: COBRA HyperSpec

The COBRA HyperSpec offers high-resolution illumination across a broad spectrum by utilizing customizable chip-on-board technology. LEDs can be boosted at any wavelength to optimize for any application.  Users can discretely control up to twelve different wavelengths. This allows for balancing intensities, matching a camera’s sensitivity curve, or countering for light deficiencies with a camera sensor thus providing a continuous broad spectrum.

Built on the established COBRA Slim platform, COBRA HyperSpec is modular and is available in 100mm increments up to 6m.

Explore further into our offerings encompassing multispectral imaging solutions and hyperspectral imaging solutionsContact us and receive free professional advice now.

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