Pharma Automation | 10.01.22 | minute(s) reading time
ApolloZ: patient safety and efficiency brought to the next level

Johan van Duijne

Product Manager

ApolloZ is ZiuZ’s new product platform covering mid-and high-end pharmacy needs. It comes with the next generation MedInspect software. The best-in-class vision system and algorithm ensure that patient safety still comes first. It replaces Photon, which has been the preferred inspection solution for many pharmacies for more than 8 years now.


Patient Safety First: big shoes to fill

Photon already offers the most accurate and precise vision technology available today. Although we gave it a serious try, after months of investigation using different high-resolution cameras, light technologies, and even artificial intelligence, we concluded that it was not realistic to improve the current vision inspection quality level.


The good news is that we have been able to maintain the high standards, even though ApolloZ can run at more than double the speed of Photon.

The key values that ApolloZ will deliver, therefore are:

  • Detection of objects, like crumbs, as small as 1mm².
  • Excellent performance on transparent capsules; even small dark/black capsules will be detected safely.
  • Excellent color segmentation and recognition.


Technology-wise this means that ApolloZ, like Photon, has:

  • The ZiuZ algorithm; which is developed and validated under strict conditions.
  • Dome light to eliminate shadows and reflections of the pouch image. It also eliminates the influence of ambient light.
  • Dual sensor vision camera to ensure that the Near Infrared (NIR) and Color (RGB) pictures are taken at the exact same moment, so that there is no shift of images. ApolloZ makes use of the latest generation of CMOS cameras.
  • The camera calibration process, using a calibrated calibration card ensures that the vision system is always fit for production.


Maximized productivity capacity with the highest efficiency possible

High speed alone is not the answer to the need for increased productivity. Although we believe that the transport speed of 350mm/sec. e.g., >14000 pouches per hour with 85 mm pouches, is impressive, the real question is: “how do I get my production out as fast and efficient possible”.


Therefore, we rather talk about the ‘net production speed’ instead. In other words, how many pouches does the system process per hour, taking a full day of production which starts with turning the lights on in the morning and turning them off after production. All inefficiencies should be considered, like switching from batch to batch, removing and placing crates, jam recovery (yes, they do happen), and user mishaps.


ApolloZ has been designed to achieve the optimal net production speed. And it is fair to say that, compared to Photon, this will be doubled by ApolloZ.


And there is much more to come

The development of ApolloZ will continue. New key features are just around the corner. Imagine running pouches with mixed pouch lengths within one batch, or what if the ApolloZ could help check the pouch print quality. And perhaps the biggest challenge of all: what if ApolloZ could solve the look-alike pill problem? Meaning; being able to match pills based on their chemical identity.


Stay tuned to learn more about this, or simply contact us directly.

Video ZiuZ ApolloZ

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