Meeting standards is just one of the reasons why the manufacturing process of any type of medicinal product is often complex. There are a large number of processes involved and the different substances being handled from active principles to excipients, right through to the finished packaged product. The substances used can sometimes pose a risk to the health of the operator and are often characterized by a high intrinsic value.
The non-production areas of a Pharma plant, like administration areas, warehouses & stores, canteens and outside areas are also of importance, as they help in creating a hygienic environment. Mechanised cleaning has found its way in these areas in a big way. Industrial vacuum cleaners, auto scrubber dryers (walk behind and ride on), sweepers, high pressures, special chemicals (HACCP grade) are being used extensively and effectively to keep these areas clean and hygienic.
The most-dust generating areas of the plant require continuous de-dusting mechanisms and the productions units require fool proof systems for loading ingredients at the correct ratios into the machines for production.
Some of the locations in a production area that require solutions through pneumatic transfer systems include.
Manual powder loading in various processing vessels lead to dust generation in the area and fine powder tends to fly upward, hence increasing the load on the Air Handling Units (AHU) and leading to frequent change of filters. Economically, processing cost increases due to replacement of filters and high power consumption by AHUs. To overcome this problem pneumatic transfer systems are the ideal solution which provide close loop transfer, save time, nullify the losses and also reduce the manual intervention in the process.
This is the most-dust generating equipment in the granulation area but dust particles with some velocity can be easily trapped by a three-phase vacuum unit. This unit can be installed in the production area or on the service floor with a hood on the top of the shifter and product exit point from the shifter. The unit is capable of collecting the free dust particles and thereby reducing the dust levels in the area. The pneumatic conveyor to load the shifter can also be helpful in reducing the dust generation in comparison to the manual loading of the shifter.
Granules are generally fed to the blender manually which is again a dust generating process and involves more time and manpower wherein dosing through a vacuum conveyor adds value in terms of above mentioned benefits.
The final granular product will be converted into the tablet and the composition needs to be kept intact. To do so, most of the plants are using L&P devices to load the powder into the hopper of compression machine. This needs a lot of space and becomes a manual/semi-automatic system. Here, pneumatic conveyors with special feature of transferring the powder to the hopper of compression machine becomes the need of the hour, as it is potable and occupies very less space. It can also be provided with twin hopper run by one small vacuum unit. The complete contact parts are washable and filters can be chosen depending upon the product properties.
During packing, the trims are generated in blister packing which are generally collected in the bin placed at the bottom of the machine or manually collected after the batch. However, the online trim extractor (vacuum based) is the right solution to collect the trims online and helps keep the line clean at all times.
Centralized Vacuum System
In the granulation process, the free fines (dust particles) fly up and settle on the machines, walls and floor. Regular cleaning to maintain a dust free environment within the area is called for.
The centralised vacuum system with one vacuum unit placed on the service floor is connected to various openings through the main header and creates drop downs into the production hall for collection of the waste powder, at one place. This simplifies the disposal process and calculation of the wasted material to further optimize the process which can have minimal product wastage. If the collected material needs to be kept in the production area, the option of pre-separator with filter is also available and in that case, only the air gets released out of the hall and the powder remains in the pre separator.
Forbes Pro provides a comprehensive range of products suited for the production areas in a Pharma Formulation Plant. It delivers maintenance free operation, collection at a common place, disposal of collected powder from one point and measurement of lost powdered material. Forbes Pro is providing solutions to Abbot, Microlabs, Glen Mark, Mankind, Cipla, Cadilla, Torrent, Dr. Reddy’s and Ranbaxy to name a few.
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