In the Spotlight

Editor's picks of new manufacturing products for June 2011.
Jun 02, 2011
By PharmTech Editors

Editors' Picks of Pharmaceutical Science & Technology Innovations

The drug industry has greatly evolved through the years, but tablets still make up the majority of its products. From the beginning, companies have conveyed and compacted powdered ingredients to create this dosage form. Over time, tablet configurations have evolved to accommodate multiple layers and potent ingredients. This month's products show how manufacturing equipment has developed along with the dosage form. A granulator from GEA Pharma Systems has been adapted to provide containment. Glove boxes from Labconco can be cleaned thoroughly and quickly. David Round's lift tables can be adjusted to appropriate ergonomic heights.

High-shear granulator provides containment


UltimaPro-HC granulator GEA Pharma Systems www.gea-ps.com
The UltimaPro-HC high-shear granulator from GEA Pharma Systems is configured for high-containment applications. The unit performs dry blending, wetting, and granulation, and its drying technologies enable the production of granules ready for tableting. Clients can choose models fitted with vacuum drying, gas-assisted vacuum drying, and microwave drying technology. The vacuum-drying unit is designed to optimize organic-solvent recovery. This unit combines vacuum pumps and condensors to recover solvent through simple condensation.

The UltimaPro machine also accommodates process analytical technology by performing torque measurement to help operators determine the endpoint of the granulation process. The unit can be equipped with other real-time-release monitoring tools, such as the GEA LightHouse probe. This probe is a process interface for fiber-optic techniques (e.g., near-infrared spectroscopy) that allows users to clean the in-process window at any time.

Lift tables incorporate protected hydraulic packages


Stainless-steel lift tables David Round Company www.davidround.com
The David Round Company's 304 stainless-steel lift tables are designed for bulk-material applications in controlled pharmaceutical manufacturing environments (e.g., cleanrooms). The machines' hydraulic packages are laid out flat on the bottom of the tables, and the cylinders are in a horizontal position. This design enables the hydraulic components to be covered, thus protecting them and reducing opportunities for contamination. Personnel can operate the tables' hydraulic packages with pushbutton controls. The tables can be raised as high as 42 in.

Glove boxes provide operator protection


Protector glove boxes Labconco www.labconco.com
Labconco's Protector high-efficiency particulate air and ultralow particulate air filtered glove boxes provide a high level of containment or isolation. The company tests its glove boxes with helium to ensure the absence of leaks greater than 1 × 10-6 cc/s.

In addition, operators can clean Protector glove boxes quickly, thus reducing the time it takes to change between potent materials. After 5 min of glove box air-volume dilution at 85 fpm, a perimeter scan detected an average tracer-gas level of 0.05 ppm, according to Bob Applequist, a product manager at Labconco. The glove boxes' design thus helps ensure user protection.

The units' liquid crystal microprocessor display enables the real-time monitoring of air-volume dilution rates in cubic feet/min and air changes/min. The display also measures the main chamber's static pressure in inches of water. An audible and visible alarm trips when airflow or pressure is below selectable air-pressure limits.