In the Spotlight April 2008

Apr 02, 2008
By Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
Volume 32, Issue 4

Editors' Picks of Pharmaceutical Science & Technology Innovations

Manufacturers expect to see the latest developments in process equipment at INTERPHEX, and this year's show was no disappointment. Exhibitors regularly display additions to their lines of encapsulators, tablet presses, material-handling machines, and other automated manufacturing equipment. But the products on view in Philadelphia Mar. 26–28 were not limited to manufacturing applications. Attendees also saw information-technology solutions that facilitate tasks such as regulatory compliance, performance improvement, and document management. Products for contamination control, purification, and upstream processing were also introduced. Among the new products featured at INTERPHEX 2008:

Feeder provides improved flow

KT20 twin-screw feeder (K-Tron)
The "KT20" pharmaceutical twin-screw feeder from K-Tron (Pitman, NJ) now features an optional new hopper design. The product-entrainment portion of the KT20 unit's hopper is more open than that of the company's standard model, thus allowing material to be directly entrained by the feed screws. This characteristic yields improved screw fill and an accurate delivery rate.

The new KT20 unit also has a higher open area directly at the base of the hopper than does the standard model. In addition, the sides of the device's hopper are not curved, thus preventing material buildup. Sharon Nowak, K-Tron's global business-development manager for pharmaceuticals, says the expanded hopper design is successful for materials that are sticky or cohesive.

The design was developed in collaboration with a pharmaceutical customer who was working with materials that flowed poorly. The feeder's internal agitator and screws are driven by one motor.

Compliance software evaluates performance

AUDITTrak software module (Parsec Automation)
Parsec Automation (Brea, CA) introduced its "AUDITTrak" software module, a new component of its "TrakSYS" performance-management platform. Eddy Azad, Parsec's CEO, says the module addresses compliance requirements by managing changes to operational setpoints and recorded data and providing traceability for electronic signatures. The software can impose multilayer digital-signature requirements and protocols to preserve the audit trail and the original data. The audit trail and analysis are quickly provided through a web-based platform. The software complies with with 21 CFR Part 11.

Filters protect downstream equipment

Protec RM filters (Meissner Filtration Products)
Meissner Filtration Products (Camarillo, CA) expanded its "Protec RM" line of filters to include units with retention ratings of 0.2 and 0.3 μm. When used upstream in a manufacturing process, the new products can extend the life of a sterilizing-grade membrane filter.

The upstream side of the new units incorporates glass-microfiber media that binds colloidal contaminants well without plugging. The filters also remove lipids and nonproduct proteins. The filters' membrane layer is made of a proprietary polyvinylidene fluoride polymer that provides excellent particulate removal. The dual-layer construction enables high flow rates.

In addition, the new RM units can be steam-sterilized in situ. The RM series units are made of materials approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and do not release fibers.

New Product Announcements

May be sent to New Products Editor, Pharmaceutical Technology, 485 Route One South, Building F, First Floor, Iselin, NJ 08830, fax 732.596.0005,

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