Editors' Picks of Pharmaceutical Science & Technology Innovations
Pharmaceutical manufacturers can gain various benefits from automated equipment. Automated processes generally require minimal human intervention, which means faster completion times and a lower probability of errors. Many automated machines enable companies to incorporate process analytical technology (PAT) principles in their production procedures. Using PAT can improve manufacturing precision and help companies produce consistent high-quality dosage forms. Automation can also simplify production techniques and thus contribute to lean manufacturing and potential cost savings. The three devices in this month's column demonstrate how automation benefits different parts of the pharmaceutical manufacturing process.
Analytical system provides multiuser capabilityPANalytical (Almelo, the Netherlands) introduced its fully automated "CubiX Walk-Up" system for X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) analysis. The system complies with 21 CFR Part 11 regulations and, unlike other systems, allows multiple users to perform analysis. The instrument analyzes samples in a queue and tracks both samples and users.
Scientists who are inexperienced with XRPD can use the instrument easily because it incorporates preprogrammed settings for measurement and analysis. The system contains setups for various types of analysis and measurement conditions.
A supervisor can set up the CubiX system and grant rights to other users. Users' rights determine which parts of the spectrum they can select for analysis. The system supports most standard operating procedures.
Encapsulator aids dosage design
The encapsulator's design gives it a footprint of 32 in.2 The machine's electronics unit is housed in a waterproof box that hangs on a bar outside the main body. The reduced footprint allows the machine to "fit in places that others can't go," according to Sancilio.
In addition, the encapsulator is primarily made of off-the-shelf components. This design facilitates maintenance, Sancilio explains.
Versatile drive offers quick setup
The unit's full display keypad facilitates setup. An "INFO" key built into the keypad is "analogous to having a manual online," Bunnell adds. The key provides parameter and setup information and status reports. In addition, the drive includes a Quick Menu of basic application parameters. The keypad also provides rotation-direction indication, custom user displays, trended data for speed, and torque.
The device's safe-stop functionality prevents it from starting unintentionally and eliminates the need for a separate unit to monitor the drive. This feature meets the EN 954-1 standard for Safety Category 3 installations.