GEA Runs Live Demonstrations of Continuous Manufacturing Solutions

June 8, 2015

GEA will showcase the ConsiGma continuous coater and the PCMM (portable, continuous, miniature, and modular) manufacturing technology platform for continuous production of oral solid dosage forms.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers are increasingly moving away from batch-based systems and switching to continuous production to achieve more consistent process control that will yield higher quality end products. Continuous manufacturing presents a paradigm shift in drug production and meets the industry’s demands for faster product development, reduced costs, improved production economics, and increased manufacturing flexibility.

Process intensification in the pharmaceutical industry has led to the development of smaller and more compact equipment. At this year’s ACHEMA trade show, GEA will be running live demonstrations of its continuous pharmaceutical manufacturing solutions.

ConsiGma is a multipurpose platform that has been designed to transfer powder into coated tablets in development, pilot, clinical, and production volumes in a single compact unit. At Hall 4, Stand F46, GEA’s ConsiGma-1 laboratory scale unit will be on display and in operation, fitted with a PAT-compatible Lighthouse Probe to monitor the drying process. According to GEA, the Lighthouse Probe is the only device on the market that can clean its observation window online. Available in manual and fully automatic options, it can be used at both R&D- and continuous production-scale as a standalone online LOD sensor or a completely integrated multivariate solution.

GEA will also be demonstrating the ConsiGma continuous coater. Taking a direct feed from a working multiple unit pellet system (MUPS) tablet production installation, the ConsiGma coater accurately deposits controlled amounts of coating materials on tablets, even if they are hygroscopic or friable. Designed specifically to be an integral part of the ConsiGma continuous tableting lines, the ConsiGma is able to coat small quantities of tablets at high rates, offering improved heat and mass transfer.

In addition, the company will highlight the portable, continuous, miniature, and modular (PCMM) manufacturing technology platform. Developed in conjunction with Pfizer and G-CON, the three companies formed a consortium to design and build a portable, autonomous manufacturing environment for continuous oral solid dosage form production using GEA’s ConsiGma-25 equipment and G-CON's modular POD system. A scale model will be on display.

There will also be link to the company’s test centre in Wommelgem, Belgium, which will provide a live video feed, showing the machines in operation and enabling remote access to the control systems.

Continuous manufacturing is gaining momentum in the pharmaceutical industry, enabling a more efficient way of making drugs and moving away from stepwise and time-consuming batch processing to a fully integrated and closely controlled process that gives excellent product consistency by intrinsic design. Continuous production has a much smaller footprint, offers higher yields and lower environmental emissions per unit of product, leading to higher levels of sustainability.

Source: GEA, Hall 4, Stand F46