IMA Presents New Tablet Press Range, Prexima

November 2, 2015

Prexima 80 is designed for R&D and small batch production; the single-sided Prexima 300 is for medium production output; and the double-sided Prexima 800 is for high production output.

IMA Active unveiled its new series of Prexima tablet press machines at Palazzo di Varignana, near Bologna, Italy, on Oct. 28 and 29, 2015.

A key feature of Prexima is the complete separation between the processing and mechanical areas, achieved through the use of seals and protections designed for this purpose. “This is the first traditional machine that isolates the processing and mechanical parts,” commented Andrea Semprini Cesari, vice-president of IMA Active, in a press statement.

Isolation of the processing area reduces cleaning times as well as avoids cross contamination by limiting the surfaces in contact with the product. In addition to extending the duration of cams, tooling, and compression rollers, the machine lifecycle is longer, says IMA. 

The material used to protect the mechanical area is generally recognized as safe and has been selected based on several criteria, such as resistance to cleaning agents and handling properties to ensure it is shatterproof and yet light-weight.

Prexima has also been designed for accessibility to enable straightforward operations, easy inspection, and cleaning. The processing area is fully accessible once the external doors are opened. Cam, rollers, and other components in the mechanical area are visible when the side protections in the processing area are removed. Except from maintenance purposes, access to the machine basement is not required for machine set up, changeover, or cleaning operations.

Another key feature is that the turret can be quickly and easily removed, enabling rapid changeover. “The turret can be changed in one hour or less,” said Semprini. The rotating arm is housed in the mechanical compartment, hence, preventing the powder of the product from falling into the mechanical area. The human–machine interface (HMI) provides a step-by-step guide for turret dismounting.

The lubrication system in the basement of the machine is automated and works with only one type of oil. The lubricant oil does not go into the processing area, ensuring that the machine is clean, with no oil dripping from punches and no black spots on tablets.

According to IMA, Prexima has a robust and sturdy structure, which is essential in the production of quality tablets. A compression force of up to 100 kN can be achieved with maximum reliability. To keep noise level to a minimum, Prexima has been fitted with sealing on machine doors, sound-proof panels in the basement, and anti-vibration feet. 

Prexima comes with the new XIMA HMI as the control system featuring linearity, intuitiveness, iconicity, and scalability. XIMA follows the principle of linear navigation, in that each action of the user on the HMI corresponds to only one control signal. XIMA is also based on the principle of natural mapping. The synoptic uses spatial correspondence between the layout of the controls and the devices being controlled, thus, reproducing the main machine workflow. The icons of XIMA serve as indicators that suggest appropriate functions to the user. The principle of scalability enables XIMA to be scaled to multiple devices and machines. 

“We have tested different material with increasing particle size distribution and different characteristics using Prexima,” Anastasiya Zakhvatayeva, IMA Active process technologist in a presentation during the open day. The results were comparable with tablets obtained on a different press of the same type. “We managed to produce tablets well within the specified levels,” continued Zakhvatayeva.

For the placebo material, for example, the standard deviation for tablet weight was below 1%. “Prexima also demonstrated better control of materials that exhibit elastic properties such as amoxicillin and ibuprofen,” said Zakhvatayeva. “The standard deviation on hardness is lower than that of tablets produced on a different press of the same type. Our tests show the advantages of Prexima in terms of product hardness control. The same diameter of the precompression and compression roles makes it possible to maintain the same total contact time both in precompression and compression.” 

According to Semprini, the company has invested a lot in this new range of tablet press machines by creating a department inside the IMA Active division specifically dedicated to this sector of solid dose processing. “The so-called Tablet Academy has been created to consolidate the important investments made in the tableting sector and to better serve the needs of our customers all over the world,” he said. “We are happy to announce that 10 Prexima have already been sold in different countries. Everything that we have gained over years of experience and expertise in this field has been carefully channelled into this new range of tablet presses, confirming our ability to anticipate all future challenges and our firm commitment to developing new solutions that incorporate the most advanced technology. Our aim for the next three years is to increase our market share in tablet press machines, while consolidating our wide range of products aimed at driving our customers’ productivity to a higher level of efficiency.”