Pressing Forward with Solid-Dosage Innovations

April 27, 2016
Jennifer Markarian

Jennifer Markarian is manufacturing editor of Pharmaceutical Technology.

New equipment for manufacturing tablets and capsules are on display at INTERPHEX 2016.

Although manufacturing tablets and filling capsules are well-established processes, there is always room for improvement, whether through optimizing current operations or investing in new equipment. For those looking for new equipment, INTERPHEX 2016 is a good place to be. A wide range of solid-dosage equipment is on display at INTERPHEX 2016, including several North American product launches.

Capsule filling and inspection
On the opening day of INTERPHEX 2016, Fette unveiled its brand new FEC40 capsule filler, with a maximum output of 400,000 capsules an hour, which is double the output of the current state-of-the-art capsule filling equipment, the company said during a press conference. This capacity increase, while maintaining a small footprint, is enabled by the use of Fette’s Duplex Concept, which the company adopted from its efficient FE55 tablet press. The same engineering knowledge used to develop Fette’s tablet presses was used to develop the new capsule filler, yet it is based on “tried and true capsule filling principles,” said company representative Matt Bundenthal at the unveiling. An intelligent drive system allows independent adjustment of each subprocess, which increases productivity by allowing optimization for the requirements of each product. The capsule filler incorporates Fette’s Tri-Easy concept with 360-degree access and ease of maintenance, service, and changeover.

MG America (booth #2221) is displaying three new machines for capsules: the PLANETA 200 Capsule Filler, the Anritsu KWS Capsule Checkweigher, and the Antares Vision TCI Tablet & Capsule Inspector. According to the company, the Planeta 200 Capsule Filler produces up to 200,000 capsules per hour; its modular design can be configured for a variety of production requirements, fitting several dosing units simultaneously and enabling one capsule to be filled with differing products.

Tableting
PharmaTechnology Inc. (booth # 2671) is introducing its enhanced PharmaFlex iSeries Deduster to the US market. The latest model features 20% greater output, a more efficient dedusting process, and enhanced resistance to prolonged heat, alcohol, and industrial detergents exposure, says the company. The iSeries uses the PharmaTechnology Inc. design that allows dust extraction to take place on the spiral’s outer circumference, as close as possible to the path of the tablets, to increase capacity compared to traditional units. “Dust is one of those seemingly minor issues that, if not properly managed, can exponentially affect an entire operation, particularly by necessitating unacceptable duration and frequency of downstream (post tablet compression) cleaning,” explained Nic Michel, General Manager, North America for Pharma Technology Inc., in an article for PharmTech’s Best Practices series

Korsch (booth #3341) is presenting the XL 400 MFP [Multi-Function Platform] Tablet Press, a flexible tablet press that can produce single-layer, bi-layer, tri-layer, and core-coated tablets, of any size and shape, on a single machine platform. Fred Murray, President of Korsch America, Inc., recently shared his expertise in an article titled, “Optimizing Tablet Compression,” which provides a practical approach to maximizing output and product quality. 

GEA (booth # 2421) is introducing its MODUL Q rotary tableting technology to the North American market at INTERPHEX 2016. A new version of GEA’s Exchangeable Compression Module (ECM) offers a higher level of containment performance. The MODUL Q uses a new control system. It also incorporates the Exchangeable Die Disc, which was only previously available on the PERFORMA P press. “Operationally, the MODUL Q has a bigger pitch diameter and, in terms of size, will be positioned between the MODUL P and MODUL S. The use of A-type tooling is now possible, which allows 51 punch stations to be incorporated and an output of up to 367,200 tablets per hour to be achieved,” the company said in a press release.