In the Spotlight August 2010

Published on: 
Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology-08-02-2010, Volume 34, Issue 8

Editors' picks of pharmaceutical science and technology innovations.

Editors' Picks of Pharmaceutical Science & Technology Innovations

Automation is not a new concept for the pharmaceutical industry, but companies have lately taken a closer look at the benefits that it can bring. Equipment that performs tasks repeatably and accurately can boost production efficiency and reduce costs and the amount of wasted materials. Many drugmakers are looking for new ways to apply automation in their facilities, and this month's products suggest various solutions. Testo's monitoring system helps personnel control critical environmental conditions. A new screener from Rotex filters materials efficiently and quietly. Freeslate's software system enables scientists to create and perform quality-assurance tests simply.

Monitoring system safeguards data

Testo's (Sparta, NJ) Saveris system monitors temperature, humidity, and pressure through wireless or Ethernet probes. The system's external temperature probes provide measurements accurate to within 0.4 °F, and its external humidity probe provides measurements accurate to within 1%.

Saveris monitoring system Testo

The Saveris system's software provides automatic operation and recordkeeping. Users can program the system to send email or text alarm notifications to several responders automatically. In addition, the software creates daily or weekly graphic reports and automatically saves them to a storage location or mails them to chosen recipients.

The system's base can store 40,000 readings per channel if the computer connection is lost. The probe pooling is timed, and data are sent in short bursts. If external interference prevents pooling or affects the transmission, data are stored internally in each probe until communication is re-established to prevent data loss.

Screener increases efficiency

Rotex Global (Cincinnati) has introduced a smaller version of the MEGATEX XD screener that uses a stacked, multiple-deck design to split and distribute the incoming flow of material evenly to all screen decks. The device's screens are wide, rather than long, which increases its capacity.

MEGATEX XD screener Rotex Global

The machine produces noise levels lower than those emitted by vibratory screeners. Its easily accessible external drive that allows for high product recoveries at material temperatures of 400 °F. The stacked, multideck configuration also allows operators to access individual trays without the need to remove all decks.

Laboratory system facilitates testing

Freeslate's (Sunnyvale, CA) Core Module-3 (CM3) analytical system is designed to automate laboratory processes. The system includes Freeslate's Lab Execution and Analysis software, which is compatible with third-party instruments and enables scientists to design, execute, analyze, and report on experiments in one environment on their desktops.

Core Module-3 analytical system Freeslate

The CM3 system's configurable design is based on a standard base platform and various arm and deck elements that dispense materials, mix, control temperature, and perform analytical measurements. Scientists can reconfigure the system for new applications easily, says John Senaldi, the company's CEO.

The unit's balance precisely quantifies powders and liquids and provides feedback to a dispensing algorithm to ensure that the correct amount of material is being dispensed. An imaging module allows scientists to see materials at various points during an experiment, thus providing indications of sample stability. The CM3 system is suitable for large-molecule drug formulation stability testing and small-molecule drug polymorph studies.

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,