In the Spotlight December 2010

Published on: 
Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology-12-02-2010, Volume 34, Issue 12

Editors' picks of pharmaceutical science and technology innovations.

Editors' Picks of Pharmaceutical Science & Technology Innovations

In our difficult economy, pharmaceutical manufacturers are searching for ways to improve efficiency in their production lines. The first factor to examine is the equipment itself. Vendors are introducing new machines designed to use less power and to perform more than one application. At the same time, drugmakers and vendors alike are attentive to the role of equipment in ensuring high drug quality. This month's products play various roles in the manufacturing process. Fristam's positive-displacement pump facilitates maintenance. Fitzpatrick's roller compactor incorporates an efficient deaeration system. A top-entering agitator from Chemineer helps improve reduce the power demands of users' processes.

Pump facilitates cleaning and maintenance

The FKL "A" positive-displacement pumps from Fristam Pumps (Middleton WI) are built according to a split-gearbox design that helps users replace bearings and gears. The machines also incorporate labyrinth-style bearing isolators in place of lip seals. The bearing isolators provide a solid barrier that keeps gearbox oil inside and prevents external products and high-pressure spray from entering into the gearbox oil.

FKL "A" pump Fristam Pumps

In addition, the pump's exterior edges are rounded so that no water sits on top of the device during cleaning, says Duane Ehlke, Fristam's director of operations. Users do not need to disassemble the device for cleaning in place (CIP). Instead, operators can turn the rotors slowly and run CIP solution through the pump to clean it fully. This characteristic reduces the risk of damaging machine parts and decreases downtime.

Agitator helps optimize processes

Chemineer's (Dayton, OH) Model 20 HT/GT top-entering agitator provides various gear ratios to help optimize users' processes and mechanical designs. The Model 20 offers more output-speed options than previous units, thus enabling operators to reduce the power demands for a given process by as much as 25%.

Model 20 HT/GT top-entering agitator Chemineer

The agitator's tapered roller output bearing design improves the system's integrity by reducing vibration levels, minimizing rises in temperature, and enhancing the rigidity of the output shaft, which keeps the gearing in contact. The Model 20 device also can operate in an up-pumping or down-pumping mixer configuration.

Roller compactor provides efficiency and flexibility

The Fitzpatrick Company (Elmhurst, IL) designed its CCS 1025 contained Chilsonator system to process various products efficiently. The system's high-speed vertical precompression feed screw provides a uniform downward force on the product, thus helping to feed it to the nip region of the rolls. The vertical orientation and speed of the screw are intended to ensure that product is distributed across the face of the rolls evenly. The feed screw's vertical orientation provides a path upward for air that is aspirated from the process, thus creating an efficient deaeration system.

CCS 1025 Chilsonator system The Fitzpatrick Company

The CCS 1025 system is designed to positively seal the product inside the process areas. Operators can disassemble the device easily for cleaning and reconfiguration. The system includes a wash-in-place to simplify cleaning. The CCS 1025 machine's roll and size-reduction housing is designed as an integrated unit to minimize headroom requirements. Users can install the device in wall or as a free-standing unit.