In the Spotlight February 2010

Published on: 
Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology-02-02-2010, Volume 34, Issue 2

Editors' Picks of Pharmaceutical Science & Technology Innovations

Recent developments related to vaccines for influenza and human papillomavirus have focused attention on parenteral drugs, but tablets continue to be the best dosage form for many medicines. This month's products assist operators with granulation, tableting, and quality-control measures associated with manufacturing solid dosage forms. OYSTAR USA's fluid bed is designed to reduce the time required for granulation. Quadro's delumper screens pharmaceutical powders and reduces the potential for contamination. Personnel can ensure that their tableters' components are in good condition using Natoli's punch-inspection system.

Machine performs efficient granulations and particle coating

The Hüttlin HDGC fluid bed from the OYSTAR USA Process Division (Fairfield, NJ) allows operators to perform fluid-bed drying, granulation, and coating in one container. The device's Diskjet air-distribution plate includes laser-cut, 150-µm wide slots positioned radially at a 45° angle. The slots enable process air to move product upward in a circular motion, unlike the convection movement in a typical fluid-bed dryer. The slots also move the product at a higher velocity than a typical unit does. The circular motion and higher speed facilitate fast and homogeneous mixing.

Hüttlin HDGC OYSTAR USA Process Division

The Hüttlin HDGC machine uses the same nozzles, which are embedded in the Diskjet at a 45° angle, for bottom-spray coating and granulation. The nozzles include a microclimate compressed-air supply that helps prevent nozzle blockage. Because of the circular motion, product passes in front of the nozzles more frequently than it does in a typical fluid-bed dryer, thus reducing granulation time by about 30%, according to the company.

Delumper provides clean operation

Quadro's (Waterloo, Canada) FlexSift S10 product is suitable for the security screening of pharmaceutical powders. The machine's spoiler arm gently delumps powders without reducing their size or changing their characteristics. The unit's screens are perforated blanks, which are cleaner than wire-woven screens, that eliminate the opportunity for contaminants to lodge in small crevices. The device can be totally enclosed inline with the process flow to greatly reduce the amount of airborne fine particles. Enclosure minimizes product waste and reduces operator exposure.

FlexSift S10, Quadro,

The FlexSift S10 discharges material perpendicular to the infeed flow, thus eliminating the need for feeder equipment and the dampening effect that the head load creates on most sifters. The machine uses centripetal force to move material through the screen, thus reducing the unit's power requirements.

Inspection device offers improved measurements

Natoli Engineering (Saint Charles, MO) has improved its Laser Vision System (LVS) automatic punch-inspection device. The company repositioned the system's laser to change the angle of its camera. The new camera angle is designed to offer a clearer image of the punch tip to enhance laser measurements and visual inspection. Natoli also added a fault-detection system to the tool nest, which now senses improperly seated tools and prevents them from being measured.

Laser Vision System Natoli Engineering

The new LVS device enables users to change the password that prevents unauthorized employees from operating the system. Personnel can create as many as six passwords to protect reference-point data for calibrations. The LVS machine also can store length values of long and short standards for as many as four tooling types. After the machine detects the tool nest, it automatically selects the appropriate standard values. The system stores inspection measurements in a user-friendly Tool Management-II database.