Tablet Press Meeting the Standards of Tomorrow's Pharmaceutical Production
/ Dominik Stephan
In the pharmaceutical sector, there is a constant need for innovation through R&D. New medicines are being developed that require absolute isolation to ensure its purity. IMA Active has brought out the Prexima series for tablet manufactures.
IMA Active’s experience and expertise in the pharmaceutical industry have been carefully channeled into Prexima, the new series of tablet press machines brought out by the company. Powered by IMA’s knowledge of the sector, designed with unique Italian style, built to deliver toplevel performance, the Prexima series is the best solution to handle all production volumes.
A key feature of Prexima is the complete isolation of the processing area. The machine ensures complete separation between processing and mechanical areas thanks to the use of seals and protections designed on purpose. Limited surfaces in contact with the product reduce cleaning times as well as avoid cross contamination. In addition to extending the duration of cams, tooling and compression rollers, the machine lifecycle is longer.
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 immediately visible when the side protections in the processing area are removed. Except for maintenance purposes, access to the machine basement is not required for machine set up, changeover, or cleaning operations.
The extraction of the turret is quick and easy thanks to a rotating arm completely housed in the mechanical compartment. The turret can be removed completely with dies and lower punches, thus preventing the powder from falling into the mechanical area through lower punch bores. The Human Machine Interface (HMI) guides the operator step by step during each phase of turret dismounting.
Positioned in the machine basement, the lubrication system is automated and works with only one type of oil. The lubricant oil does not go into the processing area, hence can be recovered into an apposite container and recirculated. As a result, the machine is clean and requires less maintenance, with no oil dripping from punches and no black spots on the tablets.
The machine’s compression support is based on robust columns linked together by strong cast iron structures. Upper and lower precompression and main compression rollers are housed within this robust frame and fixed on both sides. Both rollers have the same diameter, thus allowing flexible adjustment and optimal performance with a wide range of products. This exceptionally sturdy structure—an essential requisite for the production of quality tablets— guarantees compression forces up to 100 kN with maximum reliability.
To keep noise level at a minimum, Prexima has been fitted with sealing on its machine doors, sound-proof panels in the basement and anti-vibration feet. Prexima has been tested at the anechoic chamber at the University of Ferrara (Italy), which has offered IMA recommendations for the choice of the best technical solutions and sound-proof materials. The result is a very quiet machine with minimum vibrations.
Prexima is fitted with the new XIMA HMI, which was awarded the 2015 A’ Design Award for its strategic role in improving the operators’ efficiency. The control system is features 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. In addition XIMA is 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 perceivable indicators that suggest appropriate functions to the user. The principle of scalability, in the end, enables XIMA to be scaled to multiple devices and multiple machines.
Studies & Tests
Tests have been a key role in the development of Prexima right from the start. The most difficult-tomanage products have been tested, allowing a timely feedback on the machine design. IMA Active is still performing trials with several formulations: here are two of the most meaningful.