At Monday’s press conference at this years Achema 2018, Uwe Harbauer, member of the managing board of Robert Bosch Packaging Technology and head of business unit pharma, presented an overview of the company’s strategy and product portfolio.
Harbauer reported that business in the pharmaceutical industry is growing, with substantial increases in 2017 and expectations for continued growth in 2018. Business growth in the Middle East, Africa and China, in particular, was cited. Harbauer described a key consideration for Bosch as being what human beings will need in the 21st century with accelerated digitization characterizing the time. Focus is on offering tailor-made, comprehensive support for customers, through more collaboration and partnerships.
And, an important part of the company’s portfolio is the integration of Industry 4.0 solutions. Harbauer described Bosch’s new browser-based software, Pharma i 4.0 Starter Edition that was developed to meet the needs of the pharmaceutical industry. The software helps record, store and visualize machine data, making preventive maintenance and remote service more effective. Visitors to the booth can get firsthand experience with the functions of the new software on several machines.
At its extensive booth at Achema, Bosch showcases many of its machines and technological solutions and divides them into two areas: Pharma Liquid and Pharma Solid. One of several highlights available for viewing at the show is a new freeze dryer that boasts a much faster processing time than other machines currently available on the market, according to Isa Alkan, who described the equipment during a press tour of the booth. He says that several items have been optimized, including the shelf design of the dryer.
The shelves, themselves, are lighter in weight than other designs, which helps reduce the amount of mass that needs to be cooled and heated. The temperature in the shelves is controlled by internal channeling and flow of a silicone oil, so that a consistent temperature is maintained throughout the freeze dryer. The shelves can also tilt, which enables rapid cleaning and also helps reduce water consumption. In addition, the shelf placement can be changed so that different sized containers can be used.