Continuous Production Process

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...and Old Hands

Glatt is almost an old hand in continuous production. At Achema 2015, the Binzen/Germany company presented its Modcos system. The Modular Continuous System consists of a dispenser and dry mixer for powder or micro-granules, followed by the granule production, drying in a Glatt fluidised bed system with the new rotation chamber and the final tabletting.

The latter can, if required, be supplemented with an additional dry mixer for the inclusion of an external phase before the tablet press. A higher-level control system and PAT circuits are also included. Pharmacists currently make frequent use of the moist granulation using a twin-screw extruder — a trend that Glatt is following with the partner Thermo Fisher. Modcos also offers alternative granulation methods: a continuously working fluidised bed granulator or a single screw continuous granulator can be supplemented. “We achieve a high degree of flexibility, because all of the required steps to produce a tablet can be put in any order,” says Dr. Jochen Thies, Head of Development at Glatt.

The special machine builders L.B. Bohle Maschinen + Verfahren have been specialising in continuous processes in pharmaceutical production for years. Now, a continuous system has come from the Technology Centre, opened in 2015, which aims to bring the decisive momentum.

“Together with our partners from research and industry, we have designed a modular system that is unique in the market”, explains Tim Remmert, Managing Director for Sales and Marketing. The continuous line has a modular build, achieves an output of approx. 5 to 25 kg/h and uses tabletting technology from Korsch as well as an input and mixed module from Gericke.

Three of the most important production processes are possible in one system: Direct injection, moist granulation and dry compaction, which, for Remmert, is an important USP because the procedure is economical and consumes little energy.

Continuous production process has inspired the development departments of apparatus manufacturers, some later than others. Conceptually, the vendors are fairly close together. The choice now rests with the operator.