Pharmaceutical Processing and Packaging Machines

Springvale Equipment Ltd
T Freemantle
Jacob White Packaging
Bradman Lake Group
Schubert UK Ltd

Cosmetics Processing & Machines

Cosmetics processing and packaging and pharmaceuticals processing and packaging are involved in very competitive markets, with high demands on quality products and packaging. Alongside batch runs, flexible processes are now needed to meet the latest trends for lower volume, specialist products. 

Processing lines include the key functions of filling, labelling, packing, inspection, palletising and cleaning. High levels of productivity, quality and yield can be delivered by modern systems developed by a variety of PPMA member companies. 

As well as vessels and agitators for mixing and blending, primary pharmaceutical and cosmetics processing lines also feature deaerators, heat exchangers and mills for continuous manufacturing.

Aerosol Processing Machines

Aerosol processing machines are used to manufacture aerosols which create a mist of liquid from a can containing a liquid under pressure. Alternatively, aerosols can be operated mechanically by hand.

The equipment can be single station, automatic indexing or automatic rotary machines. All aerosol processing machines require a crimping section to attach the valve to the container.

Tablet Processing

Compressed tablet equipment is commonly used to prepare dosages of pharmaceuticals. Medications can be made in virtually any shape, but the most common are round or oval tablets that are easy for a patient to swallow.

It is important that, during the tablet pressing process, all ingredients are dry and are of a uniform grain size. There are two basic techniques used to prepare powders for granulation into tablets: wet granulation and dry granulation. Powders that are mixed well don't require granulation and, therefore, can be formed into a tablet by direct compression.

Tablet coating is the last stage and is carried out to protect the tablet from temperature and humidity and to hide the taste. The most common forms of tablet coating are sugar and film coating. Tablets and capsules can also be printed with relevant information about dosage and batch numbers.

Process Control Systems

Process control systems cover compliance, traceability, consistency, and reliability of measurement data. All are primary concerns for the pharmaceutical industry.

The control system(s) in place need to verify the product quality through measuring, counting, inspection and testing of the manufacturing process. Operator input data, scanning systems and feedback systems are used.

Pharmaceutical Process Handling

Powder Handling

Common problems include material blockages where sticky, poor flowing materials will not discharge from an intermediate bulk container (IBC). Segregation of blended material is another common problem. Segregation can be caused during the discharge from the IBC. It can also occur after discharge from the IBC when product is allowed to fall through long chutes in free fall, and displaced air from below is forced back up the chute and separates the finer particles from the coarser particles. Adherence to ATEX (explosive atmospheres) standards is also required.
 

Process Vessels

Processing vessels need to be of a high quality construction and are widely used by the food and processing industries. A selection of sizes, specifications and agitator combinations are available to suit most needs.

Stainless steel is used for all fabricated parts to meet industry requirements.

Pressurised jackets for heating by steam or water facilitate boiling, cooking, melting, dispersion and mixing of products. Vessels can also be equipped for oil heating or water cooling.
 

Industrial Bulk Container (IBC)

Container blending has long been established as the most efficient method of blending granules and powders in the pharmaceutical manufacturing process. Reduced loading and unloading times, reduced cleaning time of both machinery and room, improved containment and batch integrity have established IBC blending as the pharmaceutical industry's technology of choice.

Pharmaceutical Processing Cleaning Machines

Process Cleaning Machines

The cleaning of the process machines will be mainly carried out by CIP (Clean In Place) systems. Depending on the sensitivity of the product being produced, the equipment may be cleaned aseptically, thereby eliminating any possible contamination from outside.

Sterilising Machines

Sterilising machines can also be called Autoclaves and Retorts. The three main types of sterilising system are static, rotary and pilot or laboratory systems.

The general features of sterilising machines are:

  • Steam-Water spray mix
  • Top shower for cans and glass jars, plus side shower for pouches and trays
  • Indirect cooling system by heat exchanger to allow water recovery
  • All vessel, pipe work and valves and heat exchanger in stainless steel materials
  • Insulated shell with mirror polished stainless steel cladding
  • Programmatic Logic Controller (PLC) with modem connection allows remote troubleshooting and servicing
  • Process monitoring in the operator interface with complete information on temperature, pressure, time and flow
  • Easy product recipe setup with password protected access
  • Optimum heat distribution (+/-0,5 ºC)
  • Accurate pressure control (+/- 0,05 bar)

Rotary machines will use inverter drives for accurate control during the sterilising process. There is also associated equipment such as basket trolleys and automatic loading systems available to fully automate the sterilising process of product.
 

Pharmaceutical Processing Equipment

Capsule Processing Machines

Capsule filling machines fill small capsules. The size of the machines vary from single station machine which are ideal for R & D laboratories, clinical trials, small batch outputs and special production runs to semi-automatic machines that have an output of 50 to 300 capsules per cycle.

Processing lines will always contain the basic requirements of filling, labelling, packing and palletising. Incorporated into the processing lines will be inspection at varying stages, plus associated services such as cleaning.
 

Tablet Processing

The compressed tablet is the most popular way of supplying dosages. Tablets can be made into virtually any shape, but the most common are round or oval shapes that are easy for a patient to swallow.

It is important that, during the tablet pressing process, all ingredients are dry and are of a uniform grain size. There are two basic techniques used to prepare powders for granulation into tablets; wet granulation and dry granulation. Powders that are mixed well don't require granulation and, therefore, can be compressed into a tablet by direct compression.

Tablet coating is the last stage and is carried out to protect the tablet from temperature and humidity and to hide the taste. The most common forms of tablet coating are sugar and film coating.
 

Pharmaceutical Processing Pumps

Various types of process pumps can be used depending upon the type of product to be moved between or within the complete process line of the various integrated sub systems. Different types of pump such as centrifugal, diaphragm, dosing, gear, metering, reciprocation and vacuum can be used. For example, vacuum pumps will be used for powder handling, but screw metering drives can be used for more accurate powder movement.
 

PHARMACEUTICAL PROCESSING MACHINERY

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