During the production of pharmaceutical goods, hygiene, quality and consistency of the final product is of utmost importance. From screening excipients and active pharmaceutical ingredients and granules to ensuring consistent tablet size and finish, sanitary processing equipment is used to guarantee maximum quality throughout production.
Due to the evolution of the pharmaceutical industry, updates to sanitation regulations and increases in production demands are common. Therefore, manufacturers are continually introducing new technologies and processes to optimize production and meet hygiene standards. However, it is often difficult to upgrade existing process lines with new machinery. Factors such as size and access limitations can make the integration of new equipment a challenge for production managers.
When a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer was experiencing difficulties in guaranteeing consistency of a line of pharmaceutical pellets, an OEM was consulted to supply a screening solution. Russell Finex, with over 80 years of experience in the industry, was then contacted to provide a compact, high-performance hygienic sifter.
Following coating during tablet production, a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer was finding inconsistencies in final batches of product. Occasionally, the pellets could stick together, forming clusters of two or three pellets. The batches of final product were having to be manually screened to remove these inconsistencies, meaning an unproductive use of valuable operator time. Dust and broken pellets could also be found in the final batches of product, which would also have to be removed.
The manufacturer sought a solution for separating the good pellets from the clusters and dust. Usually for this application, a large industrial separator would be sufficient. However, due to limited headroom in this area of the production line, a more compact solution was needed. The manufacturer also required a throughput of 250kg/hr, so performance could not be sacrificed.
The Russell Compact Sieve® conventionally has a single deck, providing two fractions of material. On this occasion however, three fractions were needed: the pellet clusters, the good pellets and the dust. This customized unit incorporates the traditional Russell Compact Sieve® design and performance, with the addition of an extra sieve deck, providing three fractions of material and therefore removing the clusters and dust from the good pellets. With just a minimal increase in height, the machine could easily fit into the existing production line, whilst achieving the required performance.
Furthermore, due to the nature of the industry, where hygiene is a priority, it is necessary to use equipment that is easy to clean. The Russell Compact Sieve® can be easily stripped down and cleaned without tools, reducing downtime and ensuring sanitation. Also, being so quick to disassemble means the mesh screens can be changed easily.