Technology

CONTINUOUS MANUFACTURING

Integrated processes, short manufacturing times, flexible production: continuous manufacturing opens new perspectives for efficient and reliable manufacture. Continuous production is therefore a subject for the future of the pharmaceutical branch. The way to continuous tableting presents manufacturers with serious challenges: they must say goodbye to established batch processes, and must make more use of automation techniques. As a result of this new way of looking at processes, the role of the tableting technology also changes: whereas the technical focus in the tablet press is usually in the production room, with continuous manufacturing it is distributed over the total process.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers are showing increasing interest in broadening their tablet production in the direction of this kind of integrated concept. They find the qualified advice in Fette Compacting‘s world-wide competence network, as well as from the partners of Excellence United. Technical experts have bundled their process expertise in the alliance, and have together realized the first continuous production projects.

 

Scroll down to find out more: The info graphic depicts an example of a continuous manufacturing plant setup with an integrated tablet press, whereby the powder is fed fully automatically through the production process.

The description of the process stages from dosing up to tableting is oriented around the MODCOS modular system from Glatt, our partner in the Excellence United. MODCOS was developed in cooperation with Fette Compacting amongst others.

DOSING – The example of a continuous process line begins with a micro-doser for continuously dosing both active and auxiliary materials.
GRANULATING – After the dosing process comes preparation of the granulate in a twin-screw extruder, and then the drying process in a fluidized bed. If required, a mixing granulator can also be used, and a dry mixer can be included upstream.
TABLETING – The granulate passes through a rotor mill to the tablet press. The FE35 single rotary ress, for example, is ideally suited for continuous operation. After pressing, the ablets are vertically de-dusted, and examined by a metal detector and by an IPC Checkmaster.
COATING – In the place of a batch container, the process equipment of the tablet press can also be connected to a downstream coating process. Fluidized bed equipment, coating drums and mixers can be employed for coating the tablets.
PACKING – Users, who want to fully exploit the options offered by continuous manufacturing, can even establish a connection to packaging equipment.
CHECKING – The heart of a continuous production plant is a continuous PAT system (Process Analytical Technology). In the ideal case, this control and checking system records and logs every step of the process.
Development

FROM BATCH TO CONTINUOUS MANUFACTURING

Pharmaceutical producers and machine manufacturers all over the world are working on approving products in real time. Thanks to Continuous Manufacturing (CM), delays attributable to separate production processes, complex conversions and long offline analyses could soon be a thing of the past. Fette Compacting made the comparison:

In the interview, Dr. Martin Schöler from Fette Compacting outlines the discoveries made by these pilot projects and how the CM vision is to become a reality.

Perspektives

DEBATING CONTINUOUS MANUFACTURING

The end of batches? Fette Compacting was preoccupied with this trend as early as 2015. Follow the discussion on Continuous Production to discover how business and science experts see this new paradigm for efficient production processes in the future.

Contact

Fette Compacting GmbH
Deputy Engineering Manager
Martin Schöler
Grabauer Str. 24
21493 Schwarzenbek
Germany
Phone: +49 4151 12 802
mschoeler@fette-compacting.com