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High-tech for high-dosage Ginkgo

F20i at Dr. Willmar Schwabe

Dr. Willmar Schwabe is renowned for high-quality plant-based medications such as Tebonin® containing the ginkgo extract EGb 761®. In the course of modernizing its machines, the pharmaceutical company has started using the F20i tablet press. This has already resulted in a doubling of production volume. What‘s more, the all-rounder in the new i Series is accompanied by numerous innovative features – from its high degree of compatibility through easy cleaning to the multi-format tablet chute.

The seven tablet presses from Fette Compacting in operation at  Dr. Willmar Schwabe are now joined by a high-performance all-rounder in the form of the F20i. Numerous innovations in the new i Series made the decision an easy one: “For us, it was important to significantly increase the production speed accompanied by the same or better quality, ideally with the possibility of continuing to use existing equipment,” explains Sebastian Kopf, Group Leader Maintenance at Dr. Willmar Schwabe. “In this respect, the F20i even exceeded our expectations. We will primarily be using this high-dosage tableting press to produce our blockbuster Tebonin®, which contains a high-dosage special gingko extract. Our main goal of increasing output has already been more than complied with: we can now press two batches instead of one.” 

Kopf had already been particularly impressed “by the well-conceived combination of familiar technology and practical innovations.” These include, for example, a multi-format tablet chute, which is suitable for most standard tablet formats and a special switch shape ensures that the tablets automatically take the path of least frictional resistance. This reduces the risk of material congestion. “The new chute has proven itself to be very effective. The tablets slide much better and not a single tablet has gotten stuck yet. I also think the standard dust protection of the discharge is extremely practical,” emphasizes Kopf. 

The F20i already achieves a top level of safety due to the fact that it was designed to be dustproof as standard, for example. A containment option is also available for active or highly-active pharmaceutical ingredients.

The F20i integrates seamlessly into the existing production environment. Minor modifications suffice to import components from the tablet presses of the previous machine generation.

Compatible and connectible

The fact that existing components can also continue to be used represents a further special feature of the new i Series: it is systemcompatible across generations. All process-based assemblies are the same as or similar to the classic i Series. “Even the turrets from the 2090i fit after minor modifications,” enthuses Kopf. 

The tablet presses of the new generation are also consistently aligned toward a future with digital connections. They avail of all technical prerequisites for a modern production environment in accordance with the internet of things (IoT) and can be monitored by app independent of location. The process equipment can also be easily integrated, via plug and play. “We will gradually modernize our machine park and try to exhaust all of the technical possibilities. After all, high pressure on costs and increasingly tight spatial conditions mean that the trend is continuing toward leaner, more efficient and less expensive production,” asserts Kopf.

Easy to clean and operate

In this context, the reduced effort due to optimized cleaning was also a convincing factor at Dr. Willmar Schwabe. The F20i has significantly fewer surfaces to be cleaned. The shorter cleaning cycles associated with this save costs while reducing potential exposure to active ingredients. Further savings in time are achieved by an optimized turret-changing system, which reduces the time for dismantling to only a few minutes thanks to an integrated support carrier. “The new software also offers us a wide variety of possibilities and provides active support in troubleshooting, which makes our work that much easier,” emphasizes Kopf.

The F20i has been successfully commissioned at Dr. Willmar Schwabe. On the basis of positive experience, other products are also to be manufactured on the versatile single rotary press in the future. An initial summary by Kopf: “A phenomenal collaboration has evolved here. The first test batches are pressed and we remain in regular dialog with Fette Compacting.” 

About the i Series

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