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home > pmps > summer 2021 > mitigating compressed air risks in pharma manufacturing industry 4.0 technologies are being used to improve energy usage and cut costs, and compressed air is just one of the areas that the evolution is being seen.
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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Mitigating Compressed Air Risks in Pharma Manufacturing Industry 4.0 technologies are being used to improve energy usage and cut costs, and compressed air is just one of the areas that the evolution is being seen.

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most regulated in the world, with manufacturing processes controlled by GMP guidelines, the European Pharmacopoeia, the FDA, and the ICH. While these regulations cover even the smallest technical aspects of pharma production, they pay comparatively little attention to the use of compressed air in these manufacturing environments. For example, the European Pharmacopoeia only focuses on air for medical applications and, in this context, only makes a distinction in respect of artificial air for medical applications.

Nevertheless, compressed air is used in a range of pharma applications, from laboratories to extruders, bottling plants, tablet presses, and packaging processes. In many of these processes, compressed air will come into direct contact with products, such as when drying equipment parts, transporting substances through tubes, and when compressed air is used as a pressure blanket for solutions in tanks. Compressed air is also used for equipment control purposes in manufacturing production lines too, for example, for pneumatically opening valves. Many of these processes operate 24/7 as well, so ensuring the right compressor is specified is critical.

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Dr David Bruchof is Product Manager for Oil-Free Industrial Compressors at CompAir. Having studied Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University, Germany, he earned his Doctorate at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. He is a specialist in oil-free screw technology and the considerations that need to be given when specifying compressed air systems for production sensitive environments, such as pharma manufacturing facilities.

david.bruchof@gardnerdenver.com
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Dr David Bruchof
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