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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

The Importance of Automated Ingredients Handling when using Minor Ingredients in Pharmaceutical Production

Minor and micro ingredients in the production process represent a special challenge in the automation of ingredients. In the production of coated and uncoated tablets, liquids, capsules or effervescent tablets, flexibility and precision is essential to manufacturing operations. Whilst it is sometimes impossible to fully-automate minor ingredients in a profitable way due to their consistency, physical properties or the sheer volume and frequency of minor ingredients in the production process, it is now possible to run efficient automated systems at great advantage to the processor.

Ultimately, minor ingredients influence the end product and must be fed into the production process in a controlled and documented manner, both to avoid contamination and monitor batch control. These critical ingredients in pharmaceutical processing can now be easily automated with new, innovative and highly flexible machines that allow precise automatic metering, pneumatic conveying, highly accurate weighing and feeding. Minor ingredients can be transferred quickly and efficiently to the next step in the production process.

Dosing and weighing are extremely important when ingredients are being mixed. This section of the production process is often thought of as being secondary but in practice the corner stone for a quality product is often laid in the automatic provision of batches. Vacuum pneumatic conveying systems have been successfully developed for use when large quantities of ingredients are fed into mixers and are now considered standard - particularly within single story production units where headroom restricts the use of gravity feed systems.

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By Phil Plummer, Sales Director at Ingredient Handling Solutions Ltd

Phil Plummer is Co-Founder and Sales Director of Ingredient Handling Solutions Ltd, representing AZO GmbH & Co - global leaders in ingredients handling and automation - throughout the UK and Ireland. He is also co-founder of a privately owned bulk solids materials handling company, formed in 1993, to offer the UK plastics and food industry turnkey materials-handling process systems. Phil originally trained as a Draughtsman and Project Engineer, gaining a HNC qualification in Mechanical and Production Engineering. After working in liquids processing, he went on to specialise in bulk solids materials-handling and pneumatic conveying.
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Phil Plummer
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