And, although there’s a vast array of available equipment and machinery from a number of suppliers, one of the key benefits of working with GEA is that we can actually supply an entire, completely integrated, containment system, from raw materials handling right the way through to tableting, notes Phil. One of the big challenges with any containment system is the integration of all the different pieces of process equipment.
It’s not just about having split valves, it’s about making sure that the materials handling system integrates with the granulation equipment and with the compression equipment. GEA offers group-wide technical solutions that can be integrated into complete lines. This is becoming increasingly important with the growth in oncology and hormonal products, especially in batch direct compression systems (in which the ingredients are blended in an IBC and fed directly into the tablet press).
Looking further ahead, if PPE-free working environments are already with us, what does the future hold for containment? “Just a few years ago,” says Phil, “the trend was to develop equipment that was as contained as possible. What we’ve now put more of an emphasis on is applying some science to evaluating operator risk and establishing how much containment is actually needed for a particular process or application. It’s very easy to over specify the containment requirement for a product. And if you do that, you end up with equipment that’s not only more expensive to buy, it’s also more difficult to operate, maintain and clean. And that doesn’t benefit anybody.”
GEA can assist and advise you to determine what level of containment is required where and when, optimizing the manufacturing process and making it efficient, safe and cost-effective. We provide tailor made containment for the pharmaceutical industry — for now and for the future.