With this market shift there is a growing need for manufacturers to update and adapt production and business processes. There’s never been a better time to future proof pharmaceutical manufacturing. But where do you start? In this article we’ll explore the technologies and strategies you need to consider when future proofing your business in this market.
New Drugs Evolving on the Pharmaceutical Market
It is not only the range of drugs on the market that is growing, but also the way these drugs are delivered - multi-layer products, micro tablets and other multi-particulate formulations. These new systems improve patient practicality, but from a manufacturing perspective, facilities will need to initiate more flexible equipment solutions to cater for these higher complexities in the production processes, if they are to remain competitive.
Volume is No Longer the Primary Concern
One of the principle challenges in Pharma Manufacturing has been that quality, safety and regulatory compliance has often been of greater importance than volume & efficiency.
As manufacturers now need to compete in a price sensitive arena, volume and efficiency is key to profit and downtime is now a big problem. Unfortunately, there have been many regulatory actions taken against pharmaceutical OSD facilities in recent years.
The foremost cause is that the facilities were old, with ageing pharmaceutical equipment. New technologies, embracing sealed, containment solutions are encouraged by pharmaceutical inspectors to mitigate contamination risks.
Those that are quickest to adopt these technologies are outperforming their competitors and navigating regulatory landscape with ease.
What You Can Do to Stay Ahead of the Curve
Pharmaceutical businesses need to prepare themselves now by implementing new cost-effective, flexible, modular manufacturing systems such as the introduction of IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Containers) enabling multiple products and larger batches to be manufactured.
Here’s a selection of just some of the benefits a shift to IBC manufacturing can yield:
- Less production space needed
- Less manual handling, quicker loading and unloading of granules & tablets
- Time saving, less downtime
- Numerous size variants
- Hygienic Design – sealed, contained and dust tight
- Ability to automate
- Validation of automated cleaning process
- Gentle handling of tablets & capsules either coated or not (of batches up to 650kg)
How to Ensure You Remain in Control of Your Ingredient Discharge
To meet the pressures of consumer and supplier demand, of specific and smaller order quantities and the specialist new formulations forecast, you must become agile if you’re going to compete. Assess your current facility processes by asking yourself:
- are you using updated technologies and flexible equipment?
- are these methods cost and time effective?
- are you able to cope with fluctuating future industry changes and demands?
Now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your pharmaceutical manufacturing operations and start preparing for your future. It’s better to start small incremental changes now than a wholesale change when it’s too late.
This may all sound like the pharmaceutical industry is in turmoil, but it’s quite the opposite. It represents a great opportunity for manufacturers prepared to innovate and change their production processes.
Following on in the pharmaceutical manufacturing process, would you like to speed up your pharmaceutical tablet manufacturing and increase production without compromising on quality?
Could your tablet manufacturing equipment be working harder for you?
Could you improve the quality of your products?
The chances are your competitors already are! There are new pharmaceutical facilities opening all the time and they are implementing the latest technology and equipment that the industry has to offer.
Below we look at some of the best options to enable you to make changes that will not only increase production efficiencies but future proof your manufacturing facility.
The key pinch points that slow down your tablet manufacture are detailed below, alongside solutions to these issues.
Most of the factory’s that request advice typically start with the same issue. They have two or more operators continually filling and tagging, which uses countless drums, that need to be cleaned. The whole process is extremely time consuming and cost inefficient.
The solution is simple. If you swap operations by using an IBC (Intermediate Bulk Container), only one operator is required. There is no tagging and the collection stage can be prepared ahead of time.
Additionally, as there is no need to clean, all those drums and bags do not need to be disposed of and therefore the process is considerably more efficient and waste free.
Feed to Coater Stage Savings
Traditionally, the standard method for feeding tablets to coating stage takes about 30 minutes to manually fill, if repeating the same process of tipping drums. An IBC-based solution at this stage in the process can reduce this by at least 50%.
Empty Coater Stage Savings
Some tablet manufacturers may take about 50 minutes to discharge their product after the coating stage. It doesn’t sound a lot, but when you consider that with an IBC this will only take about 10 minutes, considerable periods of time can be saved during a whole day’s production shift (if tagging and labelling 20 kilo bags).
From the drums to the conveying equipment, traditional tablet production methods create multiple cleaning points. By comparison, with an IBC system only one IBC needs to be cleaned per batch.
We’ve identified the key areas where tablet manufacturers can realise efficiencies in costs and time, but there are more benefits that can be fulfilled by moving to IBC based tablet manufacturing.
IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Containers) Designed for Tablet Pharmaceutical Production
- Polyethene IBCs protect tablets, expertly designed to reduce breakages, marks or dents
- Cone Valve IBCs and Discharge Stations allow for a soft, slower discharge to protect tablets.
- IBCs are contained and sealed which reduces contamination/hygiene risks.